Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Children's book on edible 'weeds'

I don't know why I remember this.  Maybe it is because I was the new girl in class and was pretty shy in the 6th grade.  I remember our teacher asking the question, " what is a weed?"  Being in a farming community, hands went up all over the room.  Mine stayed in my lap.  "Dandelion," one shouted.  Another suggested another common weed.  The teacher kept saying, "No.  No.  No."  Until I raised my hand and was called upon to answer.  I said tentatively, with a question at the end of my statement, "Any plant that you don't want to be there?"  I beamed with pride that my answer was the one he was looking for.

I have long ago had a relationship with the "weeds" in my yard, garden and in the untended fields around the places I have lived.  My mother passed down a great recipe for dandelion green salad and from there my meals of late have included, wood sorrel, purslane, poke weed, dandelion, lambsquarters and non traditional parts of traditional garden plants such as the leaves of sweet potato, the shoots of peas and radishes, the leaves of carrots, beets, broccoli and more.

I have decided to create a children's book on the subject.  Here is the first painting for the book.  It is unfinished but I couldn't wait to share it with you.  The little girl character, Claire, is holding purslane.

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