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rachael hamblin
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I recently learned of the cleansing and other benefits of cleaver and was wondering how best to harvest it without significantly harming the plant.  Anyone?
 
Dave Boehnlein
Posts: 294
Location: Orcas Island, WA
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I don't think cleavers is in any danger of being damaged by harvesting at the level you would do it for home use. Here on the farm we just rip it out and use it. It's everywhere.

It's an annual so as long as you leave a few patches of it intact it will reseed plentifully.

Dave
 
rachael hamblin
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I guess you have a point there...

How do you use it?  I've mostly heard of folks juicing it, but I think we need a wheat grass juicer to do that, our juicer doesn't seem to get much out of it.  Are there other ways of preparing it?  Eating it raw is kinda tricky, due to its namesake and all...
 
                          
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Location: Marble City OK
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JUst eat it in salads or nibble at the tender tops while out and about.Cook it and use it like you would spinach ,and 100th other ways to prepare it ,its vegetable Thou out of the ordinary ,better tasting than dandilains no bitterness.
 
Ray McIntyre
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Location: Deepest Darkest NZ
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You could also dehydrate and powder and then add to soups and stews, etc.
 
Melba Corbett
Posts: 164
Location: North Carolina
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Cleavers are high in silica, an ingredient which makes our bones hard and strong.  Most people take calcium because they think that gives them good bone density, but it is the silica that we most often miss.  High doses of silica over a long period of time can irritate the kidneys so be aware that if this occurs, you might want to cut back on the cleavers. 

Cleavers are also known as "lady's bedstraw" because during the middle ages it was dried and used for mattress stuffing.  Also makes a great hay for your animals, esp. those producing milk.
Dries easily. 

You can use it as a tea also. 
 
Len Ovens
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Wow, I saw the thread and wondered what a small hand axe had to do with herbs. (the only piece of cutlery that lasts in our kitchen)
 
Melba Corbett
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Len wrote:
Wow, I saw the thread and wondered what a small hand axe had to do with herbs. (the only piece of cutlery that lasts in our kitchen)


I'm referring to the herb cleavers, which is also called Lady's bedstraw.  I can understand the confusion.
 
Len Ovens
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Red Cloud 31 wrote:
I'm referring to the herb cleavers, which is also called Lady's bedstraw.  I can understand the confusion.


It looks like, from the pictures I found at wiki, etc. something I saw as a child in the foothills of the rockies... not here on the coast though. In fact, I would say I have not seen much of any seed that travels by sticking to animals since I moved here, not even foxtail (wild barley). Maybe that seed scattering strategy doesn't work in a wet climate?
 
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