Poultice – Chickweed can be crushed and directly applied to bruises and aching body parts to help ease tension or lessen inflammation. Heat for about 2 hours. All leafy greens are loaded with nutrients and dietary fiber. Also yields lilac dyes for woollens . Aaron is the former farm manager at Oak Hill Cafe & Farm, a no-till, permaculture, farm-to-table restaurant & farm located right down the street from his alma mater, Furman University, in Greenville, SC. There are also a few other edible wild plants in this photo. Chickweed is best used to soothe itchy and sore skin conditions. If you’re looking for a cooked application for chickweed, find any spinach recipe and substitute chickweed 1:1 for spinach in the recipe. Chickweed has many uses both internally and externally: Mix fresh chickweed with vinegar to use in bath water to help relieve itchy skin. Much like plantain chickweed can be used to help soothe sunburn and bug bites. Instead of killing chickweed with synthetic neonicotinoids, endocrine-disruptors, or neurotoxins, we’d like you to consider an alternative solution: A gorgeous spicebush swallowtail butterfly (Papilio troilus) resting on a patch of chickweed, perhaps to get a sip of water. Use chickweed fresh to extract in alcohol or vinegar. Tell us in the comments! Chickweed pate; Herbal Medicine Uses. As an astringent, Chickweed can be used draw out splinters and help to heal the wound left behind. If you want to get good results, look for horticultural vinegar. If you want to write instead of typing on a keyboard, you can use the touch keyboard that appears on the screen. Cook 'Em UpChop up your chickweed, and then lightly sauté. It also happens to be edible, nutritious, and have a long history of medicinal use. Tyrant Farms is reader-supported. As for media, that simply means “intermediate” or “middle ground” in Latin. Vinegar contains acetic acid, although in smaller quantities than in commercial vinegar-based herbicides, and it helps to combat invasive plants including chickweed. How to Grow and Use Chickweed Chickweed, as its name implies, is a favorite of the poultry species. If using dried chickweed, fill the jar about 1/2 way full. Chickweed has a long tradition in use as folk medicine in multiple cultures around the world. Mouseear chickweed can be found in shady and sunny areas. Reapply the vinegar once a week until the chickweed is gone. Also--guinea pigs go crazy for chickweed..... Chickweed Infused Oil is a great emollient, anti-itch herbal remedy. One study did show that chickweed showed promise as a potential anti-obesity drug. On a related note, one of the reasons we intentionally grow chickweed is because our ducks absolutely love eating it (we do too). Chickweed Infused Oil. Strain and decant into a clean jar. It can also be applied topically in a poultice to help relieve joint and muscle pain while it can also be applied to the skin to help relieve inflammation or to treat wounds. You can eat chickweed raw or cooked. But chickweed isn’t just for chickens; the plant also has culinary uses and is a valued herbal medicine. Fresh chickweed herb can be made into a soothing herbal infused oil. Chickweed is a common annual weed of both cultivated and bare ground. In fact, chickweed is usually at peak when morel mushrooms are fruiting, meaning lots of forest-to-table meals at our house. A handful of raw chickweed ready to be munched on. See what other Food52 readers are saying. A mound of edible medicine? Classifying Other Chickweeds Identify star chickweed. Chickweed is an annual plant, but it readily re-seeds, coming back in the same spot year-after-year. It’s so prolific that it’s found all around the world (it might even be growing in your own backyard), and the stem (1, below), leaves (2, below), and flowers (3, below) are all edible. Cautions. Why did European immigrants call it “chickweed”? The easiest ways to tell the difference between the three plants which share the common name “chickweed” is as follows: A closer look at a single stem of common chickweed (Stellaria media). While chickweed poses no known health risks, there is some indication that breastfeeding mothers may want to avoid consuming chickweed. You’re dang skippy you can eat chickweed. Food explorer, seed & soil geek, duck evangelist, writer, health nut, and entrepreneur. Once you’ve procured it, here are 4 ideas to get you started in the kitchen. Aaron also writes for Edible Upcountry Magazine, WordPress (.com), Daily Harvest Express, and other food and tech-related organizations. Chickweed can be used In a variety of different ways