A List Of Edible Weeds In Your Garden…….. continues
Native to Europe, chickweed was introduced to North America and other continents by immigrants who valued it as an herb. Its flowers and leaves are, indeed, edible, though in large quantities the saponoids it contains can cause stomach upset. Chickweed flowers and leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. Fresh flowers and leaves are tossed into salads, stir fries, stews or pesto. Chickweed is also grown as feed for chickens and pigs, hence its common names clucken wort, chicken weed, and birdseed. Wild birds also love to eat chickweed seeds. Though chickweed’s culinary uses seem rather average, or for the birds, I have not mentioned yet what a powerhouse of nutrients chickweed is. The edible parts of chickweed are loaded with vitamins C, D, and B-complex as well as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, beta carotene, biotin and PABA. An added benefit of chickweed – there is usually no need to go foraging for chickweed, as it has naturalized in lawns and garden beds all over the world,
Herbal Use of Chickweed Plants
Chickweed benefits also include healing. Salves or balms made from chickweed are remedies for irritated skin, rashes, acne, bug bites or stings, burns, eczema, wounds, and warts. They can also be used to reduce swelling, bruising and the appearance of varicose veins. Chickweed is also a common herbal remedy for hemorrhoids and shingles.
(Cichorium intybus) is an herbaceous biennial that is not native to the United States but has made itself at home. The plant can be found growing wild in many areas of the U.S. and is used both for its leaves and its roots. Chicory herb plants are easy to grow in the garden as a cool season crop. Seeds and transplants are the primary means of growing chicory.
Varieties of Chicory Herb Plants
There are two types of chicory plant. Witloof is grown for the large root, which is used to make a coffee supplement. It can also be forced to use the tender white leaves called Belgian endive. Radicchio is grown for the leaves, which may be in a tight head or a loosely packed bunch. Radicchio is best harvested very young before it turns bitter.
Why You Should Be Growing Dandelion Greens
While dandelions can be a nuisance in the lawn, they are also a surprising source of nutrients. Dandelion greens contain vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, thiamin, riboflavin, beta carotene, and fiber. They are actually more nutritious than most of the fruits and vegetables you can buy in the grocery store. It is also touted as being beneficial to your liver, kidneys, blood, and digestion. Not to mention that it supposedly helps with acne, weight-loss, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. It is nearly a perfect food.
How to Grow Dandelions
At a very basic level, you don’t need to do much to grow dandelions. Chances are there is a whole yard full of them near where you live, perhaps even right outside your door, but it’s likely that the dandelion plants growing in your lawn are Common Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale subsp. vulgare). This is the most common variety of dandelion, but there are thousands of varieties and cultivars to be found around the world. Common Dandelion has all the health benefits mentioned above, but they tend to be a bit more bitter than some of the other varieties of dandelion you can buy.
Some “gourmet” varieties of dandelion include:
French Dandelion a.k.a Vert de Montmagny Dandelion
Amélioré à Coeur Plein Dandelion
Pissenlit Coeur Plein Ameliore
Dandelion Improved Broad Leaved
Dandelion Improved Thick-Leaved
Dandelion a.k.a Dandelion Ameliore
To be continued………..
Well, that’s all the news from the south,
Happy” farming” to all the farm girl sisters out there.
See you next time down on the farm..