Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Unorthodox Harvest

This evening I went down to my garden to pull a few weeds after the bees and yellow jackets had gone on home. Things look pretty grassy in the garden for now but I was able to pull up a few useful herbs that I can eat and use for medicine.

I pulled some large leafy dandelion leaves and roots. I will add these to salads and smoothies for a potent source of vitamins and minerals. Just one cup of these leaves chopped is 112% of your daily vitamin A, 32% vitamin C and a whopping 535% of your daily vitamin K!! And this is a prolific weed! The flowers even taste good battered and fried in butter, drizzled with raw honey. We did that one evening this spring. (Don't eat too much of the flowers... They can have a laxative effect! Oops.)

The other wonderful herb that I pulled is plantain. Not the cousin of the banana, I'm talking about the weed that grows in the cracks of your sidewalk and all over your yard. Perfect for bug bites and stings, plantain is healing to all things "ouchy." When camping last summer Buster was bitten by a spider on his neck. It quickly started to get red and enflamed, it even looked like white stuff was beginning to ooze out. He wasn't even one year old yet, poor little guy! Being in Cook Forest there was plenty of plantain growing all around. I dropped to my knees outside of the Indian Trading Post and started pulling up "weeds." I have no doubt that people thought I was insane, especially after I started to chew up the weeds and slather them on my baby sons neck. But this crazy mama was able to rest easy because after a few applications of this magical green slime, the redness was gone and it wasn't oozing. This is an herb you need to know how to identify. I'm planning on putting some in a salve with raw honey, coconut oil and beeswax to apply to little's boo boos. When that happens I'll follow up with a recipe.

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