Got some greens in before th' frost.
Watercress, which has been ripe and delicious all summer long here.
|Watercress (Nasturtium officinale)|
|watercress, wet with th' morning dew|
Watercress is a very spicy-mustardy green. As it's name implies it grows in the water-
which means you have to be careful with it. Now if th' rivers were pure like they were for thousands of years when the natives were th' caretakers of this land, it'd be a different story- but that's history.
Today, let's not drink that water, or eat th' plants that are in it. But luckily for us, watercress grows from it's top, so if it aint in th' water, chances are good that it never was in th' water.
But hey, let's not take chances- pay attention to the area, know if th' creek rises or has recently, if so, you may want to be a little more careful in your harvesting.
When you get it home, wash it good, and if you're worried about Ecoli or some such, cook your greens thoroughly- but if you know what you're doing that is not necessary. They are good raw and cooked, so it's best to know your source, then you can enjoy them how you like.
Use them as a garnish to your meal, mix them with a salad to spice it up, or cook up a soup with cress greens in it.
Here's a picture of a potato soup with watercress and some late season, new growth stinging nettle.
|watercress, nettle and potato soup|
|late season, new growth stinging nettle|
Th' seeds of nettle are highly nutritious, and said to be good for your kidneys. They have also been shown to promote endurance and heightened awareness, similar to ginseng. They help th' body restore and rejuvenate, something very useful indeed in this toxic world we live in.
Bear Medicine Herbals has some more good info on nettles.
|nettle stalk covered in seeds|
|stinging nettle seeds|
|bowl full of nettle greens|
Last year we harvested a bunch of them just as they were ripening, as they ripen well if left in th' husks. This year we waited til they got good and yeller.
Ground Cherries are in th' nightshade family, and look very much like miniature tomatillos.
They are extraordinarily sweet, and peppery when ripe. We made some serious salsa with them, and mixed them with crab apples to make pie. This year we're sun drying some. It's taking a long time, but they smell really good.
|ground cherries, at best time for pickin|
|Sun drying ground cherries.|