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Dont Worry Everyone,The Super Suprise will be revealed next Thursday! Until then, enjoy this post about doing too many things at once!
Spring is such a busy time of the year for us Homesteaders (or at least for those of us Trying to be Homesteaders ;)). Planting seeds and seedlings, harvesting  the Early Spring Bounty, Making tinctures, teas, vinegars and Herbal Waters, and of course…Spring Cleaning! Well, being the Crazy woman that I am, I attempted to take on each of these tasks in the course of a Week and Weekend! I suppose it’s because of that Extreme sport we like to train for, you know…The Procrastination Olympics? Whew! Time for some Tips, I think! 
   First tip of the Week…Don’t do what I did! Bunching all of these tasks together is a recipe for exhaustion and Mistakes, which will only cause more work in the long run! I realize this may sound like common sense (and it is ;)), but too many of us seem to be leaving that little bit of knowledge at the gate! Take the time to plan out each task, call planning a task in itself. Set One for each day, or tackle One in a weekend and always remember to take breaks when doing farm work, herbal preparations, cleaning, etc…In this manner, your body, and mind has time to recoup, think of things you may have forgotten and gear up for the next portion of whatever your work may entail. Believe me, you’ll get more done and make fewer mistakes this way. Perhaps we should take a page from the British, Tea Time sounds pretty appealing!
   Now for the fun part…Story Time! ‘Tis a tale to rival that of Cinderella! Full of happiness, beauty, herbal magic and children’s laughter! The only problem? The beautiful princess missed the ball and ended up scrubbing the same pot for three days! So, without further adieu, Once upon a Time…

 Three beautiful princess friends decided the time was right to brew the magical love potion called Rose Water, so, one spring Sunday, they all gathered together their children and husbands and brothers to a mystical Farm (much like my own) to have a party. While the children played outside, mixing potions and soups in old pots full of grass and mud, the three friends gathered roses from the Pure White rose bush, filling their baskets and reveling in the sweet, flowery smell that permeated the air. Laughing along with the three children, they skipped to the castle, tossing rose petals into the air and admonishing the youngest child for actually eating the mud pie, which only brought more hails of delighted laughter from the messy young ones. They then spirited to the Hearth of the Home, and there they poured blessed well water into a beautiful, and expensive, stainless steel pot, picked the rose petals free from their buds and placed the magical brew onto the fire. They then placed a steamer on top, with a small glass dish in the middle to catch the sacred liquid. On top of this, an inverted lid was placed, to direct that sacred liquid into the dish. Many prayers and chants were said over this apparatus, words filled with happiness and giddy jokes, for laughter is the essence of Love, until finally, the brew began to boil, and then to simmer.  An imploring silence fell over the room. The first friend peeked under the lid… and was amazed to find a light golden liquid dripping into the glass container! “We’ve done it!”, she whispered, and was greeted with  cheers from her two beautiful friends. “Oh, we must let it simmer longer…perhaps we’ll get even more!”, but her ignorance was like that of her friends, for the potion must only be allowed to simmer for forty minutes, else the essence be diluted… So after an hour, the second friend arose, saying she had a birthday party to attend and bade them fair well, gathering up her two little girls and a grumbling husband as she left. The last child to stay, a small boy, came into the kitchen where the two friends sat chatting and watching the potion. And as young children are wont to do when they have been playing all day, said in a sweet voice, “I’m hungry!!”, “Hey me too!” echoed the men, who had been playing a game of chance and risk the entire day. The first princess looked to the second, who nodded her head in agreement, “I shall make a feast!”, she cried! And she went about filling pots with water, placing pans of sausage on the Enchanted Chef stove and shredding cheese to complete the meal….but all the while, the love potion sat simmering on the stove…forgotten…By the end of the great feast, all the patrons sat in satisfied chatter until, at the same time, the two princesses looked to the stovetop in alarm as smoke poured out from the potion! “No!”,they cried in unison as they lifted the steamer to look beneath. The Pure White Roses had turned black, as all the water had vanished from the bottom. The liquid gold potion, that was supposed to smell like sweet roses on a warm spring day, instead held only the slight fragrance of burned roses. Alas, the potion was ruined and as punishment for her distraction, the Princess had to scrub the blackened pot for Three Days! Here is the magical mixture she used, after many failed attempts, to Finally remove the burned mess from the bottom of the pot, I place it here so that no other Princess (or Prince) shall have to scrub a burned pot for three days again!
2parts Baking Soda
1part lemon juice
1part water
Create a paste to coat the burned on food stuff and leave it to sit overnight. The next morning take a copper scrubbing pad and scrub, scrub, scrub! Rinse it with a little water, but leave a little of the paste at the bottom, then add Eco Friendly dish soap and scrub some more, to get at the corners, use the handle end of a tooth brush or spatula stuck into the copper scrubbing pad. By the end of this, you should have a squeaky clean pan!