depending on the condition you are trying to treat. It’s a plant that grows like a weed, and it’s beloved by adult chickens and their chicks alike. Compress – apply aerial parts of the plant to aching joints and muscles to relieve pain. Hey guys in this identification video we will cover three different types of chickweed. It’s also purported to be high in A and B vitamins, plus have high calcium levels. Eaten straight up, chickweed's flavor is suggestive of sweet corn. If you’d prefer to make your own chickweed salve rather than buy it, here’s a good recipe. After reading this article, we hope you’ll never look at chickweed the same again! If you have even a shred of doubt, toss it and head to your local farmers market to track it down instead. Use Selective Weed Killer in Lawns. Simply put some fresh leaves directly on the wound. Once you think you’ve found chickweed, there are a couple things to look for that distinguish it from poisonous pretenders: chickweed has one line of hairs running up its stem, and it does not have milky sap. All that’s left is a desiccated mat of dead leaves that help feed the soil food web and provide fertilizer for next year’s chickweed seeds. Even though its edible and medicinal to humans and its flower provide pollen for countless numbers of small pollinating insects, common chickweed (Stellaria media) is often considered a weed by people. Spray patches of chickweed with vinegar or herbicide. We think chickweed tastes nearly identical to corn silk, the sweet, stringy strands that stick out of the top of an ear of corn. Toss some in a salad, … Enter text with your pen. To erase, turn your pen over and rub the end of your pen over your writing or drawing. Although we don’t know of a public USDA nutritional analysis on chickweed, researchers have found that it’s very high in Vitamin C and dietary fiber. At the end of its lifecycle as the weather warms, a chickweed plant’s stems will grow long, thin segments with a final flower/seed cluster on the tip. We’ve read such warnings from well-regarded lactation experts/books. Topical application, either fresh or as a botanical oil, cools and relieves inflamed areas. Harvesting is simple: cut clumps of chickweed with pruners or pinch the stems with your fingernails. A handful of raw chickweed ready to be munched on. Chickweed is also one of the ingredients in the seven-herb rice porridge eaten during the Japanese Festival of Seven Herbs (Nanakusa no sekku). Often, a plant’s common and botanical names can both serve to tell you about important features and characteristics. You can buy the tincture already made. Chickweed is very high in vitamins and minerals. Star chickweed, or stellaria pubera, is a less … Watch this live video replay and learn how to find, identify, and use chickweed, a very common spring green that offers many benfits. According to New York Botanical Garden, chickweed is “higher in iron and zinc than any of our domestic greens and it contains significant levels of potassium and several other essential minerals.”. Chickweed is not native to the US. If you’re working in a garden, mowing isn’t an option. (They fold up at night too. Today: Chickweed's name implies that you'll find it growing where it's not wanted. Use the pointer that appears under your pen tip to guide you while you ink. Since our ducks love fresh chickweed, it’s nice to have it nearby for a treat. Go RawEaten straight up, chickweed's flavor is suggestive of sweet corn. In Episode 4 of A Better Way to Thrive Live that aired May 4, 2019, we head outdoors and learn about a nutritious, useful, and abundant spring green, chickweed … Chickens love eating the plant, particularly its seeds. By late-April, chickweed has gone to seed and died. It is a great herb to use when juice fasting to help clean the lymph and detox the body. Be absolutely positively sure you know what you’re about to eat -- this is true when you are foraging for any ingredient! It is actually quite a shame that most people only know it as a weed and an invasive plant. Once you think you’ve found... Go Raw. Chickweed was widely used as an anti-inflammatory herb. We also have a favorite chickweed salad recipe we make during peak chickweed season. I like esoteric facts about vegetables and think ambling through a farmers market is a great way to start the day. The downside of growing like a weed is that it's considered a pest in some areas, but maybe that’s just because not enough people know how tasty it is. That’s a national emergency if there ever was one. It also requires chickweed tincture made from fresh, not