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Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) for chop and drop????

 
Elissa Teal
Posts: 128
Location: Detroit, Michigan
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I have a good number of pokeweed plants on my property and I wondered if I could chop and drop them on my veggie garden. Does anyone else have pokeweed growing on their property? If so, do you compost them? What do you do with them? TIA.
 
Cj Sloane
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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I have soooooo many pokeweed plants. I chop & drop in place. Hard to stay on top of them. The do get very big if they get away from you. If you need organic matter I guess that's OK. You could probably compost them.

So far, no livestock have been poisoned. I assume the poultry eat and spread the berries.
 
John Elliott
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Cj Verde wrote: I assume the poultry eat and spread the berries.


Sometimes I let them grow to maturity so that I can have 'treats' for the chickens. But half the time the wild birds get to the berries first.
 
Dan Boone
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Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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I have been using them as mulch and grass inhibitor under my recent fruit tree plantings.

See also: http://www.permies.com/t/15343/plants/Poke-sallet-salad-nutrient-accumulator
 
Rebecca Hyde
Posts: 9
Location: Woodstock, CT
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They have amazing roots, so they must mine the soil. The shoots are tasty eating in the spring at the same season as the asparagus, when they're about 4 to 6 inches high. The berries were used a lot for ink in the old days and there are various online discussions about how edible they are or aren't. The leaves of course are poisonous, from what I remember. And I've been meaning to look up the root again, I think it's a medicinal but needs to be used carefully. A nice plant, if a bit prolific and tough to eradicate when you don't really want it around.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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You can eat the young leaves, they must be boiled in three changes of water to be safe. If you see any red in the vein do not eat them. http://www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1-0,poke_salad,FF.html Chop and drop is ok but I usually compost mine.
 
Mike Cantrell
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Location: Mid-Michigan
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I have to share my absolute favorite bit of phytolacca trivia:

Up until 2000, Allen Canning Company in Siloam Springs, AR canned and sold Poke Sallet just like any other canned vegetable.

I used to drive by Allen's all the time, since it's on the main drag through Siloam Springs (this was after 2000), and it would call foraging to mind every time.
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
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