Vegetables and Fruit forum: Chickweed, the easy green that you don't have to plant

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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Mar 2, 2014 7:37 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

When I give lectures to garden clubs I like to promote the eating of wild foods and Chickweed (Stellaria media) is one of my favorites to mention because it's so tasty and very good for you.

Here in East Texas it's growing like crazy and we're eating it up. Depicted below is last night's dinner: our own ground beef, seasoned and served over corn chips with fresh mozarella, a white sauce and garnished generously with chickweed. It was fantastic and almost all the ingredients were harvested or made on our land.



Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horseshoe
Mar 2, 2014 10:06 AM CST
Wow...looks great to me! Chickweed grows here like crazy, pretty much invasive in certain areas of my garden; it especially loves some of my boxed beds. Although I've certainly done my share of grazing on chickweed each year I've never taken the time to use it in a great looking dish like ya'll have, Dave! Yummy!

Shoe (heading out to check on chickweed growing in the garden, for supper?)

Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
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Oberon46
Mar 2, 2014 10:36 AM CST
I've heard you can eat it but I have always seen it as something to get rid of that invades many parts of my garden. I promise myself to try it this year as an edible.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Mar 2, 2014 10:59 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

It really does taste great, and so good for you! And it certainly is an invader but the good news about it is that it doesn't last long. So we allow it to take over and it's always gone by the time the growing season is in full swing. Thumbs up
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
For our friend, Shoe. Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Permaculture Container Gardener
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Horseshoe
Mar 2, 2014 11:08 AM CST
That's another of its great qualities! It is a winter germinating plant and grows at a time that is acceptable to us...and then leaves the premises when the warm weather garden kicks in. What a great and polite "weed", eh?

Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Mar 2, 2014 11:10 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Perfectly said! It is definitely most polite of all the weeds we have here.

I found a recipe for a sauce with garlic, olive oil, and chickweed. I'm going to make some for lunch and serve alongside eggs and buttered bread.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Mar 2, 2014 2:42 PM CST
I am afraid ours is not so well behaved. It is one of the first weeds to germinate and creates a running battle that lasts all summer into frost.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
For our friend, Shoe. Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Permaculture Container Gardener
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Horseshoe
Mar 2, 2014 4:13 PM CST
I guess your cooler weather up your way treats chickweed too kindly, Oberon. NO fair, eh?


"garlic, olive oil, and chickweed"... Wow, some of the best good stuff you can eat. Enjoy!

Shoe
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Mar 3, 2014 8:06 AM CST
Horseshoe said:"garlic, olive oil, and chickweed"... Wow, some of the best good stuff you can eat.

A lot of people talk about eating chickweed... and whenever I've tasted it... One taste has been enuff.

If you discover a magic way of prep... that renders it edible... I'd totally give it a shot... there's an abundance of it hereabouts, and tilling it under simply increases it...

So far... the only moderately successful tactic... is to pull it carefully and get the entire root system... and then mulch with an inch or 2 of woodchips...

While you're at it... find a recipe for bittercress... Took a bite of that recently... upset my stomach... very similar to arugula... which I dislike...
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Mar 3, 2014 9:33 AM CST
I pick it and eat it right out of the yard. Thumbs up
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
For our friend, Shoe. Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Permaculture Container Gardener
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Horseshoe
Mar 3, 2014 10:50 AM CST
stone, chickweed here is rather pleasant to taste, like a mellow lettuce or something. I wonder if you might be picking henbit or something that also tends to grow in chickweed areas? If so, yuck, I've tried it, too. Sticking tongue out

Shoe
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Mar 3, 2014 11:42 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

I think chickweed tastes like a very mild spinach. Everyone who I've ever convinced to try it has told me they liked it. Shoe might be right - maybe you're tasting something else!
Name: David Paul
(Zone 9b)
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DavidofDeLand
Mar 3, 2014 6:46 PM CST
And now I know. Thumbs up The taco chip salad looked great! Santita's? Smiling
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Mar 3, 2014 8:43 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I think they were Santitas! Smiling
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
For our friend, Shoe. Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Permaculture Container Gardener
Image
Horseshoe
Mar 3, 2014 9:31 PM CST
Santitas!? Darn, I thought they were home-grown, fresh from the garden. I declare. I thought ya'll might've set out seeds of Frito's corn chips, let them grow up to the size of tortilla chips, harvest and eat. After all, I grew the best crop of S'mores similar to that one year - planting miniature marshmallows as seed stock, side-dressing with Hershey's chocolate, and mulching with graham crackers. We harvested the best ready-to-eat S'mores you'll ever sink your incisors into! And on a hot day in August there was no need to roast the marshmallows over a camp fire. Simply delish! I think the Whitinger kids would love to designate a garden to S'more Farming.

Shoe (who's had a long day and should stop dreaming before he goes to bed, eh?) Blinking
[Last edited by Horseshoe - Mar 4, 2014 3:31 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #565532 (15)
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Mar 4, 2014 6:50 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Hilarious!
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Mar 4, 2014 8:24 AM CST
Horseshoe said:stone, chickweed here is rather pleasant to taste, like a mellow lettuce or something. I wonder if you might be picking henbit or something that also tends to grow in chickweed areas?

I know the difference... Henbit smells too disgusting to even put in my mouth...

Thumb of 2014-03-04/stone/b712ae
henbit
Thumb of 2014-03-04/stone/717187
chickweed

Green Deane has recipes on his site:
http://www.eattheweeds.com/chickweed-connoisseurs-2/


Want to be grotesqued out? Here's a site that suggests eating houttuynia! ew.
http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13920828000432

Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Mar 4, 2014 8:59 AM CST
Houttuynia ... hmmm ... at least they warn you that it's an acquired taste! Glare Rolling my eyes.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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LindaTX8
Mar 8, 2014 11:51 PM CST
I was disappointed this year about how few chickweed were around! We just didn't seem to get any substantial rain this winter!
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Mar 10, 2014 4:54 PM CST
Okay, so when I was weeding yesterday I tried some. Pretty mild, but nothing to write home about.

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