If you want to approach self-sufficiency in today’s global world, it’s important to save seeds. It’s also important, though, to recognize and appreciate the plants that keep on giving. Tonight we enjoyed a veggie and an herb that planted themselves: tomatillo and cilantro. I suppose had I been more picky about “weeding” things I had not planted, we would not have had this meal tonight.
Tomatillo are tart, green goodness encased in an inedible husk. I planted some in my garden three years ago. A few got caught by frost then, dropped their seed, and voila!, I’ve had them for free ever since. This year I picked the last of my free tomatillos right before our deep freeze, but a few fruits that had already dropped will form the backbone of next year’s tomatillos.
Earlier this year my husband planted a single cilantro plant. As soon as it got hot, the plant went to seed. It dropped some seed where it had been planted, but then he ripped out the plant and tossed it in an area where we’re building up compost and leaves for future expansion. Now, thanks to rain and cooler temperatures, we have dozens of cilantro plants. A little leaf covering during our deep freeze a few nights ago gave them plenty of protection.
Together, the cilantro and tomatillos joined with leftover turkey and some remaining chiles in green-chile turkey enchiladas. Not only was much of our meal home grown, but a big portion of it was free!
I’ll post more soon about seed saving and plants that readily reproduce with little or no help from the gardener.