Today I collected the very first harvest from our allotment. A simple harvest of salad leaves that brings me more joy than any wealth could hold.
Our allotment was a wilderness, abandoned for three years, before we were given it. That was four months ago.
We’ve transformed it from a plot of weeds and tangled raspberries into a place of beauty and edible abundance. So that today, my little basket holds baby spinach leaves, Merveille de Quatre Saisons, and Red Leaf lettuce.
There are still weeds aplenty in our allotment beds, having been brought to the surface from their dormant slumber by our digging. Much of my time is spent removing Convolvulus roots and Couch grass.
But some weeds, like this Chenopodium album (known as Fat Hen) are surprising free crops for us to eat. It tastes a little like spinach and is cultivated as a crop in India. This wild bounty is cousin to Chenopodium giganteum which I’m growing alongside. I imagine Nature smiling at my cultivated endeavours as she scatters free food amongst my pampered crops.
A small gathering of salad for one meal, it may be. But I am so filled with happiness that I find myself looking deeply at these wonderful green andpurple leaves, as if I had never seen their like before. Is there anything more precious than the first self-grown harvest?
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