Tuesday, May 01, 2007


THE SANSAI WINDOW


And thus was quelled the Spartacan rebellion of chickweed and cleavers, my army of one finally mowing them down like weeds, leaving here and there patches of worthy mitsuba to thrive, and the butter-yellow dandelions, of course, 'cause their seedpuffs bring dreams to grandchildren.

The Spartacan comparison isn't really appropriate though, since these are not Roman slaves, they are vegetable competitors, and have plenty of land of their own around here, indeed the whole mountain. They practically run the place this time of year. Just their field across the road dwarfs my small property. Why they want my place too, is what I want to know. You have to put your border down somewhere.

To eradicate cleavers with a weed whacker is to now and then get a face full of wet green mush, but I used the whacker to get the job done because I wanted to go looking for some sansai later in the day, the sansai window being a very narrow one, all wild goodies being wise to our hungry ways, especially the thornily reclusive, yet noble, taranome (aralia elata). To say nothing of the many wily and early rising sansai hunters. You have to act fast and strike while the bud is hot.

In our upper forest wanderings we also came upon a mother lode of koshiabura (of the ginseng family) and got bagsful of the opening buds, which Echo later chopped and lightly boiled some of, then added sesame paste and soy sauce to make a wonderful addition to any meal one might be eating that came straight from heaven.

Of course I was most thankful to the taranome and the koshiabura for these gifts of nature they gave us, though I took pains to point out that I can't really say the same of the punky cleavers and chickweed. They nodded in complete agreement, but it might have been the wind.

2 comments:

Tabor said...

When you are done with the mouthful of green mush you are more than welcome to work off even more of your endless energy wrestling vines and thorny invaders in my backyard.

Bob Brady said...

Handsaw, clippers, scythe and shovel, inch by inch.
Be thankful it's not bamboo. I cleared my garden of bamboo, but it lives on the edges and wants to take over again... Bamboo never sleeps...