In Which The Dog Eats Dirt

This spring has been so fantastically rainy.  The rampant beauty has kept me indoors more than I’d like, so when I returned to the garden on Wednesday I found a carpet of creeping ivy seedlings surrounding the rhubarb and gooseberry.  TJ was right – I’ll be weeding the garden all year long.

When I finally got to the garden on Saturday, the clay was dry, and not optimal for picking weeds.  however, I soon found a badger-style scratch with cloth gloves brought the shallow-set ivy right up.  I worked a good section of the yard before I could do no more.

In my weeding journeys, I found a recurring weed that I couldn’t identify.  It had four opposite-set leaves, and a blue-grey cast that reminded me of some potato plants.  I was certain it wasn’t poison ivy or nettle, so I let those plants be and focused on known threats, like ivy and grass.

Well, turns out those little plants are lamb’s quarters – yet another delicious wild plant! They are everywhere, and I plan on enc0uraging them and trying them out soon.

With every new species I find in the garden, I find I’m much closer to my goal of replacing my lawn with wild edibles than I first imagined.  However, there is one perpetual nemesis on this quest – the god-damned poison ivy.  I scoured its old haunts today and eliminated some young plants along the fenceline and the eastern wall of the house, which still houses thirt-foot tall vines in various forms of vitality and death.  Clippers in hand, I severed a few more vines I’d missed toward the front of the house, then snipped every cluster of green berries I could find, hopefully spoiling them before they become the ripe white berries that birds love so much.

One last anecdote for you.  One day I came home from work and let the dog out the back – I had a few things to do before I walked him, so I was buying some time.  Well, the big dog wanders the yard a bit, then goes to a spot of dirt just below the porch.  As I wonder what in the world could be right next to the house that he’d be interested in, I see him chomp down on a huge mouth full of dirt, and another, and another! I went down to grab his collar (he wouldn’t respond to my calls, so I knew he was into something good) and notice a greyish film on the ground.  then I realize – TJ had been cooking whole chicken in the crockpot, and must have dumped the juices out there! Doggie-boy was enjoying some chicken juice-infused dirt.  And I thought I was eclectic!

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