Week of October 1, 2013 - Part 2 - weed walk- coriander, amaranth and lambs quarter

Tuesday, November 05, 2013 12:27 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

Weed Walk

Here are photos and more info on some of our delicious finds at the CSA pick-your-own garden: two old friends and a new one. Enjoy!

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
This herb gives us two different tastes. When it is green and leafy, it is called cilantro, and is clearly related to parsley. But after its lovely little pink flowers fade, small seed balls form. Those balls are the herb coriander, an important antioxidant and an indispensable ingredient in some cuisines. As we harvested, we made sure to spill plenty of seeds on the ground – in the hopes that they would grow back next year.

Amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus)
This is another two-for-one plant: The leaves provided plenty of tasty cooked greens throughout the summer, and, now that the leaves are gone, there are seeds to harvest. Like most wild plants, pigweed amaranth ripens and scatters its seed over many weeks, so any harvest will yield more inedible chaff than edible seed. I harvest the seed heads into a paper or plastic bag, then put them on a cookie sheet in the oven at the lowest possible setting for 5-10 minutes to destroy mold spores. Then I rub the seeds out of the heads, separate the chaff, and store the tiny black seeds.

Lamb’s quarter (Chenopodium album)
And yet another plant to offer different nourishment from different parts. Like amaranth, lamb’s quarter gives us delicious leaves; unlike amaranth hers may be eaten in salads as well as cooked, and her stalks are usually too stiff to eat. This hardy annual may be found in leaf even now, as well as in flower and in seed.

Lamb’s quarter, (Chenopodium album or ??)
I have noticed several species of lambs’s quarter in my garden, but never one as pretty as this almost entirely purple one. Many plants turn purple when subjected to frosts, but this one doesn’t seem to have been frozen and was mixed in with green ones.

Lamb’s quarter, (Chenopodium album or ??)
And then there is this red-stemed variety of lamb’s quarter, to round out the offerings. I always prefer to pick lamb’s quarter at an organic farm (or garden) as it is a plant that concentrates nitrates/nitrites (abundant in synthetic fertilizers) out of the soil. Too much nitrate is not good for our health.

~ Recipe - Vegetable Stock ~

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