Chickweed mystery solved!
(My salad. The little leaves belong to the chickweed. Dressed with lemon, olive oil and salt. Yum!)
Harvest time is here, or was. It was brief but amazing. I pulled all my lettuce from my sub-irrigated bucket and made a salad. Mixed with the lettuce was a handful of chickweed, which I did not plant.
It turns out my twin sister Katie - an urban farmer and permaculture designer who is teaching me all about plants - had an answer for me.
"I put it in there," she said when I asked how I ended up with mixed greens. It seems Katie has made a habit of harvesting chickweed seeds off plants in alleys, parking lots and sidewalks. She decided to tuck some into the bucket. The salad was better for it.
(She speaks about scavenging seeds with completely unaffected joy. Her hilarious love of plants - she flirts with them to help them grow - is what has made this phase of the project so fun.)
I think pulling the lettuce out of the bucket with my hands made me feel a bit too rustic because aside from washing off the dirt I didn't do anything to the greens before I dropped them in the bowl.
For most of the 15 minutes it takes me to get through my salad I resemble a bunny sucking up a giant mouthful of, well, chickweed and baby lettuce.
It is not exactly first date food. Unless you are lucky enough to be dating someone hilarious and unflappable. In that case carry on. I hope your next course involves something covered in sauce and you are eating it with your hands.