dried, plant material. Besides tincture, wild foraged chickweed can be used for tea, vinegar, salves or eaten fresh. Common chickweed populations have been found with resistance to the phenoxy-herbicide mecoprop and to certain sulfonylurea herbicides following repeated use of the chemicals. For example, chickweed cream was used to soothe eczema, sunburn and insect stings as well as to draw out boils and splinters. That hasn't stopped certai… In addition to their collaboration on Tyrant Farms, Aaron and his wife, Susan, are cofounders of GrowJourney.com, a USDA certified organic seed & gardening education company. This was a great little article. Chickweed is best harvested when the plant is still lush and densely clumped – and before it produces a final long stem covered with flowers/seeds. This is probably true, but you might look upon it more kindly once you know how to work it into your meals. Only 10% of Americans eat enough fruits & veggies on a daily basis. It has numerous historical uses as an herbal remedy. It is interesting to read through hundreds of glowing consumer product reviews of chickweed salve used to treat skin conditions. Plants produce large quantities of quickly germinating seed throughout the year and can easily smother beds and borders if not promptly controlled. In addition to the annual herb Stellaria media, there are a couple of other plants found in the US that share the common name “chickweed”: Even though the two plants that share the name “chickweed” with Stellaria media are both edible, it’s still important to be able to positively ID common chickweed (or any wild plant) before you eat it! If you still have to get rid of the chickweed in your grass in order to impress your snarling neighbors or abide by HOA rules, simply mow it or weed whack it rather than poisoning it. ), Recipe: Chestnut breakfast porridge with pan-roasted Japanese persimmons. Chickweed is best harvested when the plant is still lush and densely clumped – and before it produces a final long stem covered with flowers/seeds. It is so satisfying to harvest and eat weeds like chickweed and lambs quarters. I also used to use this oil in my salads. Throw these names into a pot, and you might be able to surmise a medium-sized plant beloved by chickens, covered with star-shaped flowers. Please avoid using synthetic pesticides on plants in your yard. Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a familiar sight in many gardens.Chickweed is this herb’s English name, herbe à l’oiseau its French name, Vogelmiere is German, and in medieval Latin morsus gallinae (hen’s bite) – all of these emphasizing the association with birds. Use about a cup of olive oil & 2 cups chopped chickweed. However, you can still … You don’t have to water it, fertilize it, tend it, or do anything to it. Like all weeds, Mouseear chickweed will quickly invade thin, malnourished grass , so keeping your lawn healthy , … Vinegar as a Chickweed Killer One of the easiest materials you can find around the house is vinegar. We also grow chickweed on the living roof of our duck house, aka the Quacker Box. Or make you own: Fill any jar, large or small, with fresh chopped chickweed and 100 proof vodka. We’d be willing to bet that ounce per ounce, chickweed is higher in nearly every vitamin and mineral than most any leafy green you’d find at a grocery store. Or BrothyAdd chickweed to soups or stews -- hold off until a few minutes before serving so it doesn’t overcook. Toss some in a salad, on a sandwich, or anywhere you'd use sprouts. Chickweed and 4 Ways to Use It More: For more control over what’s growing in your lawn, brush up on . Chickweed vinegar can also be used medicinally as a chickweed bath vinegar. The chickweed seeds out and comes back each year on the roof, no planning necessary. Chickweed does grow best (thicker, larger, juicier plants) in rich, moist soil that’s high in organic matter. Till Your Garden Soil. We use chickweed generously as a garnish on soups, dumplings, and pot pies. In our area (Zone 7b), chickweed starts germinating in the fall, stays small through the coldest months of winter, then explodes from late winter through early spring. And, as a bonus, it functions as your own personal weather gauge: Chickweed’s leaves fold up before it rains. Understand that chickweed is a beneficial plant that serves numerous ecosystem services. Chickweed can be dried, but you’ll notice its potency declines quickly over just a couple of weeks. In fact, we hope you’ll start looking at chickweed as one of many plants in nature’s free and abundant grocery store. Get SaucyToss some in your sauce gribiche, or turn chickweed into gremolata or pesto -- then use it to make a week's worth of dinners. 