Monday, October 18, 2010

Good King Henry


Photo courtesy Flickr

In the Eighties, I went mad for garden catalogues, particularly the early offerings from Steve Solomon. I sent away for corn salad, aka Good King Henry, and sowed it as part of an experiment in growing edible weeds.

My intention was to replace bothersome low-growing intruders with something for the table, so that getting down on my knees to remove a plant would be more than an exercise in subtraction. Corn salad has been a hit.

It’s delicious, grows itself, tastes good when in bloom, and tosses little round seeds all over the place when it matures. The less I water it, the more vigorously it reproduces. Two drawbacks are that it looks ratty when it’s going to seed, and that I have to be careful not to eat the plants that seed themselves in the zone of heavy metals close to the old painted siding of the house. I control corn salad by eating it and with the same benign herbicide that I use on unwelcome green intruders.

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