Garden Shares: Staghorn Sumac, Lamb’s Quarters, Purslane, and More

I have a friend who lives one mile upmountain from me and not only does she have a lovely garden (just to the left in the photo above), she has some fantastic “weeds,” too. Although with this view, it can be hard to get much gardening/foraging done. But we managed!

Sumac bobs

Her husband cut down some staghorn sumac bobs, with which I had intended to make tea, lemonade, and maybe spice, but after tasting some of the drupes I realized they were not quite ripe yet. They should be lemony and tart, and these just tasted unripe. Her trees have more pretty red “bobs” so I’ll go back in another few weeks and cut some more.

Rumex seedheads and Bee

She also let me cut some of her Rumex, commonly (and confusingly) called dock. I tied the seedheads up in bundles and will hang them to dry, then later I’ll roast and make a sort of flour with them.  Then I might try this Dock seed brownie recipe, or possibly these crackers.

We dug up several starts of lamb’s quarters (Chenopodium album), which are a fabulous spring and summer salad green or pot herb. There are so many ways to use lamb’s quarters that I may get inspired and make pesto or stuffed shells.

I also brought home six or seven beautiful big purslane plants, which we both nibbled on as we dug and moved them into a cardboard box for transport home.

And last but certainly not least, I have two borage plants that I got from her house and added to my garden today. The bees will love them, if they take.

And even though she and I finished our garden/weed raid with plenty of time on the deck gazing out at this view — with a soothing, restorative tea she made from her prickly wild lettuce (Lactuca serriola) — I still made it home in time to clear six small garden beds and get everything transplanted before the rain came.

Big “weed” win! And an even bigger girlfriend win.

View from Jane’s House

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