February salad greens

Valentine’s Day Wild Salad

I received a marvelous Valentine’s gift yesterday on the mountain. We went out to find daffodil spikes (and found them!), but I also noticed something else wonderful: the first spring salad greens.

Tufts of hairy bittercress (which is neither hairy nor bitter until later in the spring), chickweed, lamb’s ear, a few crunchy little sprigs of woodland stonecrop, and some rumex leaves. That means I could finally get my first really good and nourishing plate of salad, in February! For most of this month, all of this was either yet to emerge, or buried under weeks of snow.

Hairy bittercress
Hairy bittercress
Chickweed
Chickweed (note creeping charlie and mint mixed in)

I’m happy to still have a few winter snows this year, but I’m even happier to get to enjoy a salad.

I harvested, washed and chopped these up and cut an apple and a carrot over the top with some vinaigrette. The best, tastiest Valentine’s vitamins ever.

From the top to the right in the photo below are chickweed, bittercress, lamb’s ear, stonecrop, and rumex leaves (with reddish midribs).

February salad greens
February salad greens

I guess I’m going to have to add a “Wild Foods in February” page to my Wild Edibles tab on the website. And there are wild foods to be had here in February, just not many. But I’m thinking to go down and harvest cambium from a downed pine by the road for flour, and maybe also make some birch tea from new spring twigs… Stay tuned.

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