Saturday, May 3, 2014



But you're gonna hafta read through a buncha stuff I want you to know to get to it. I know. I'm positively awful that way.

After snugumpupsin' my Ozzbot while watching Mr. Nobody on Netflix Saturday morning, I headed out to complete an AMAZING PROJECT and take some informative pictures.

 This is milkweed. There are different kinds of milkweed, but this is the kind I see most often.
 You can verify that it's milkweed-- beyond the appearance-- by breaking a bit off. A white foam appears. I know of no good use for these plants, and yes, they are poisonous.

An update on the lettuce patch! :) If I mention it in the blog often enough, Somebunny might lime that area next year, and we'll have free romaine. He's already paying enough attention to not mow it down this year!

That's the Bird sniffing it. We're going to let it go to seed again and hope for the best next year.

One of my dewberries. I have five locations with two yielding at this point. We've eaten dewberries almost every day this week, just a few on top of strawberries and cream. Make that three yielding! I picked the first one from this one today.

 I don't know the name of this wildflower, but it can be used as Spring onions, and it looks similar to garlic blossoms.
We had a different kind of wild onion back home that more resembled chives and had tiny bulbs. Kids would eat it as 'onion grass'. It was very common. We prolly had two dozen patches in a cleared acre. It grew easily, perennially, drought-resistant. I don't know why we didn't use it in the kitchen since it was so abundant, and we knew it was edible. Most of our food, though, was bland, boiled, and/or mush. No one uses garlic in their cooking where I come from. There's not a lot of herb, spice, or aromatic use in my people's cooking.

This is an awful photo of a dandelion. The leaves are very nutritious and at their best young-- prior to blooming-- so learn the leaves not the blooms. You can eat them in salad or sautee them or boil them like collard greens. People ate them during the Great Depression, and they are a good plant-source for iron. The roots can be boiled and brewed in to a tea which, I think, is a diuretic. Google says that's old school tradition that's unsupported, but that it's good for digestion and the liver. Harvest the big taproot (looks like a carrot), and wash prior to brewing. Don't wash plants until you're ready to eat them to slow decomposition. You can try drying slices to preserve it (dehydrator, if you're lucky or line a cookie sheet with a towel and place it on the hood of a car in full sun. Check on and turn every couple hours. We used to do this with apples, not dandelions, but same principle. Harvest in the fall.) or just treat it like potatoes or any other root.

People also blow the seeds off the stems and wish for things... it's very romantical... and it makes new plants for next year! :D

This is spiderwort. We didn't have these where I grew up so I've no idea if it's useful or hurtful. It's pretty and lasts a good long while in a vase, though.

This is centipede grass, so named for how it looks. It propagates mostly by very thick runners as you can see. A runner is when a plant puts out a tendril to start a new plant. See the green line left to right in the above photo. Where the leaves are, there are roots creating an independent plant. In between that, the tendril is called a runner. You can cut the runner, and each plant will likely still survive.

This is an earthworm. Where I'm from we have an invasive non-native species of worms called nightcrawlers that are about a foot long. They serve the same function: to help decomposition. Their poo is good dirt. You want lotsa worms in your yard. If by digging, you sever a worm in half, don't despair. Unlike a human, it will live. Place it in a cool, damp, bit of dirt that you're done messing with. Both types of worms are good sources of protein-- though I've not had cause to eat them quite yet!

I don't know what good snails are, but I think they're pretty. More often than not, I find shells, tiny ones. However this one was inhabited. I had a snail have babies in an aquarium once, and it's mesmerizing to watch a snail's foot undulate and move around on the glass. Some came out of the tank! This is a land snail, and a bit shyer. They always close up.

A fern! We used to go in the woods and cut some ferns to fill out bouquets. We used them the same way as florists use baby's breath (those little white flowers with lotsa leaves, e.g. filler, greenery).

Dude, yeah, that got potted!!

Let's check on the plants:
Weird sun bubble in the pic for peas--- But they're finally blooming!
The lettuce is just fine. I told you it would be, but I know you didn't believe me. ;)
The potatoes are growing like cray-cray.

Speaking of, we let the rest of the bag go to seed again...

Digging with a shovel and a trowel??? Madame was not made for such work.
 Birdie is a digger, but Oz takes some encouragement....

He's very obedient. If I can trick him into start digging, all it takes is saying, "Good boy!" and then repeating the same phrase over and over to trigger the behavior. I chose this song:

Now to my announcement....

What do you see?
One day recently, I spied some red in my lawn upon coming home for lunch. I investigated, and it was a strawberry. I remarked such to Alex, and then showed it to him. He said, "--and there's one, and there's one, and there's one." I have a strawberry patch!!!


So I weeded the whole thing... about four to five hours or work. I'm very sore today.

The Oz
I'm training them on 'get out' as I do with rooms in the house. He got it in a day. Bird is still learning a bit.

I've treated erosion problems with monkey grass, canna, daffodils, and lilies. Canna is the hardest to kill of them all because there's always a bit of root left so it grows again. Plus, in the fall, it looks like you've let corn go to seed. Monkey grass is the easiest to grow. They have long luscious dark green leaves that remind me of hair, about a 3/8" wide and with a rounded tip. They send up straight stems that have small purple blooms on the upper 4-6" which in turn become stems of purple-black berries. These berries are poisonous.
In the middle of this photograph, you see a bit of a tuber? As long as you put that in the ground, you'll have monkey grass. They also propagate via runner. They are drought resistant and very hardy. Monkey grass is good as a border because its thick roots prevent weeds from getting a foothold. Every few years you need to thin it out, as I'm doing now to provide a border to my strawberry patch.

After I watered it:
Our forester friend says that because the blooms are yellow, (My granny's were white.) they are wild strawberries which are small and ten times as sweet as market strawberries. Since I put them through such trauma this year, we'll let them go to seed, but I'll harvest next year!

A Truly Blessed Land Owner,



  1. I really enjoyed reading this and seeing the pictures! I always enjoy learning new things. I hope to someday be able to work outside with plants.

    1. What about indoor plants? I have (in abundance) wild strawberry, Greek oregano, rosemary.. This Fall I could mail you seeds for romaine and/or Sweet Williams. I also know a cool trick for growing potatoes indoors-- two in fact! :) The sack trick and the way we grew a sweet potato in S.E.E.K. (searching energetically and enthusiastically for knowledge aka The Bored Kids.).