"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Dimes Worth of Salad Burnet


Last spring we picked up a couple outdated seed packets stashed in a local grocers bargain bin for 10 cents a piece. One of those seed packets was salad burnet. Having never even heard of this herb before I decided to give it a try and promptly planted the seed. All the seeds were still viable and the plant quickly sprang to life. We found the distinct pungent flavor a most appealing addition to our summer salads.


Salad burnet is a perennial plant, member of the Rosaceae family and relative of the rose. The younger leaves have a light nutty cucumber like flavor and become somewhat bitter as they age, but we find them both to be palatable...especially in a salad. The herb will supposedly self-sow in the garden if left to its own devices, and I am looking forward to seeing how well it performs on that front. Grown for animal fodder in the past, it was most well known for the numerous medicinal properties it is said to possess and was often used as an astringent and diuretic. It is also supposed to be a good source of vitamin C.

For only 10 pennies I have a most impressive plant that has been beaten into the earth by hail last July, left uncovered and neglected in the frozen soil all winter, and was one of the first plants to come alive this spring. What more could I possibly ask for in a plant so obviously well suited for our small Northern garden.

4 comments:

Silke said...

Well, this herb looked really familiar and I figured that we probably had it in our herb garden growing up. I looked up the German name (Pimpinelle) and realized that, yes, we used to also eat it in our salads. It's quite good actually. I might have to add it to our herb garden this year! Thanks for your nice comment about my art. :) Silke

Mr. H said...

Hello Silke,

Pimpinelle, I like that name better, will definitely continue to be a part of our herb collection.

I really admire people with artistic talent, it is not an ability that I have acquired...but one that I most certainly can still appreciate in others.

Mike

Becky and the Beanstock said...

I discovered burnet last year, with its distinctly cucumber flavor. What I like is how it adds the flavor of cuke without diluting a dish with all the water in the actual fruit. It's so inspiring, viable seeds remain after so much time and who knows what hardships. It's one of the reasons I garden -- to be reminded of such resilience.

Mr. H said...

Hi Becky,

It really did surprise me when the seeds actually germinated. And, yes, what a great plant...I am still amazed that I have never heard of this plant before. I will have to give it extra special attention this summer.

Thanks for visiting,

Mike

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