Thursday, August 28, 2008

Verdolaga: A Natural Resource

About a week after moving into this neighborhood, I saw one of the neighbors returning to her home from her consult at the clinic and searching diligently along the sides of the path while she walked. As I watched, she reached down and started pulling greens from the ground. I hurried over as she was wrapping them up in the front of her shirt to carry them to her house, to ask what she had found. It's called Verdolaga she told me ... its a weed that grows abundantly in the ditches and roadsides.
I made a point of memorizing the look of the leaves and the way the plant was growing, and have made it a regular vegetable on our table during its season ever since. Now, I have been working diligently to grow a garden ... and in the section for herbs, the only plant that grew was ... you guessed it ... verdolaga!!!

Verdolaga has a gentle green flavor ... it reminds me of fiddleheads, a wild speciality from my Miramichi roots.

I just rinse it off, chop it up, steam it in a bit of water and serve with cider vinegar. I particularly like this vegetable served with a baked chicken dinner.


I so admire people who can do that - forage for the good stuff. I invited my Spanish teacher on a walk when we lived in Andorra. The group was mainly British, retired expats. Teresa came without food or water and I expressed my concern... (We were going up into the mountains for most of the day - a 'proper' walk)
She shrugged it off. She then proceeded to munch her way through the mountains, and always found a clear stream to drink from. I'm learning.... But still not very confident on my own

Hi Katie,

What a great story! I, too, admire people who can do that, and there are a lot of them here. I suppose when your entire larder consists of a huge bin of dried corn cobs and a bag of beans, it makes you a bit more attentive to the local greenery!!

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