The gardening hobby can take you down many special and beautiful paths. Flowers, trees, vegetables, fruits, herbs, medicinals and indoor plants are just a few of the fascinating facets of gardening.
I first got into gardening when I was about 10 years old. Having just read and loved the book My Side of the Mountain I became interested in survival skills. I started gathering wild food.
My poor mother was often forced to consume these finds in some experimental and unappealing recipe. One time I fed her a big plate of raw, slimy, slippery bullrush bulbs. To quote Crocodile Dundee, “you can live on ’em, but they taste like $#!^.”
Likewise, barely unfurled spring Fiddlehead ferns were easy to find. My mum, always a good sport about this, ate them too. I have since heard that eating these “gourmet” ferns can cause stomach cancer….but people still eat them, inexplicably. Sorry mum!
Starting with tiny alpine strawberries, then tiny tart raspberries and mulberries, I grazed on wild food all summer long. Corn, apples and pears came in the later season. Best of all were the sweet/tart and so juicy wild Concord grapes, still warm from the sun and fresh off the vine.
Ok, you got me….corn is not generally found in the wild. I admit it. I ate it raw on the spot after pilfering it from the far edges of local farmer’s fields.
Today I like to grow things right in my garden, but am not averse to eating a wild strawberry if I am lucky enough to spot one. However, human development has changed the microclimates and the availability of most of the wild plants that I knew and loved in my childhood.
In response, I’ve been planting things like apples grown from seed, oak trees for acorns, and sour cherries and sumac for the birds to eat. I’m hoping to recreate some of that natural landscape of yesteryear. If I am lucky, someday the wild strawberries will arrive.
A Video Garden
I started this curated content website to make a convenient library for my own reference. This Gardening Chronicle consolidates and catalogues many innovative and diverse videos of gardening YouTubers.
You are most welcome here in my little online plot of videos, seeded by generous gardeners in the wilds of YouTube 🙂