Monday, March 28, 2011

Free Food ~or~ Eat Those Weeds

OK, I admit it. I've heard of folks eating weeds. And I thought they were crazy-out-of-their-minds. Why would you eat a weed? But with the rising cost of produce and the realization that weeds are just plants, I am starting to become a convert. I've already taken to harvesting dandelions. Not for my own consumption, but for my chickens. And they are ever so thankful for the treats. I had noticed another weed that seems to be prolific in my backyard, and I have identified it as Hairy Bittercress. These little blighters were lurking under the water barrels.

This is a rather problematic weed, also known as Jumping Jesus. Probably so named because that may be one of the many expletives uttered when you try to pull it. Once the seed pods have been allowed to mature, the slightest touch and the pods explode, sending seeds scattering in all directions. Not wanting to waste food, I attempted to feed these to my chickens. And, although chickens CAN eat this weed, mine preferred not to. After researching and finding that it is similar to watercress, which is tasty on sandwiches, I figured I'd give it a shot. First order of business was to hard boil some of the chickens' contributions. Don't those look nice?

This meal is mostly a self sufficient one. We brewed the pale ale, I baked the bread, grew the chives, gathered the eggs and pulled the weeds.

The weeds were rinsed well and then the delicate leaves were separated from the tap roots. My verdict? Hairy Bittercress is incredibly tasty on an egg salad sandwich! So good! Gonna have another for lunch, tomorrow.

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