Can you smell it? Yes even with the freezing conditions last week the smell on the air had changed and spring is most definitely coming! Longer days, warmer days…. Apparently distracted by the snow and ice last week I forgot to post a foraging Friday. I apologise for this.
So for your foraging delight this week, I offer you not one but two plants to hunt for!
More information is harder to come by in my usual sources for this plant. Neither of Adele Nozedar’s books I have have this in, nor the Hedgerow Medicine book. So Eat Weeds came up trumps, in brief stating you can eat the leaves, roots, Stalks and fruit. The seeds are spicy, but the plant tastes similar to celery. Here is the link for more information!
An annual hairy plant, that likes to grow on rough ground this is high in Vitamins A and C and can be added to salads or cooked in dishes as you would spinach. The chickens, as the name suggests, LOVE it. It is available all year round and is starting to grow in February in warmer spots.
Foraging with Kids states that Chickweed left to its own devices can form dense mats of vegetation. Adele also suggests that as he plant is so tender it isn’t worth heating up, so her recipe suggestion is egg and chickweed sandwiches!
Hedgerow medicine, suggests that chickweed is good for a ‘broth or tea for children and convalescents.’ Externally it makes a good preparation to soothe itches, bites, stings, swelling, burns, sunburn and bruises. It may be applied directly, or crushed and bandaged on to make a poultice. It has a good cooling and drawing action. This book also suggests that chickweed pesto is a good food to try, or adding it to a bath to soothe itchy skin!