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Posts Tagged ‘worms’

I had two salads today. The first one was from Moe and Johnny’s. It cost $4.

The second one was from my backyard. It was free.

I read an article today about foraging for edible foods in the wild, most particularly foods you can find growing right outside your back door. I’ve done a little foraging here and there, especially as a kid hiking the woods with my older siblings. But today I was inspired to make a meal, so I set out into the backyard with my cursory knowledge of plant identification and a plastic container. I was surprised at how many edible participants I found right away. Plenty of plantain, dandelions of course, violets, and clover of two varieties. I even found some humongous wild strawberries tucked away behind the downspout. I discovered some purple flowers that I found out are called ground ivy, part of the mint family. Sure enough, I tried a leaf and it was minty. I gathered all my greens (and yellows and whites and purples) together and gave them a good washing. After they dried a bit, I arranged them on a plate, added my favorite salad garnishes—salt, pepper, and cheese!—and gave it a whirl. After snapping this photo, of course:

The result was…interesting. It was certainly very flavorful; a bit too much so. Each plant has such a distinct, unique flavor, and each one vied for my taste buds’ attention in every bite. It was bitter, sweet, sour, crunchy, minty, and altogether ended up tasting kind of like a freshly mown lawn. But it certainly was pretty!

I think that, in the future, it would be wise to use each plant separately, and skip the salad idea. A plantain salad might be tasty, but perhaps the dandelions would go better on a grilled cheese sandwich, or the ground ivy sprinkled on top of a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I will have to experiment and find out.

And in case that wasn’t weird enough for you, let me show you what has been going on in our basement for the past couple of months…

Back in March, Jeff and I realized we were throwing away a lot of good stuff—dozens of banana peels, orange rinds, bread crusts, egg shells, and so on. We wanted to waste less, but we didn’t have a compost pile to contribute to. So I decided to put into action something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. A worm farm.

The process was simple enough. We bought a medium plastic tub and drilled small holes on every side. Then, I decorated one side…

And Jeff, um, “decorated” the other…

Yeah.

Next, we filled it with lots of leaves, all of the produce scraps we had been saving, a little dirt, and a bunch of big red worms. At first I fed the worms way too much and things started to get moldy. I cut back on the foodstuffs, added a thick layer of leaves on top, and left it alone for a while.

As of now, the worms seem to be doing nicely. They haven’t all died, so that’s a good sign. In fact, all of the original produce has disappeared, and there’s a nice sludgy layer of soil building up at the bottom. I try to stave off my curiosity and leave the worms alone to do their stuff, but every other week or so I can’t help but stir up the mess and see what’s going on. It’s kind of fun, and it’s easy, and it’s good for my garden and the environment. What’s not to like?

We haven’t named any of the worms yet, by the way.

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