4. This patch of chickweed is growing amidst red lettuce plants, making for a striking color contrast. Eat it. A beautiful blonde morel mushroom fruiting in March. Chickweed may cause allergic reactions in some people. Today, chickweed is rarely taken by mouth due to potential toxicities. Infused oil – chickweed oil can be added to bathwater to help alleviate the symptoms of eczema. My first cookbook, available now, is called Cooking with Scraps. Harvesting is simple: cut clumps of chickweed with pruners or pinch the stems with your fingernails. Its uses include treatment of various skin conditions (acne, burn treatment, bug bites, itchy skin, etc), pulmonary diseases, scurvy (Vitamin C deficiency), anemia (iron deficiency), bronchitis, arthritis, and more. Chickweed is also an excellent ingredient in juicing recipes when juicing other greens, fruits and vegetables. More: For more control over what’s growing in your lawn, brush up on Garden Planning 101. It does prefer moisture-rich soil but can thrive in most soil types and in any conditions. To make chickweed tincture using the folk method, pack a mason jar about 2/3 full with freshly harvested chickweed. The oil itself can be applied directly to the skin to treat … To make chickweed tea, simply steep about 2-3 tablespoons in one cup of boiling water for 5 minutes, then strain out the chickweed and serve. All Rights Reserved. You can eat this as is, or add it to egg dishes (like a frittata) or savory pancakes. Some viruses can be carried in chickweed seeds that will grow into infected plants. 2. Speaking of cold too, that is how I … Chickweed has a relatively short lifespan and will be gone as soon as the weather warms up. Where chickweed is growing among lawn grass, it is best to use a selective broadleaf weed killer that will attack chickweed without any killing of the surrounding harming grass. While you can buy chickweed seeds online, consider sourcing seeds from the plants already growing around you. With anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antifungal properties, infusions of Chickweed can be used to treat a number of skin complaints including; boils, sores, rashes, wounds, eczema and psoriasis. Stella is Latin for “star” and stellaris means “starry.” This perfectly describes chickweed’s tiny, white star-shaped flower structure. Grow it in your garden or forage it for your spring/summer salads – follow one of the many chickweed identification guides (loads on YouTube) and forage for this herb (or plant the seeds in your garden although be aware it can spread easily) then add it to your salad leaves for a mild and pleasant taste.. Make a chickweed pesto – Add 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 … Anecdotally, one of our good friends noticed her milk production drop after consuming quite a bit chickweed over the course of a week. The best method to control chickweed in your yard? (Excess water in an oil infusion can lead to problems with mold or rancidity later.) If you prefer a simple solution, use distilled white vinegar. Using chickweed to dissolve a cyst or benign tumor is a slow process, and requires consistency. As a herb, Chickweed is probably best known as an old wives herbal remedy for weight loss. You are controlling a pesky invader plus getting free produce! Be sure chickweed is submerged. Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a common cool-weather “weed” that grows abundantly throughout North America and other temperate regions around the world. Keep in fridge and use as needed on itchy skin/eczema. We also write for Edible Upcountry Magazine, so be sure to check out our articles over there as well! Thank you. It is also said to help with inflammation. It’s just for you, just for today. However, I don't think I could ever bring myself to actually buy it--it grows everywhere! But you probably don’t need help figuring out when that’s going to happen.). The fresh pressed juice is probably the most beneficial way to consume this wild edible. Unfortunately, virtually no modern research has been conducted to conclusively determine the medical effectiveness of chickweed. Thanks for the well written article. Put it in a clean spray bottle and spray it directly on the patches of chickweed throughout your garden, making sure to coat the entire plant. He also serves on the board of the Diversified Agriculture Committee for the South Carolina Farm Bureau. You can eat chickweed raw or cooked. Chickweed