Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Signs Of Spring At Peaceful Forest Homestead

Spring time is in the air here in upstate New York! After the very hard winter we had this year, it is very welcome. Our snow seemed to take a long time to dissipate. In fact, along both sides of our road there is still snow. Even so, as soon as the snow is gone and probably if you dug down under, you will find signs of spring. Signs of new life coming up.

Strawberry Plants!
As I take a walk around my yard, even with chilly temperatures, there are many signs of plants that will give us food. Rhubarb is one plant that appears early. It will survive even freezing temperatures. My strawberry plants are also showing signs of life. I have already been eating the chives. They seem to have a sweet taste in the early spring.

The bed with the lemon balm, chives and oregano is showing much new growth. This bed will fill up fast and I harvest from it all spring, summer and fall. The more I harvest, the more I get. These plants can all take over your beds or garden areas. But if you use them, then what does it matter? Share them if you have too much.

Lemon Balm & Oregano!
We have tiger lilies growing along both sides of our road. In many places along the state forest roads, they are plentiful. The lilies in this raised bed was given to me by one of my NY homesteading group members. It is not a tiger lily, but another kind. I think it is yellow, but I can't remember for sure. Tiger lilies along the road are showing their bright greenish yellow heads already too. People may not know this, but lilies can be eaten. The spring shoots are a wild food that is very edible. In fact, the entire lily plant, right down to the flowers and leaves can be eaten any time of the year.

It is so easy to start a bed of any of these early spring foods. I usually will dig a little into the ground to break up the grass, add some compost and put a plant in that and cover it over. I like to contain them by putting rocks around them to keep them neat and orderly. The strawberry plants are the only ones that seem to take over. I pulled up all the strawberry plants in my raised beds, because they became a jumbled mess two years ago. But you can see, they keep coming back!

I hope to have a good spring, and will post about the various plants I can forage and grow. It is good information to know, even if you don't need to use them presently. You never know what could happen. It is good to at least have foraged, cooked and ate some. That way, if you ever need to, you will know how to identify and cook them to eat. Share that information with your children so they will have that knowledge too!

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole

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