I love serendipity. I made a gorgeous quinoa salad last night, with tomatoes and corn and black beans and herbs from the garden (I will be so sad when winter arrives and no fresh herbs are to be had–though my friend tells me freezing them works well). I’ve never had quinoa before, except for an ill-fated experiment in which I didn’t cook it properly, and it turns out I adore it. It’s tasty and pretty and has a good texture.

So of course I looked it up to see if I could grow it. (The answer is maybe–it likes cool nights, which we haven’t been having around here lately. I may try it anyway, though.) And in the different sources I found and read, I repeatedly read that it’s part of the family that includes pigweed and lambs’ quarters. I hadn’t heard of these, so I looked up lambs’ quarters and it turns out I know it very well…it’s what’s infesting half of my garden right now.

I love knowing what it is I’m cursing and yanking out of the ground. Everyone knows dandelions, but now I have bindweed, Japanese knotweed, and lambs’ quarters as part of my vocabulary.

As a bonus, that page also told me why some of the leaves have red dots and lines in them–leaf miner larvae–and that I should therefore be wary when I’m picking Swiss chard (and spinach, only I’ve torn out all my plants already). My Swiss chard is a litte holey, but I didn’t worry too much about that. Now, though…now I’m going to watch out.

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