Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Food in the Backyard

Plants in the backyard growing without cultivation...
maybe they're in your backyard too!

This is Lambs Quarters, and is sometimes sold as Wild Spinach. It can be blended with fruit to make a smoothie, or used as a salad base- whatever way spinach might be prepared.
This is sorrel. Sorrel has distinctive leaves that are shaped like a fish. Sorrel leaves have a lemony flavor, and taste great in a salad. To supplement my diet with sorrel, I pick a few leaves (or flowers now that they're blooming) when I'm outside and chew on them as I walk around.
This is red clover. The University of Maryland Medical Center says that red clover may have blood-thinning properties, which keeps blood clots from forming. It appears to improve blood flow. Traditionally, it's regarded as helpful in cleansing the liver, as an expectorant, as a diuretic, and as treatment for psoriasis and eczema.
This is white clover. The clovers can be eaten leaves, flowers, and all. White clover flowers have an impressive protein profile. I just pop them in my mouth, but I read that soaking them in salt water for a while tenderizes the flower so that they are gentle enough on human digestion to eat lots and lots.
Generally I eat as many flowers as possible. When they're growing outside, I like at least a flower a day. Energetically, from my perspective, flowers are the beautiful bright joy-bringing beings that through their life and death disperse seeds. I admire the life path they've chosen, so I eat them to be more like them.

To avoid any kind of ill will from a plant, I ask it for permission to pick a flower. The kindness of flowers is overwhelming from my human perspective- they are eager to share themselves at any expense. Some of them don't want to be eaten, picked or touched, and I appreciate that too.

Parsley Rosewater...
I love to drink spring water! I love to smell roses! I also love to eat parsley! In order to unite this triumvirate of awesomeness, I got out this glass pitcher my sister gave me, filled it with fresh water, plucked an organic rose and placed it into the water (though the rose eventually floats to the top), pinched off some parsley flowers and floated them in the water too, then placed a glass plate atop the pitcher. The pitcher sat in the sun all afternoon, and during that time the heat of the sun helps the rose and parsley release their oils. The plate on top of the pitcher facilitates the necessary condensation process, as opposed to the evaporation process. Then through the night the water gathers moonlight. This morning it went into the refrigerator. Steve and I have been drinking this water today and it tastes so so good. To make it last for a few days, I fill a glass with water then add this parsley rosewater from the pitcher to top it off. It's joyful medicine!
"The sum of wisdom is that time is never lost that is devoted to work. Raphael paints wisdom; Handel sings it, Phidias carves it, Shakespeare writes it, Wren builds it, Columbus sails it, Luther preaches it, Washington arms it, Watt mechanizes it... Wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common." -RALPH WALDO EMERSON


Steven A Munn said...

WOW!! What a GREAT POST!!!

Shannon said...

Aww! M'Honey Honey- thank you, Lovee!

Anonymous said...


(Flower Power and Honey-Honey in the Heart too, woah!)

Anonymous said...

Oh thank you lovely Shannon! This is wonderful info. When I move to Northern Calif. I will look for lambs quarter & sorrel and put it in my smoothies. I love the flower water idea. In Hawaiian Hooponopono- they say blue solar water is really powerful. Love you!


Shannon said...

Flower Power- yeah! In Super Mario brothers you get another life when you eat a flower :)

OOo! Blue flower water? Thanks for that Margo. I'm glad this is helpful- you'll have lots of tasty green tenders in Northern California- que super!

Anonymous said...

Oh Shan, it's true, it's true knowledge is experiencial, all of this... beyond delicious and you are too, Beauty! Thanks so much! C.

jeffo said...

Beautiful information. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I love the Iris this year but you might not want to include them in a discussion on Backyard Food. Not exactly an edible plant for human beings. Fortunately there are lots and lots of alternatives waiting to be picked. I saw a huge bed of Sheep Sorrel today that made my mouth water in DELite.

Love and Hugs. del

Shannon said...

*Thank you, Del! That is a good point. I'm removing this iris picture. It's wonderful to hear from you! I was just thinking how I want to brew that sumac tea you taught us to make last summer. Big hugs and tasty sheep sorrel!

*A pleasure, Jeffo!

*Amen C it's in the experience for sure