September 7, 2012

Goldenrod, I've misjudged you!

This medium sized specimen of Goldenrod (Solidago Odora) established itself in one of the discarded ice cream buckets this spring.  Goldenrod tea, or Blue Mountain Tea, has been used to relieve fatigue, kidney stones, water retention, and other inflammatory conditions for an obviously uncountable number of centuries.   Go here, to see the University of Maryland's description of the plants properties, and go here, for Susan Weed's Herbal animatismic description of how to prepare and consume the plant.    Unlike Ragweed,  which looks similar, Goldenrod's pollen sacs are small and sticky, and won't produce the high levels of dander/pollen that provoke allergic responses.  So we love you!    Go here for a great diagram of how plants make babies with other plants.  

Mixed Greens!

Part of the weeks harvest for Parts.  In the full heat of summer the lettuce mixes are cut down while they are baby greens,  before they have a chance to bolt.    Bolting occurs when the plant has realized that it wont survive in the current climate (lettuce hates the heat), and so it puts all of its energy into making babies.   The plants will discourage predation/snacking during this special time by turning tough and bitter, and the center stalk will "bolt," up skyward to produce a flower and eventually seeds.  
When lettuce goes to seed it morphs from a chubby ball into a 2 foot high swirling tower.  Despite how attractive these tango dancers can be, we're going to keep cutting them down before they have the chance, and so you can have your salad!