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Chickweed (Stellaria media) a winter green!

 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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We love chickweed! This plant is prolific here all winter and full of good things. We have always used the fresh leaves in salads and on tacos, etc. but this winter I have started using it as a green drink. I go grab a couple handfulls wash them and liquify with some water in the blender...strain off and drink...less than five minutes from harvest. The pulp goes in whatever meal we are having. It is beautiful and you can taste the nutrients. Now that I see it showing up on dynamic accumulater lists I want even more of it. I like the way it makes a mat of leaves, a very effective weed barrier. If you do a search for chickweed you will be amazed at it's medicinal and nutritional properties.
Just another in a long list of plants that wll just show up and be a great benefit if you encourage them to stay.

edit to add a link to information at 'Herb2000'chickweed information
 
Tyler Ludens
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I tried to get this cute weed established in my garden but so far no luck! I had it one year after seeding, then it did not reappear.
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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I've never planted it...it just appears. I wonder if it is the moisture. It rains a lot here over the winter usually.
 
Kota Dubois
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I too have naturally occuring chickweed - corn salad - in both the smooth and hairy variety. The hairy one isn't very nice on the palette. I've noticed that they grow fastest in spring and fall since it's cooler and definitely in areas that are moist. Probably why you're having problems getting it established in Texas Ludi.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Moisture levels seem to be improving in the garden thanks to a lot of buried wood, so I will try again!

 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Kota Dubois wrote:I too have naturally occuring chickweed - corn salad - in both the smooth and hairy variety. The hairy one isn't very nice on the palette. I've noticed that they grow fastest in spring and fall since it's cooler and definitely in areas that are moist. Probably why you're having problems getting it established in Texas Ludi.


We have mouse ear...Cerastium vulgatum (the hairy one) also but don't bother with it...the other...Stellaria media... is so prolific and has the nutritional/medicinal properties...and there is a third one that does not grow here. I didn't know it was called corn salad...I thought that was a name for some other spring green when I see it in catalogs. Anyway the only one I see in my guides as edible and good for us is Stellaria media. All are in the Pink family.
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Kota, What I find called corn salad (mache) in Johnnys and baker creek catalogs is Valerianella locusta...not the same as chickweed. Sorry I sound obsessive...I live with someone who insists on genus and species when we are identifying something so I have the habit but no memory for the words so I have to look everything up again to talk about it.
 
Kota Dubois
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Judith, I hear you, it's always best to use the botanical name because common names are often regional, and often one plant will have several common names. Up here I function in 2 languages and trying to learn common names in both languages is a royal pain.
I love mache but it doesn't taste like corn like S. media does. I always found it rather fiddley to prepare with the stringy stem often getting stuck between my teeth, your idea of juicing it is fabulous. Thanks.
 
Lisa Paulson
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I ate chickweed out of my poly framed greens beds most of the winter in BC , Canada it goes daily into smoothies and in summer I love it as a green with toasted tomato sandwiches . I am blessed with it and I read it indicates fertility in your soil too .
 
Celia Revel
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I made a bug bite salve using 92 degree coconut oil and a handful of chickweed. I simmered it for a while and poured in tins. It sits on my nightstand for those times I can't stop itching myself crazy. I go thte idea to use a water infusion to use as an eye lotion for my chicken with keratitis from "The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable" by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. I've been dropping it in her eye twice a day for six days, but there only seems to be a tiny bit of improvement. I know with natural things it takes time, so I'm hoping it works to clear her eye all up. Anyone else have experience using this method?
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Hi, Celia, and welcome to Permies!
I think I will have to try making your save for chigger season here. I have used chickweed tea as an eye wash for me but don't have any chicken knowledge. You might try posting in the chicken forum about the keratitis and I am sure you would get some input.
 
Celia Revel
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Hi Judith,

Thanks for the info. How did the eye wash work for you? I've looked all over the internet for people with experience using this, but haven't found a one. I will try the chicken forum. Hadn't thought of that.
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Celia, I use a chickweed tea as an eyewash for minor eye irritations like allergies, and also calendula petal tea and rose petals from the gallica family. All are very soothing. I can't find my source of information though...it probably was an herbalist friend.
 
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