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Chenopodium Album (lambsquarters)

 
                    
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Chenopodium Album, Lambs Quarter’s.  Fat Hen. A weedy pest….

Chenopodium, meaning goose foot. Album, as in albumen. It's a great fodder crop for feeding laying hens- its full of albumen, a major constituent in egg whites. Fat Hen grows profusely in recently disturbed Ag soils. As such, it is considered a weed. A weed which is a good source of vitamins A and C and grows profusely. And tastes great with butter.

Mmmm… fresh butter, and greens…. A Weed. Ha! Ill take mine with bacon.

more at: http://www.abundancepermaculture.com/blog/?p=243

anyone else here use if for food or fodder at their place? How do you manage/incorporate it?
 
                            
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Location: Ava, Mo, USA, Earth
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I've had a couple of people who were on wild-food walks I've lead that have quit growing spinach after I showed them lambsquarters.  And many other's who've been upset that they've been pulling it out and tossing it way for decades without knowing it wasn't "just a weed."

BTW, ounce-for-ounce, it has about 1.5 times the vitamin C as an orange.  It's even higher in Vitamin A, and is a storehouse for minerals.

One of my favorite plants.

 
                    
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yes, i know! I found it three years ago and was basically like "what kind of investigation process did my parents- who were decent gardeners- go thorugh that they tauight me to pull and destroy this stuff? I dont pull anything anymore, save blackberry, and a few really agressive invasives-yellow archangel, etc.

regarding vitamin C- as I write in the blog- almost everything has more vitamin c than oranges! not all are as yummy, but it in fact is pretty low compared to many wildcraftable greens.

its a goodon allright. I saved seed last year and am filling about a half acre that snow and chooks have flattened the blackberry in with it. Im hoping to get a hog to root the bb out, but at any rate, im - fingers crossed- going to go 100% fodder with my chooks next year.

cheers!
 
Jordan Lowery
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Location: zone 7
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i await the lambs quarters every year, for its healthy goodness. i also give it to the chickens if i have too much to keep on top of with eating. i let it go to seed at the end of the year to replenish for next year. everyone around here hates it, even some people who live here. i just love it.
 
maikeru sumi-e
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I have some growing in pots on my windowsills. Great herb/veggie. I use it a lot in soups and ramen too.
 
Paul Cereghino
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Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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I keep spreading seed in the pasture from the garden... I think it needs soil disturbance?!  Quinoa is a Chenopodium... and I have heard seeds are good... I'll try them this year -- any experience with seed?
 
                    
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this is the first year i collected seed. I havent spread them yet.

yes, ver distrubance oriented- in fact, this last was the third year that i had not done any tillage in my small (4000sf) garden plot, and the first year it didnt come up everywhere.

fortunately there are plenty of roadcuts on the neighbors property with marginal soils that it loves and i doubt that ill have any problems growing there from the seed (fingers crossed)

a chenopodium sp. was domesticated by native americans in the ohio river valley about 2300 years ago if memory serves- there were caches discovered of an ssp. seed with about 4x the volume of existing wild sp. these larger seeds do not exist in 'nature' and were clearly cultivated ssp. for the purpose of food stock... Ive eaten the local seeds and they are fair. comparable to millet. but hard to get enough to warrant rearing them that way for seed- though hunger could change that- I do wonder about flour potential....
 
ronie dee
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Location: NW MO
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I always let some Lambs Quarter go to seed where ever it turns up in the garden or (preferably) in the ditch.

If There is plenty, i  add young Lambs Quarter to raw salads. I usually am too busy collecting nettles to get over enthused over the Lambs Quarter. I do add some Lambs Q. to the Nettles to steam. 

While working in the garden i pick a top leaf or a tiny side shoot to eat raw. Sometimes there are tiny white hairs on the leaves - don't really know why it is only on the plant sometimes.

I've never worried about oxalic acid, but if i was worried, I'd add a touch of baking soda water while cooking, to buffer the acid.

OR- better yet - mix in some alkaline foods like chard, beets, garlic, mustard, garlic, dandy lion greens.

 
                    
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i read a very elaborate article once about how oxalate is actually only a problem if the vegetable is cooked. uncooked vegetables have proper nutrients to help us properly digest the oxalate. i am a perfect test subject though. ive had the stones 2ice by 26 (22 really) and i havent gotten them since i cut dark cola 100% out of my diet.
 
John Polk
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Has anybody here tried the perennial version?  I know it is a much smaller plant, but the young stalks are often peeled, and eaten like asparagus.
 
Lee Einer
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Chenopodium Album is called "quelites" here in Northern New Mexico, and it is much doted upon.

