Tuesday, July 9, 2013


     I've felt quite like a bee these days, frolicking in the fields, zig zagging my way round the farm from flower to flower.  It's summer, and the hot sunny days have been the perfect time to collect the wildflowers and herbs that grow on our land.  Once back into the house (which is a cool shady respite from the blazing sun), the herbs are then hung to dry or steeped in vodka, olive oil or apple cider vinegar for various herbal preparations.  The dehydrator has also been getting a workout drying the lovely red clover blossoms that grow in abundance this time of year.  It is such a joy to see my house transformed into an herbal production site - bunches of herbs dangling from the ceiling, sunny window sills and dark cupboards lined with jars of steeping herbs.  There is nothing more rewarding than going outside with an empty basket, and coming back with so many wild herbs.  Mother nature is so great, and provides so much.  There are so many wild plants growing here - and so many more that I can't wait to learn to identify.  

     One plant that I learned about recently is Lamb's Quarters - otherwise known as Wild Spinach.  This plant grows so abundantly in gardens, that most people recognize it as the weed they are always getting rid of.  After having our field plowed this Spring and then planted with Red Clover as a green manure, I was delighted to discover Lamb's Quarters growing, well, like weeds, all over the field.  They especially grow well in the huge pile of composted manure we have up in the corner of the field.  I have been harvesting baskets and baskets of this nutritious plant all week in an effort to stock our freezer full of it for the coming winter.  

     When my husband arrived home last night with a huge container of feta cheese which my mother bought for us, I was inspired to make a pan of Spanakopita with the wild greens.  Lamb's Quarters are a far superior green for this dish for a number of reasons: they taste better, have less water and so yield much more once steamed, and they are free.  What more can you ask for?

     A while back my mother shared her recipe for Greek Spanakotiropita which is the one I always use, only this time I substituted wild Lamb's Quarters for the chard and spinach.  Once you try homemade filo dough, you will never want to use the store bought stuff again.