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      Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

      Showing posts with label Swindler Cove Park. Show all posts
      Showing posts with label Swindler Cove Park. Show all posts

      Wednesday, May 4, 2011

      Swindler Cove, part two

      Let me be clear: I'm not suggesting you go harvest all the edible plants from Swindler Cove! Not only would that be against the law, it would make the park less enjoyable for the rest of the world. But when OE and I were there last week, I couldn't help but notice how many of the landscape plants also had edible parts.

      I'm working on a new book about ornamental plants (and common weeds) with edible parts, and thought I'd show you what a quick walk through a small park has to offer. Perhaps you can find these same plants in your own back yard.

      The garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is nearing the end of its delicious stage. When the weather gets warm, its leaves will be tough and bitter. But right now...mmm...garlicky.

      Ostrich fern (Matteucia struthiopteris) is just slightly past its prime, but a few weeks ago, when it looked like this:

      those fiddleheads were crunchy and sweet.

      Yes, that's right, Sedum. Raw leaves are succulent and fresh out of hand and in salads. Has anyone tried cooking them?

      I didn't really eat the buds off the trees...but I could have!

      (thanks to ESP for the above photo)

      Sprinkle a few on salads, eggs, or as a general garnish. They have a mild, fresh, pea-like taste.

      That's just a first, quick walk of what's out there, ready to grace your dinner plate. Periodic updates, including hostas, lilacs, and juneberries, will be forthcoming.

      Thursday, April 28, 2011


      Virginia bluebells, native dogwood, redbud in bloom, a river running in the background,
      a stand of fern: wouldn't you just know that you're standing at Dykeman St. and Harlem River Drive, in that serene oasis of plants and wildlife, Swindler Cove Park?
      Wander by the spread of Solomon seal, then sit yourself down to contemplate the white bleeding hearts or walk a few hundred feet to the edge of the Harlem River and watch the activity surrounding the boat house. It was completed in 2004 and floated into place. What looks serene and bucolic now was until recently an illegal dumping site, dark and dangerous until rescued by the heroic New York Restoration project founded by Bette Midler. P.S.5 adjoins this site, and part of the park plan was to incorporate a children's garden into Swindler Cove Park. Enter through arches of grape vines, admire raised beds with vegetables, an herb garden and strawberry patch and a cold frame where seedlings are being hardened off before planting.
      Students from the school and from classes all over the city come to learn whence cometh their food, and to taste produce grown here.
      Visit a fresh water pond, a restored wetlands, ornamental gardens. I admired containers ready for a planting of annuals, an idea ripe for home gardeners. This place not only restores the woodlands, shoreline and and wetlands, but the soul as well.
      To learn more: directions, programs and visiting click here.

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