Welcome to the Weekly Weeder series. This week's weed is Red clover, Trifolium pratense. (Trifolium means “three leaves”.) Native to Europe, red clover was introduced to North America as a fodder crop. It has now naturalized throughout the Americas, Australia and many other parts of the world. Red clover is a legume, and adds nitrogen to the soil, enriching it for other crops. [Read more…]
Welcome to the Weekly Weeder series. Today's featured weed is the thistle, i.e. plants of the genus Cirsium. No true thistles are known to be toxic, and they are fairly easy to identify. There are many thistle species throughout North America (and the rest of the world), but the two common in my yard are Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) and bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare). The different species and all edible and have similar uses. [Read more…]
Today’s featured plant is Prickly Wild Lettuce, Lactuca serriola.
Prickly Wild Lettuce is also known as opium lettuce, wild lettuce, wild opium, horse thistle, China lettuce and prickly lettuce. Its medicinal properties are similar to Lactuca virosa, which is also known as wild lettuce. [Read more…]
When Should I Harvest Dandelion Roots?
Harvest dandelion roots from late fall through early spring, when the plant is dormant and has stored up energy in the root. For medicinal use, most sources say fall harvest is best. This is because the levels of inulin (insoluble fiber) are higher and the fructose levels are lower.
How to make elderberry wine – it's something I've wondered about since watching Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail many years ago. 🙂 (“Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries.”) It turns out that making homemade elderberry wine is pretty easy, as long as you have elderberries. If you don't have wild elderberries nearby, you can buy plants and grow your own. (Seeds are not very reliable. I wouldn't waste my time or money on them.) I also make up elderberry jellies and syrups, too, but this post is all about the finding the berries and making wine. [Read more…]