Summer goes by so fast and now it’s more than half over. But some summer events remain and one
of them is the free wild plant workshops I put on at Spruce Point Inn
. Boothbay Harbor
My last two workshops take place on Tuesday, August 19 and Tuesday, August 26. All a visitor need do is register at the front desk. Workshops run from 1:30 to 3:00 in the afternoon.
As an interesting note, this marks the third consecutive season I have taught at the inn and only this year, did I find garlic mustard growing there. How it arrived at the edge of the sea on a steep overlook remains a mystery. But it’s there and has already dropped seed.
The State of
lists garlic mustard as an invasive plant and suggests ways to combat it. The
state list of locales having garlic mustard is now incomplete, since I have
found it in a number of non-listed places and it’s for sure that it has spread
farther than anyone might imagine. Maine
The good news is that garlic mustard is a culinary plant of some value. It has a heady, garlic flavor, making it useful in all kinds of dishes. I can envision using the leaves in various ferments. Brined green beans, with garlic mustard, should make a nice combination.
We have more and more invasive species each year showing up around
. Many of them have
culinary uses, so it only makes sense to use them. Maine
Some time I plan on doing a special presentation on invasive plants. I may work on it this winter. But my presentation will differ from other invasive plant presentations because I will also include native invasives. To most people, a plant must be an alien in order to be considered invasive. Not so. For instance, groundnuts are a highly-invasive plant that once established are impossible to get rid of.
Groundnuts are edible tubers that send up long, weak-stemmed vines. These look much like pea vines and have twinned, opposite leaves. The vines depend upon other plants for support and in twining around the support plant, often end up strangling the plant to death. I have see groundnut vines kill Japanese knotweed.
Groundnuts, along with other wild edibles, are carving out a niche for themselves and as such, were offered last year by the Waldo County Soil & Water Conservation District in their annual plant sale.
But no one has mentioned anything about the plant’s invasive habits. That’s because groundnuts are a native plant. Cattails are another invasive native plant, but that’s another story for another time.
So much for invasives.
Back to plant workshops, perhaps I’ll see some of you at my workshops in Boothbay at Spruce Point Inn. It’ll be fall before you know it and then our wild plants will have been killed by frost, not to return until next growing season.