For the last few weeks the weather here has been pretty good – don’t tell the folks up North that (sorry guys). Winter is a weird time of year in FL, when we can’t figure out just what’s going on. It’s 80deg one day and then 65 the next. The poor plants are always so confused. The lawn takes a long winter nap and the tropical tender treasures are either covered or brought in from the occasional frost. One thing that never takes a break are the weeds. Ugh. Our yard is a bit on the large size for suburban neighborhood. That means there plenty of space for those weeds to take hold. I shouldn’t complain as we are one of the few to NOT spray our lawn. When we moved in there was a perfectly manicured carpet of grass-type plant matter. I’m sorry, but Floratam should’ve been named ‘biological astro-turf’. That’s the expensive super-grass of the 1980’s. It’s uniform green year round, but needs babied like a high maintenance pet! I like grass I can run thru in my bare feet. Yes, I’m way beyond 12 years old. You wouldn’t dare run though that perfect new lawn, or it will die. If it gets too much water, it will die. If it dries out, it will die. If the lawn dude misses a month (mainly because you didn’t pay him the $200 to come out and spray), it will die. With the Great Recession went funding for that, and yup – it died.
Bring on the weeds. The flip side to this tragedy is that the birds and bunnies absolutely love us, and our neighbor next door (they have a lawn about the same age and got sick of the maintenance bills also). Ok, so they actually feed the birds seed, but the bluebirds love the bugs in the lawn…eat up those cinch bugs guys! There isn’t as many with the Floratam gone. Bunnies love chickweed. Chickweed is a lovely green, low growing, tough,…and tasty. I know this because my sister, The Farmer, came by one day and spotted a patch growing at the edge of a flower bed and said “Chickweed?” I said, “Yes, I’ve been pulling it all day.”, as I pointed to three gigantic weed filled bags hidden behind the azaleas waiting for trash day. “Can I have it!?” …”yeah, I guess, whatever.” We went back and forth laughing about it loading bags into her truck, and she said that her pigs love the stuff and it’s great to eat. She bends down picks some up and eats it ! Ack! What…she didn’t die so I tried it too. I get it – the taste is like raw peas fresh from the shell and raw corn. Hmm, I’m still pulling it though.
Fast forward to the other day when my loving husband noted what a beautiful day it finally was and that the weeds were getting a bit out of hand. Yes, I am The Weed Wench. My weapons of choice are gloves, and Round-Up. I prepared for battle and saw a big patch of Chickweed and thought,…I pay big for bitter tasting arugula and dandelion salads are a premium (dandelions – yes, the weed). No, lunch is coming and I’m putting it on my salad! Granted, I wasn’t so brave that I didn’t consult various books, sites, and YouTubers that hunt this stuff down like a truffle pig!
I cut it –
I washed it – I spun it dry –
I made a little vinaigrette with my Salted Herbs, in some olive oil and champagne vinegar (I’ll post that one a bit later)
and ate it ! It was good! And I lived.
My husband joined me for lunch and nearly laughed himself sick. “Only you – you’re so weird….”
…I ate my lawn – and it was delicious!