Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nira Seed Collecting

Sunshine and pleasant temperatures enticed me out to the garden this morning. Our latest round of visitors left late this week, and so we're working on catching up on this and that. I'd made it to the farm to work a few times each week, but only to the garden to drop off compost.

The west bed, as I've mentioned before, is where I put perennial flowers and herbs, and where I'm experimenting a bit with building up the soil. I'd let some of my nira go to flower earlier in the season as the blooms were too pretty to not enjoy. In the back of my mind, too, was the idea that perhaps I might gather up some of the seeds for next year and for sharing.* That bright snap of garlic flavor makes it a popular ingredient in Asian dishes from Japan to China to Korea and even Thailand. It works wonders in soup, salad, and miso, and I want to make sure it's around come spring. (I've heard they make a great addition to kimchi, too!)

I snipped off the seed-heavy heads and popped them into a bag to transport them home. I haven't decided whether or not to hang them or set them on the ume baskets to finish drying. Either way, I should have a nice bundle of seeds for sharing in a few weeks!

*Word also has it that nira are invasive if the seed heads aren't snipped off in due time.

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