Hi All,

Lisa  here, the latest ‘transplant’ in the Salmon Falls Orchard Guild (more about me coming soon!) and excited to share with you all about the abundance of edible greens and herbs already flourishing in the orchard.

Is it just me having recently discovered this delicious – if invasive – plant, or is Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) having a bumper crop this year? This Spring my interest in learning and eating wild edibles has welled to the point where – aided by an incredibly useful plant identification app called ‘Picture This’ – I have now enjoyed 

numerous dinners containing a mix of wild and cultivated Spring greens flourishing in the orchard. 

Not least among them is the biennial Garlic Mustard, (also called garlic-root; garlicwort; hedge-garlic; Jack-by-the-hedge; Jack-in-the-bush; mustard-root; poor-man’s-mustard) a m

ember of the brassicaceae family,  whose tall stems – graced by heart shaped, garlic scented green leaves and white, cross-shaped flowers – now catch my eye from the sides of roads, fields, borders of lawns, etc… I can’t stop seeing dense patches of this plant which is native to Most of Europe, including Britain, south to N. Africa and east to W. Asia and the Himalayas. It was brought here from Europe in the 1800s for it’s medicinal uses as well as erosion control.

All parts of this plant are edible. The young leaves can be chopped up and added raw to salads, as can the flowers, where they yield a spicey, garlicky flavor. The leaves may be sauteed, added to soups, biscuits, pasta sauce, even to make a pesto with a little bit of kick (I am looking forward to making this soon!).
The root, which can have a strong bite, is roasted then pureed and used to make a horseradish-like sauce.  An internet search will yield many recipes for this plant. 

I have been enjoying them sauteed along with dandelion leaves & flowers, curly dock, young horseradish leaves, cultivated and wild sorrel – all of which I have harvested  from the orchard. 

Aside from being yummy, another good reason to harvest and eat this plant is that it’s roots release substances which are known to degrade mycorrhizal mutualisms in soils and can lead to microbial pathogens that are harmful to native plants. When trying to clear Garlic Mustard it should not be composted as seeds (one plant can produce over 7,000 seeds!) can mature even after harvest and spread. If you will not be eating it then it is recommended you bag it up to dispose of it.

Oregano, lemon balm, mints and other herbs are also thriving among the young apple, peach, pear and plum trees. 

Come take a walk in the orchard and grab a handful of greens and herbs for dinner while nourishing your soul with the beauty of the various blossoms gracing tree limbs, bulbs and the many other plant beings who are feeding bees, flies and the other pollinator friends we live among. 



*Please use extreme caution when harvesting wild plants you may be unsure of identifying.


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