Tuesday, May 15, 2012

{The Wild Larder} Heirloom Iris Part 2

In order for this post to make a little more sense, start by reading this post. It explains my sense of urgency for this little flower.

Now, I will start by saying thanks to River Cottage and the work of John Wright. Over the past year or so, we have become much more aware of the bounty that is all around us and ready for the taking. I was raised neighbors to a dear old lady and friend who "got it" and despite trying to teach me, I never did until now.

Mrs. Widner would dig dandelion roots for tea, pick mint and watercress from the creek beds. She could find a use for any "weed" and encouraged me to do the same but I wasn't on board with her old hippie ways. I didn't realize at the time that her lifestyle would soon be ever so hip with words to describe it like "green" and "sustainable".

With a combination of our new foraging knowledge and appreciation for what Wright calls "the wild larder", Julian and I are paying more and more attention to the things around us and how they may be used for FREE.  This made me perk up ever so much when we were making our usual Saturday morning rounds down the road to the farmers market and spotted this gem:

This place in the road is a spot owned by a family that has an excavating company. They have been filling in and leveling out the spot for a bit now. Unfortunately, this makes our neighbors think that any junk/dirt/rock/trash they have can be dumped there too. Boo hiss, bad neighbors.

Fortunately, someone decided to dump some old dirt which contained some fairly invincible iris rhizomes. We had no idea the iris were there amid the poison ivy and cattails until they bloomed this week. Dear hubby, being quite dear indeed, saw the blooming iris same as I did. He was driving and we pulled into the garage, grabbed the shovel and a bucket, and back down the road we went. We had one of those moments.

We traipsed through the ditches and poison ivy and grabbed a big bunch of rhizomes, plopped them in our container and went on our merry way as quickly as we'd come, iris in hand.

And last but not least, you can weigh in on whether or not I've successfully identified it through the HIPS website. See 'Cardinal' on here and compare with my picture, and let me know if you think its right!