Several years ago, I planted some ficoïde glaciale, a crisp, succulent-like salad green with a salty-lemony tang. I harvested just enough to do a couple of blog posts, and then it died. These things happen.
I planted beets in its place, then sorrel, then carrots, and so on. And then last summer, a couple of ficoïde plants appeared out of nowhere, the result of some long-dormant seed or scrap of root having randomly gotten the right combination of water and heat at just the right time. As we were in severe drought and I was underwatering just about everything, the plants had tiny leaves, gnarled stems, and were not especially tasty. But they flowered, formed little red knobs that I assumed were fruiting bodies, and then we went to Seattle for six weeks and when we came back they were dead.
And then, this winter, we started getting regular rain, and every seed on the property started growing like Jack’s beanstalk. Most of them are weeds (and if you have a goat or some chickens who want to come enjoy the salad bar, let me know).
But, beyond the dandelions (bad) and burclover (real bad) and crimson clover (good) and miner’s lettuce (awesome) sprouting up all over, the rains woke the seeds of last season’s ficoïde. Dozens and dozens of the tiny plants have sprung up among the dried branches of their parents (and a few mementos of childhood pottery classes). I’ll do what I can about keeping these ones alive.