Skip to main content

How I use herbs - chickweed

Chickweed, Stellaria media,grows very happily in my garden, but its one plant that I never actively planted from seed or a cutting, it just appears.  Ostensibly you would expect chickens to eat it, but not my chickens, they prefer lettuce.  Fortunately it has other uses, so I don't mind letting it take over a few corners of the garden.

How to grow chickweed
If you're unlucky enough to not be naturally endowed with chickweed in your garden, a quick google search reveals that you can buy seeds.  I have no idea where my chickweed came from, it seems to be a common weed in our area, possibly seeds came in soil or were blown here in the wind.  Chickweed tends to die back in our hot dry summer, and appears again in winter and after any rain.  It spreads quickly and produces teeny tiny flowers (and presumable plenty of seeds).  I don't do anything in particular to encourage it, but I can usually find some when I need it.


eight acres: how to grow and use chickweed

How to use chickweed
  • Feed it to your chickens (if they are less picky than mine)
  • Use it as a wonderful nitrogen-rich compost material
  • Use it to soothe skin - in a salve or cold tea, it is known to be cooling and soothing for minor burns, skin irritations, and rashes.
  • Add it to salads - chickweed is said to also soothe the digestive tract, it doesn't have a strong taste, kind of like lettuce, but slightly sour.

eight acres: how to grow and use chickweed

eight acres: how to grow and use chickweed
maybe a little too much chickweed!

Chickweed, like purslane, is one of those plants that you probably have in your garden, but didn't realise was useful and edible for both yourself and your livestock (if they are not too picky).

Comments

  1. We used to use the 'milk' that came out of the stalks for warts (as kids) - it worked great

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ours dies off in summer, but comes back around winter. It replaces the grass that cannot grow in the shade of trees in winter. I love to just pick and eat it when I'm walking in the garden, along with the purslane. I also feed both to my guinea-pigs. The chickens will get some because the grass isn't growing by then, and they'll take what green they can get.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'll be featuring your post at Thursday's HomeAcre Hop. Thank you for sharing!
    Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead

    ReplyDelete
  4. I feed chickweed to my chickens all the time. They love it!

    Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday! I hope you'll join us again this week!

    ~Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  5. I enjoyed this post. I'm happy to see more and more people talking about wild edibles and their medicinal properties. It gets tiring around here of people always looking dumbfounded when we talk about it. Not that we ever cared, lol. But yes, we have the it everywhere. It seems to like the shade best. That and my raised rows. My 5 yo just gave me some huge sloppy sugars when I told him we could have chickweed tonight. The boys like it best as sort of a spinach type dish. Just add coconut oil, salt, and pepper and they say it tastes the same, I agree. They enjoy munching on it and lounging in the shade on warm to mild days. The 5 yo says it's his "enenergy food". So cute. BTW, I've really been enjoying the site! Thanks for taking the time putting all this info together!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

Popular posts from this blog

Chicken tractor guest post

Sign up for my weekly email updates here , you will find out more about chickens, soap and our farmlife, straight to your inbox, never miss a post!  New soap website and shop opening soon.... Tanya from Lovely Greens invited me to write a guest post on chicken tractors for her blog.  I can't believe how many page views I get for chicken tractors, they seem to be a real area of interest and I hope that the information on my blog has helped people.  I find that when I use something everyday, I forget the details that other people may not be aware of, so in this post for Tanya, I tried to just write everything I could think of that I haven't covered in previous posts.  I tried to explain everything we do and why, so that people in other locations and situations can figure out how best to use chicken tractors with their own chickens. The dogs like to hang out behind the chicken tractors and eat chicken poo.  Dogs are gross! If you want to read more about chicken tractor

Getting started with beekeeping: how to harvest honey

While honey is not the only product from a beehive, its the one that most beekeepers are interested in and it usually takes a year or so to let the bees build up numbers and store enough honey before there is enough to harvest.  There are a few different ways to extract honey from frames.  We have a manual turn 2-frame certifugal extractor.  A lot of people with only a few hives will just crush and strain the comb.  This post is about how we've been extracting honey so far (four times now), and there are links at the end to other bloggers who use different methods so you can compare. Choose your frames Effectively the honey is emergency food stores for the bees, so you have to be very careful not to take too much from the hive.  You need to be aware of what is flowering and going to flower next and the climate.  Particularly in areas with cold winters, where the bees cannot forage for some time.  We are lucky to have something flowering most of the year and can take honey

Homekill beef - is it worth it?

We got another steer killed a few weeks ago now, and I weighed all the cuts of meat so that I could work out the approximate value of the meat and compare the cost of raising a steer to the cost of buying all the meat from the butcher.   My article has been published on the Farm Style website , which is a FREE online community for small and hobby farmers to learn everything about farming and country living . If you want to know more, head over the Farm Style to  read the the article  and then come back here for comments and questions.  Do you raise steers?  Is it worth it?  Do you have any questions? More about our home butchering here .