|Tyler under th' Linden Leaves...|
With th' base gathered, we set off to see what else we can find...
Is that? Is that? Yep, asparagus. A bit early for around here, but this spring has been so hot and dry that timing based on previous years means next to nothing. Just to prove that, we also found milkweed popping up already, which is usually a few weeks to a month later than asparagus.
|young milkweed with flower bud.|
It'll be an interesting year for foraging. Which is fine by me, it keeps us guessing... hunting, searching, ever learning, never thinking we know it all, or have it all figured out, which is the enemy of adventure. Here's some nice young asparagus close up, and next to it is a young horsetail, or scouring rush... these make excellent sandpaper.
|horsetail and asparagus|
We ate a bunch of asparagus in th' field, and also saved some for th' salad. After that we gathered up a bunch of young lamb's quarters, aka, wild spinach.
|didn't bring a bag, had to use my shirt|
Then we came across a nice patch of Bull-rush. These were traditionally eaten similar to cattail, th' roots are starchy, but lack th' itch that cattail has. We pulled up a bunch for th' tender core at th' base. This is a very mild vegetable with little flavor and a lot of water, kinda like a water chestnut, but softer.
|Young Bullrush stand|
Now i've found that th' best way to store most wild greens is to put them in a container of cool water. This way they'll last for several days, and they don't dry out like they do in our fridge. We change th' water every day and that's all it takes. Here's our salad...linden, lamb's quarters, asparagus, bullrush, milkweed, and catmint. Turned out pretty well, and it's always nice foraging with a friend.
|wild salad soaking|
Also, while Tyler was here he showed us his new found treasure, old razors.
|antique shaving razors|
He'd been looking for someone to sharpen them for him, and kept being met with a nope, can't do it. I can do it i told him, better yet, you can do it. I made him a strop, and in th' morning we got out th' stones to put a razors edge on a razor. It's a very empowering thing to know how to really sharpen a knife... and Tyler was smiling throughout th' learning process. Like any skill, it takes more than a day to learn, but it is nice to get your feet on th' path.
|ceramic, extra fine|
|stropping, look at that smile.|
After putting a good edge on these, Tyler went to try them out. He came out a few minutes later looking quite pleased, and a bit more clean cut...He put a razors edge on his razor, and shaved with it. All after being told repeatedly, even by barbers, that you can't sharpen razors and have to throw them away and buy new ones... What's th' world come to? These things are old enough to be his grandparents, and he just shaved with them.
|lookin good Ty!|
And, to top off th' whole weekend, we got a package in th' mail from Peter Vido of Scythe Connection, two blades. I've had a couple of old american scythes for a few months now, and they are stout, heavy beasts. Th' first thing that struck me about these new blades was how light they are. Both of them together weigh less than one of my american scythes. Th' next thing i felt was their great balance. These are really fine instruments, swords that you cut grass with. In comparison to our old blades, it's like riding around on a Huffy Bicycle, then getting on a really nice road bike.
|austrian and italian made scythe blades.|
|scythe with wild wood snath|
I made some mistakes, and will make another one right away, (snath that is, hopefully,) with improvements, and another handle at th' top. But, i did mow our lawn with it. I've never been so excited to mow th' lawn. It was relaxing, a bit like slow dancing, and our answer to th' exhaust and noise and destruction caused by lawn mowers. And, i was easily able to mow around th' Salsify growing in th' yard. Here's me and Beth trying it out.
This really surprised me with how well it cut, not sure why considering it used to be the only way to cut grass. But needless to say, i'm hooked on scything, and if you're interested in this fascinating tool, check out th' links on our sidebar that have to do with scything.
|look out grass, here i come!|
|Fynn on th' spring pole lathe.|