Quelites being Nahuatl for greens.

Folks in these parts also call it (inaccurately) wild spinach.

It is typically sauteed in a pan with lard or olive oil, finely chopped onions and red pepper flakes.
 
John Polk
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C. album is also useful as a trap crop for leaf miners.
 
                    
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I love it! in pots! maikeru, where are you? leaf miner trap as well... hmmmn. I think I have some naturalist observations to make. hadnt noticed that. cool!
 
Carol Fields
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I think the 'album' in the name refers to white flowers, not to any appreciable albumin content. While its vegetative green tissues contain some protein, most of this plant's protein will be in the seeds.
 
Cal Edon
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'Album' refers neither to albumin, nor to the flowers of white goosefoot, which are green, wind-pollinated, and not obviously blooms at first glance.

The new growth of the plant, and most especially fresh leaves of young plants, are covered in a white, mealy powder which rubs off easily and reflects light in the same way that the tiny glass spheres in road paint and road signs do - back towards the source. It's this powdery substance that is referred to in the name.
 
Rebecca Norman
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We've got plenty of lambsquarters as a weed in our gardens here, and we collected and ate a lot in the springtime. At some point we quit eating it and started giving it to the cows instead, pulled up with its roots. But can somebody tell me if it's worth pulling off and eating the big leaves even in mid summer?

Some people around here dry it for the winter -- I'm not sure if they do that with the tender spring plants or big summer leaves. One person told me they pick the leaves, mash them in the mortar and pestle, and shape them in to round flat cakes that they dry for more convenient use.
 
wayne stephen
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I planted an herb guild this spring with comfrey , feverfew , dill , and sorrell. Then lambsquarters popped up . I had to chop and drop most of it and let a few stay . They are all doing well.
 
Judith Browning
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Rebecca Norman wrote:We've got plenty of lambsquarters as a weed in our gardens here, and we collected and ate a lot in the springtime. At some point we quit eating it and started giving it to the cows instead, pulled up with its roots. But can somebody tell me if it's worth pulling off and eating the big leaves even in mid summer?

Some people around here dry it for the winter -- I'm not sure if they do that with the tender spring plants or big summer leaves. One person told me they pick the leaves, mash them in the mortar and pestle, and shape them in to round flat cakes that they dry for more convenient use.


We keep eating lambs quarters most of the summer. I pick just the new growth leaves and cook them...still as delicious and tender as spring. The plant keeps putting out new growth from all of that pinching out of growing tips and gets a bit bushy. I have designated a couple plants as seed plants that we have stopped picking though. It is one of our favorite and most prolific greens in the garden. I rarely pull anything anymore...just cut off at ground level and leave the roots to decompose.
 
Matt mcmenaman
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Location: Columbus NJ Zone 6b
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Anyone know if the seeds are good for human or chicken consumption? I'm always looking for alternative grains. BTW this is the first summer I was confident to ID lambsquarter and harvest some for eating. I read that cooking the greens renders the oxalic acid harmless. We sauteed it like spinach (garlic and oil) and served it to the whole family. Everyone liked it but the teenagers were weirded out by eating weeds-LOL! I didn't tell them until afterwards (cue evil laugh here)
 
wayne stephen
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Seeds are certainly edible. Quinoa is a chenopodium. There are other varieties of chenopodium available also. I have not tried them . Epazote , Good King Henry , Tree Spinach . JL Hudson has these in his catalog . Some other varieties may be easier to gather seed from than lambsquarters.
 
Craig Dobbelyu
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Matt mcmenaman wrote:Anyone know if the seeds are good for human or chicken consumption? I'm always looking for alternative grains. BTW this is the first summer I was confident to ID lambsquarter and harvest some for eating. I read that cooking the greens renders the oxalic acid harmless. We sauteed it like spinach (garlic and oil) and served it to the whole family. Everyone liked it but the teenagers were weirded out by eating weeds-LOL! I didn't tell them until afterwards (cue evil laugh here)


Chickens and pigs love it! Seeds, leaves, stalk... ALL of it. I feed a bucketful daily to my animals along with collards, mustard, dandelion and other odd garden debris. They all go for the LQ first. Every time.

I stopped growing spinach a few years ago when I found LQ growing in a small area of the yard. I let it seed and then I pitched them all over the place. Now I've got more than I could need for quite some time. I like it better than spinach and the bugs almost never bother it so it's a double win.
 
Jessica Gorton
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I also would like to know if anyone has experience collecting and eating the seeds. I'm going to try collecting some this year, we'll see if it's worth the trouble, and if it's anything like quinoa after cooking...
 
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