The Weird, Wild and Wonderful
Biodiversity is essential for building resilient ecosystems that can withstand threats from the outside world and thrive. Our aim is for our farm to resemble natural ecosystems, with the variety of native plants, animals, and food crops helping us to keep pests, diseases, and weeds at bay, while also helping to recycle nutrients through our landscape through our landscape.
This week we’re celebrating two of our more unusual crops: Shingiku and Doc. The diversity that these guys bring to the table (literally and metaphorically) help us out in several ways.
Shingiku is a member of the chrysanthemum family. It is the only member of this family that we grow, meaning we can slot it into our crop rotations to create a gap in the repetition of other botanical families. If left to flower, its beautiful yellow flower helps to attract predatory insects that feast on the pests bothering surrounding plants. Shingiku can be eaten raw, as a salad, or cooked up in a hot dish. It grows well in the periods between the two main seasons, making it a perfect stopgap when other leafy greens are on their way out or in.
Doc, is a wild harvest for us, or in other words, a weed. It grows in boggy areas when the temperature cools down, and everyone at the farm resents pulling it up, as it has the most stubborn taproot of any weed you will come across. But when the weather is right, it’s luscious green leaves can make the perfect spinach substitute. Cooked into a hot dish, they add a bit of green, as well as a faint citric taste.
In your box:
What’s that in my box: Docs are an edible weed and were popular during the Great Depression due to their tart, lemony flavor, their widespread abundance, and the fact that they were free for the taking. they are perennial plants growing from taproots and they’ll grow in wet or dry conditions. To cook, it’s best to boil or sauté dock greens to make the most of their flavor. They are excellent in stir-fries, soups, stews, egg dishes, and even cream cheese. If you’re not sure when to use them, you can always blanch them and put them in the freezer to add to a soup or quiche later on! For more information on how to store & cook any of our vegetables, visit: https://draxe.com/ and type in the veggie you’re looking for.