Have you just weed in the garden?? Part 3

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Doin The Dirt Eh Directory

Have you just weed in the garden??

Part 3

So far we have looked at 12 relatively known about weeds and have seen clearly that even if they are not the most wanted plants in the garden, they are NOT without their uses to the creative organic gardeners looking to make fertilisers or what not or wine makers, tea drinkers, they have medicinal purposes and in some cases, they can be used to make dyes like the dandelions and l have known people to use that dye to colour tee shirts.

Someone emailed me last night and asked if a foragers course would be considered advantageous and the answer is YES, and if not that then a lot of research and study. some weeds are obvious what they are, some are not, here l think of the likes of cows parsley in consideration to fools parsley. But trial by error is the best way to begin, buy yourself a good book on weeds or literally just make full use of the Internet.

Weeds don’t have to simply be a massive and unpleasant gardening hike, they might, just might have another useful use!

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Horseradish Root

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Horseradish Leaf

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Our Own Horseradish Plants gearing up for 2019

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Nasturtium

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Shepherd’s Purse

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Burdock

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Lamb’s Quarters

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Purslane

Weed

Have you just weed in the garden?? Part 3

Horseradish

A lot of people sometimes say ‘Oh No that’s not a weed l have it growing in my garden!’ But the fact is in the UK especially HR is a weed. The first time l ever truly became aware of it was upon returning to England from Australia, l don’t ever remember seeing it there and it was my Mother who introduced me to the qualities of the plant and then when l was 15 l was introduced to some home made and .. well once l picked my head up off the floor l was hooked. Home made HR sauce is wild and explosive and whilst yes you can buy some hot commercial HR sauces, there is NO comparison what so ever in my eyes.

So the first infamous use of this weed is the most obvious HR sauce  – which if you use fresh and young root over an older root the sauce will be mind blowingly hot, hot and hotter still!

Suze and l are desperate to make some, but for two seasons so far we have been waylaid, but hopefully this year will be different.

You CAN eat horseradish raw or cooked or pickled for the volcanic hearty lot amongst you! The leaves are also edible, hot but yummy, you can even stir fry them into a meal!

Nasturtium

Again many people see this plant as a flower, but it is indeed a weed and can be eaten as well, but it was cultivated in ancient times as a herb and still to many people is seen more as a herb than a flower and or as a weed!. I have included the leaves in salads before and they have a spicy peppery taste and make a nice change to the rocket you use and way better than lettuce leaves. The flowers are gorgeous and the pollinators adore them.

The leaves are filled with Vit C and other minerals, whilst the flowers are rich in B1, B2  and B3.

As we have discussed before, this plant can act as both pest control as well as pest attract! Plus they are great as companion plantings. They are easy to grow, long lasting and are able to provide lots and lots of seeds within their seed heads. Plus lets not forget the absolute colourful beauty they bring to the garden. They also are perfectly capable of providing both ground cover and serve as a living mulch.

Chickens can also benefit from nasturtiums medicinal properties and can act as a natural wormer for your chickens!

Shepherd’s Purse

This delightful little weeds leaves are edible and can be sautéed. Long before this was deemed a weed it was grown as a herb due to its medicinal properties.

Burdock

The roots and stalks of this plant are edible, but the younger more tender leaves are more pleasing than the older and harder leaves.

Check out this amazing link

Lamb’s Quarters

Similiar to dandelions without the added bitterness in the leaves, but they can make for a great spinach substitue.

Chickens love this weed, mind you, chickens love most weeds!

For gardeners this particular weed is useful as a cover crop against leaf miners so can be used to protect the likes of spinach, beets and chard.

There is a tea that can be made from this weed and if you were to make a bath of the tea it is reputed to be excellent for the likes of skin health.

Purslane

Great for ground cover in the garden as well as a living mulch. It can also be used as a salad ingredient for sandwiches too! Filled with omega – 3s and magnesium.

You can make pesto from this weed, as said add it to you summer sarnies and salads, stir fry or pickle it!

So there we go folks, part 3 bringing us to the close of this series for a wee while, but you have 18 otherwise useless weeds in the eyes to many clearly displaying that they do have more uses than merely being pulled and dumped into compost, shredded down or burnt to a cinder.

Tomorrow, we will look at 5,10, 15 essential kitchen herbs’

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