Author: Saxon Brown, Grow Appalachia Assistant at Appalachia-Science in the Public Interest

Today is a workshop day here at ASPI!  In just a few hours, Timi Reedy will be teaching locals about the benefits and how-to of homegrown mushrooms and each participant will take home 2 inoculated logs!  Much thanks to the families that have located, cut and delivered our fresh poplar and oak logs for this workshop.  We’ll let you know how it goes later on in the week!

We’ve been harvesting here and there in our garden plot.  So far we’ve gotten 1 tomato, about 4 lbs of radishes (with tops on), 2 pounds of the wild edible “lambs quarters”, and some basil.  When first picked, the radishes were so spicy they were almost painful to eat!  The spiciness made me think of salsa, so I plopped about a pound of radishes, 2 tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice and salt in my food processor (just so that the radish was chopped, not totally pureed) and it made a pretty good little salsa.  It’s definitely beautiful, since the radishes were purple and red and white.  And over a few days the spiciness subsided, so next time I’d probably add in some onion to give it a little “bite”.  I’ve been cooking the lambs’ quarters just like spinach, boiled in just a little water with soy sauce and vinegar.  I think I like it better than most cultivated greens!  

Lamb’s Quarters or Goosefoot: A common “weed”, a delicious green.

A lot of what happened last week was simply site maintenance, weeding, putting down another layer of mulch in the walkways, fertilizing, tending to the perennial flower bed.  We’ve been using fish emulsion as a foliage fertilizer on our plants and even during this dry spell, many of them are still growing pretty well.  If you’ve never tried using fish fertilizer, it’s worth a go, though as you may imagine, it smells like rotting fish for a few days around your garden plot.  However, the smell may be worth the fact that this product is much more healthy for your garden and land than many fertilizers you find in the store.  Fantastic and fishy gardening to you!