is an easily found plant, often growing in yards from late Fall to Spring in the South and year round in the North. Common chickweed is a host of several damaging virus diseases of crop plants. Chickweed self-pollinates, although we do see small flies and parasitoid wasps foraging its flowers. A young chickweed (Stellaria media) plant begins its slow, steady crawl outward across the soil surface. Once it takes root, it will grow and form dense bunches and never really rises above two inches in height. Unlike some confusingly named produce, chickweed’s name is pretty straightforward -- chickens can’t get enough of the stuff, and it's, well, a weed. chickweed salve used to treat skin conditions, Chickweed salad & more: turning chickweed into gourmet food, Potted citrus garden video tour (Zone 7b), Recipe: Sugar-free persimmon cranberry relish, Recipe: Native passion fruit-Meyer lemon sparkling cordial, Recipe: American persimmon seed tea (yes, persimmon seeds are edible! Chickweed is a beautiful, petite green with a crisp texture and mild flavor. Chickweed is edible and is often used to feed chickens or livestock, but this is no reason to let it grow and take over your precious lawn. Chickweed, Stellaria media, is best thought of as delicious rather than a pernicious weed.Its young leaves are packed with vitamins, so it makes a healthy addition to salads. It was traditionally used as a weight loss remedy, probably for its diuretic properties – so consume in moderation! It has such a mild, green flavor and is nice and tender, which is not true for all wild greens. Use this chickweed recipe to put a delightful cold-hardy culinary and medicinal “weed” to use in your kitchen. Click here to learn more about our story, and please subscribe to get our freshest content delivered to your inbox! What does chickweed’s botanical name, Stellaria media, tell us? Instead of seeing chickweed as a problem, look at it as solution to other problems (free organic food, more pollinator habitat, etc). Congratulations, who knew that organic gardening could be so easy?! HOW TO USE CHICKWEED. Chickweed is an edible wild green that grows itself – no effort required. We also grow chickweed in our potted citrus containers, like this kumquat plant. Code: GOFORIT*exclusions apply. It grows in full sun or shade. Heat the chickweed and oil in the slow cooker on lowest setting. A lush patch of common chickweed (Stellaria media) glimmering after a late winter rain. That means there are nearly 300,000,000 fiber- and nutrient-starved people in the country. Please be sure to subscribe to Tyrant Farms to see what's in-season out in nature, have fresh seasonal recipes delivered to your inbox and get helpful organic/permaculture gardening & duck keeping tips. One part of a larger solution set: we think it’s high time more people learn to identify and eat their weeds. We haven’t made any official announcements yet, but I (Aaron) am going to be managing a new farm for Oak Hill Cafe, a farm-to-table restaurant that’s scheduled to open in … :) The extent of its geographic distribution gives you a sense of just how robust and hardy this little plant is! © 2020 - Tyrant Farms. Our friend’s chicken foraging a late-season patch of chickweed. Chances are that if your average daytime temperatures aren’t higher than the mid-70s and aren’t consistently far below freezing at night, there’s chickweed growing in or near your yard right now! You can eat chickweed. Common chickweed is often found in shaded areas, especially around tree mulch skirts. I love chickweed. Chickweed is used for itchy, dry or irritated skin and by infusing it in apple cider vinegar you can soothe your skin while helping to balance skin pH with apple cider vinegar. Two words of caution about eating chickweed: Chickweed is a cool weather plant that doesn’t like temperatures over the mid-70s. However, it can also harbour greenfly and spider mite, so remove it immediately if it appears in your greenhouse. In cooler climates, chickweed grows throughout the summer. What’s your favorite way to use chickweed? It can be added to salads or sandwiches and cooked as a pot herb, tasting somewhat like spinach. Chickweed grows everywhere: open lawns, forest edges, and even deep under the dormant canopy of old-growth forests. Chickweed is certainly good for you as a vitamin and mineral-rich veggie, and it likely has medicinal qualities too. A star-shaped chickweed flower. Once the seeds mature, the plant will die, leaving behind plenty of seeds for the following cool season.
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