Tag Archives: sheperd’s purse

Everywhere I’m shovelling

30 Dec


I did a quick check on cities around the world with population similar to my home city of Moncton NB which is a bit over 100,000 and it turns out we may receive  more snowfall for cities this size and larger than any other in North America at 137 inches/ 349 cm per year. Now there are ski resort areas in the mountains of the N.A with surrounding small towns which get triple our amount, also Sapporo, Japan receives twice the amount of snow our low altitude (71 m) city receives, nevertheless we are very grateful to receive our usually ample supply which once layed down lingers and becomes a nice accumulation by mid to late February.


As these homeboys show, we are already off to a pretty good start, this is the second good snow storm we received with this one assumed to measure in between 15 to 30 cm during a 18 hr period. We are not going to venture to far from home as the streets were plowed around 4 hours ago but are again snow covered, so here are a few photos from our yard. The modern day record for a one day snow in this city was 78 cm back in 1992.


As I shovel a bit I notice a few sheperds purse stems under the snow still with green unripe seed purses, since these plant produces around 40,000 seeds per plant and the seeds are known to stay viable for 20 years I suspect they will do very well under the snow blanket.


Here is a rosette of young shepherd’s purse leaves which will actually over winter and if not under frozen snow or ice can be easily eaten, I nibbled a few of these leaves and left the rest which will grow seed producing stems as things thaw out in the spring.


Well the driveway is now shovelled out in case, oh


Well that is the way it goes around here, actually he when easy on me as he seen I was taking his picture. Believe me he could have loaded the snow 4 feet high in the first 4 to 5 feet of the driveway as he already did for my neighours across the street. Well the snow I didn’t get this time will surely wait patiently and enter the driveway on the snowplow’s next pass down the road in a few hours.  ciao for now


Cool to be green

9 Dec

DSC05299Shepherd’s Purse seems to produce the year’s best tasting and largest leaves in December in our yard. The life cycle from germination to producing mature seeds ready to start it all over again can be within a 3 week span. It would be hard to find a place on earth where Sheperd’s purse couldn’t grow as it can even stand up to the intense heat of the tropics as well.

DSC05301Sweet Cicely (Myrrhis odorata) is a European plant I noticed growing quite wild here in Canada as it has spread its way around our yard. The folks who lived in our home in the 1960s planted some rather hardy edible, medicinal plants which were usually planted as ornamentals during those years though these plants are re-emerging as plants of interests due to their useful and self-sufficient nature, which makes them idle northern permaculture plants.

DSC05306Here are a couple sweet cicely roots ready to be eaten raw, the roots at this time of the year have a hardy anise flavour which I find make a tasty nibble and breath freshener. The leaves are less intensely flavoured and can be used in teas or as a sweetening agent.

DSC05303Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) is a very common native wild plant, here we see the first year basal rosette leaves.

DSC05304Another first year evening primrose with  the pink root several inches out of the soil which is a common sight in the Maritime provinces of Canada. Evening Primrose is a rather interesting edible and medicinal plant which is found in most disturbed soils and at the edges of salt marshes as well, the leaves are very peppery and I have used them medicinally in teas, the flowers are good in salads and roots have a taste I’m fond of though the slimy texture prevents them from becoming a popular vegetable. Evening Primrose seeds are a well known source of GLA.

DSC05310Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) seems to be as green as ever during these days when temperatures are dipping below the freezing mark much off the time. Still exploring new ways to enjoy this very aggressive lawn plant other than the usual medicinal tea mixes.

DSC05309Another chilly night  approaches with Jerusalem Artichokes  in the slow cooker with some onion and dried King Bolete (boletus edulis), this recipe will continue to be a favorite on our supper table, as long as you can dig where I’m coming from. ciao