OK, now its springing!

I can’t actully believe its nearly 6 weeks since the last optimisticly worded post about spring, but we had some snow, and then a little more and then a lot more and then it snowed again and then…. well I could go on, but you know the score!

Much as I do actually LOVE the snow, snow angels, snowball fights, jumping in snow drifts up to my thighs, making prints in unmarked snow, driving to work through what is already a beautiful landscape made spectacular with every twig on every tree highlighted; I am kinda glad its almost thinking about going.

Not that the weather has really been able to stop the march of spring, but it has slowed it down just a little.  Wild garlic cotinues to grow – bravely poking through the snow and in one place thoroughly eaten by rabbits, presumably beacuse its far too cold for grass to do very much!

Celendines not yet a carpet of flowers, but a couple of days of sun and they will be; Garlic Mustard (Jack by the Hedge) coming up good and strong.  I am keeping an eye on the local nettles – in a few short weeks at the end of April, we are planning a wild food walk with lunch and I am grave need of nettles for soup, but I have every confidence that Mother Nature will provide (fingers crossed!!)

PS Celedines – those tiny yellow star flowers and the leaves are not edible, however if one could dig them up (which of course on land other than one’s own is illegal) one would find tiny (and I mean tiny) balls of starch attached to the roots.  Known as famine food, one can only imagine how hungry someone would have to be to go to the effort of digging up enough to make a meal.  Sobering thought in our days of plenty.

 

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Celendine

Today is so Spring!!

Its so spring beacuse today I saw my first butterfly of the year, the frogs have spawned in the pond in our garden and I even caught a glimpse of some Wood Anenomies (Windflowers) .

I vistited the embryonic Rhubarb Farm today (http://83.170.122.74/rhubarb_farm/index.php) a new Social Enterprise Community Supported Agriculture project starting near Bolsover.  Beautiful Spring Day, we saw loads of things to eat at the bottom of the hedgerows – enough to make a propoer spring salad – dandelions, garlic mustard, cow parsley, hogweed, dead nettle, sorrel and of course hawthorn itself.

What caught my eye most of all was a whole bank of Celendine.  their beautiful star like flowers shining in the spring sun.  But everytime I see Celendine it really brings home the reality of starving.  You see one of the old names for Celendine is famine food.  Each of the tiny plants, if you dig them up, has teeny tiny nodules on the roots and these, if collected and ground up are pure starch.  How poor would you have to be to have nothing else?   How hungry would you have to be to face such a task to fill your belly?  I think I am very lucky to live in the Western World in 21st century.