Greens, munchers, and seeds.

As I woke on Sunday morning I saw through the slats of my window blinds the full moon going down, against a background that was being colorized from gray to pale blue. Well, it probably wasn’t quite full — because Kate had sent me a picture she took from Panama City, of the full moon on Friday evening. Pretty close, though.

When I went to church I admired the flowering plums, and after my ZOOM church school class that afternoon, I planted SEEDS! A day after the full moon, a few hours before March dawned….

I was so glad to have a surprisingly balmy afternoon to work in, out in the garden. The day before, I had set up lots of little 6-pack  trays with potting soil, so that the soil could wick up water and be thoroughly moist. And because I ran out of time to plant anyway.

Two friends, Tim and John, had at different times given me seeds of Love-in-a-Mist from their gardens, one nearby and one in Oregon. So I planted them together, equal amounts, but in such a way that I could tell them apart. When they start sprouting I’ll update my blog report on what I’ve got going in there.

In the planter boxes I poked another (double) row and a half of snow peas into the soil, near where chamomile is coming up through the volunteer sweet peas:

I did some trimming and weeding in the rest of the garden, and discovered these caterpillars munching at my Yellow Bush Lupine. They are Genista Broom Moths, and I threw a few dozen of them into the green bin along with the trimmings. I’ve never noticed them as moths, but they look like they would be easy to miss. Maybe they will be a regular thing now that I have my lupine, which is the type of perennial and evergreen food they are known to like.

I feel about my collard patch the way some people feel about their chickens, or dahlias. They are so beautiful and healthy this year, I feel very proud and thankful, and want to take their picture again and again. Especially now that they are starting to flower, and I know I will need to pull them out and put summer squash in their place in another month or so. There were jungles of Hairy Bittercress in the grove of collards. I pulled weeds and pretty much scalped the plants to cook up a truly huge mess of greens.

Hairy Bittercress

Here is my absolute favorite way to cook collards. It’s a great recipe for church fast days and I make a big batch and put containers in the freezer.


1 bunch collard greens
1 can of full-fat coconut milk
1 Tblsp. soy sauce
1/2 Tblsp. rice vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 pinch red pepper flakes (opt.)
1/2 tsp. sugar

Wash the greens and chop into bite-sized pieces. Put everything in a pot and simmer until tender. Add a little water if necessary and adjust seasonings to taste and to the quantity of greens.

I have made these several times with different amounts of collards every time. This last time I had at least eight quarts of chopped raw collards but still only used 1 can of coconut milk.

If you have a springtime garden, I hope it contains the minimum
of unwanted munchers and plenty of tender greens. To your health!

13 thoughts on “Greens, munchers, and seeds.

  1. How inspirational, GJ! You are a wealth of garden wisdom! When I do my little peat pots I shall let them rest with water before I place the seed, just as you suggest ❤️ I ordered 1 apron from Zulily and 2 from an Instagram ad . . . Jenny something. When I spy reasonably priced linen, I shall make one.


  2. When I saw your first photos I thought ‘s stumbled into Damien Hurst’s new Virtues. I am wary of investigating his innocuous looking cherry blossoms, as I’m sure they’ll have some dark undercurrent!


  3. Enjoy your gardening, warm weather friend! 🙂 I haven’t had collards since I was a kid in Texas! I think we just boiled them and topped them with French’s mustard and salt! 🙂


  4. Oooh! I just love this post and even more so thinking of the pleasure you have working with the earth as you grow food and beauty. It snowed four inches overnight and without a greenhouse, the plant growing here is not as obvious.


  5. You are so good about eating lots of greens…well growing them first is what you are good at.

    Be proud of me, I looked at a Harry Bittercress the other day, well, I did more than look, and as I plunked it in my bucket I told it, “I know you are not “Pickle Weed” as Angel taught me to call you. Your real name is some man’s name Bittercress. Progress!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I quite agree with you — those collard greens are a thing of beauty. I have not grown nor eaten them (much) but appreciate your simple recipe and am intrigued by the combination of flavors.

    The weeds. Those never-ending healthy weeds. I always wonder if we’ll have them on the New Earth.


  7. Collard greens were a staple when I was living in Liberia. They often were cooked with dried fish and peppers, and a nice dash of palm oil.

    When I first glanced at your lupines, I thought, “How can she have bluebonnets?” Then, I saw they’re a different species of the genus. But THEN, I noticed your caterpillars. I found a couple on hill country bluebonnets about six weeks ago. Only the basal leaves had emerged, but the caterpillars were doing their thing. I had no idea what sort of caterpillar they were until I got home, looked at the photos, discovered they were on the plants, and did some research.


    1. I’m surprised that you hadn’t seen the Broom cats before, given your long familiarity with bluebonnets. I’m pretty sure I had them chewing on my bush in its first season, because I vaguely remember noticing some insect activity last year, but I guess I was too distracted to look closely back then.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’d never heard of Hairy Bittercress so I looked it up. I’m still wondering if it’s a weed that’s edible or if one actually plants it. It sounds invasive. Probably not here though because the wet winters would drown it.


    1. I was wondering that, too, GM, so after you mentioned it I looked it up, and the whole plant IS edible. It’s in the mustard family so they say it is “peppery.” I’ll have to point that one out to my adventuresome grandchildren next time they are around at the same time as that plant.


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