I hope you enjoyed my little fairy tale, it seemed appropriate in light of scrubbing pots, and remember; like every parent has said at one time or another in their children’s lives…Do as I say, not as I do! And may you never have to scrub burned on Rose Petals!

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Spring is in Full Bloom...

….Entertaining visitors, brewing teas, planting(and planning) gardens, a little baking and spring cleaning makes for a very busy couple of weeks! Spring is now upon us in full and with it the crazy Georgia storms blowing swiftly through the state. Tulips and late Daffodils are blooming as well as a plethora of wild fruits (such as Blackberries and Dewberries) and wild mustards, only to be battered by the gusting winds and driving rains. Never fear, however, though it may look brutal, Mother Nature knows exactly what she’s doing! It seems this Spring is going to prove to be both productive and plentiful…Which brings me to the topic of this post.

Due to a very large (Surprise!) project, the posts may become somewhat erratic. As you may know, I have to chase down an Internet signal at various cafes and I’m sad to admit, sometimes a Mcdonolds. So, seeing as how I will be working very hard on my super amazing Surprise project, I may not have the time to find that elusive Internet signal. I apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause, but never fear! Boredom shall not find you for there are plenty of talented Bloggers out there (remember my links page?),check them out in the case of my absence and you will not be disappointed! Until next time…y’all have a great day!

-Gwenevere

Alas, my friends, I am guilty of shirking my blogging responsibilities! But who can truly blame me? The Spirits of Spring have called me to the newly blooming Gardens ( or what will soon become gardens ), and who can resist the call of Nature ( no, not that call! 😉 )? I apologize, but now it seems the rains have come to Georgia and I suppose I will be stuck indoors today! So now I sit, sipping a steaming cup of Organic ( and Fair Trade ) coffee mixed with wild harvested, roasted Dandelion Root that I recently dug from my yard.

    I have, in earlier posts, preached the amazing qualities of this sometimes hated weed, and what better time to explain the roasting process than on a rainy day? Plus I figured with my total lack of posts I might better give y’all something useful to read, otherwise my minions ( oops… I mean Readers:) )might rise against me! Now enough of the babble, let’s get to the good stuff!

What dainty Flowers!

How to Roast Dandelion Roots:

First, of course, we must extract them from the soil! To ensure a continuous supply of crunchy, cleansing roots, and crisp salad greens, we must pick the seed laden puff balls and make a few wishes for the future! Just be sure not to blow the seeds into your neighbors yard ( unless, of course, they share your love for dandelion’s sunny disposition )!

To gather the greatest amount of roots, you will need a good spade, and by spade, I mean a square shaped shovel with a nice, sharp edge to it. Some people prefer a regular shovel, but these tenacious roots tend to grow about 2 feet long, strait down into your yard, so it gets pretty difficult unless you have a long shovel!

 A good root diggin’ technique is to dig in a circle around the base of the plant, placing the spade straight down at the base and jumping up and down on it multiple times, then standing on the shovel and rocking precariously side to side to loosen the soil around said Dandelion. Not only is this really fun, it’s the only way I’ve found to get the whole root! Comment if you have a more efficient ( though maybe slightly less fun) technique. Once you have the soil loosened, reach down and grab the base of the plant and using your shovel for leverage, pull straight up. You should now have a beautiful, dirt covered root, along with some excess dirt under your fingernails. Keep up the diggin’ until you have enough roots ( there’s no real way to tell how many you’ll need, because, of course each root is a different size, shape and length).

These beautiful little roots, covered in Ga. Red Dirt, are actually a golden yellow color when washed. You can see how long and skinny they are, and they shoot straight down into the soil.

Now clean your roots outside first at the hose, I like to set up a grate over my compost pile, then spray them with the hose, but not too hard, you don’t really want to bruise them, however, get as much soil off as possible before moving on to the kitchen sink. Once inside, cut the leaves off and set them aside for lunch, then move on to scrubbing them as you would a potato, until all the dirt is gone. Place them on a paper towel to get the excess water off, then start chopping them up.

Now you can see the yellowish color. Sorry for the Horrible Pic!

It doesn’t really matter how you chopp them as long as their basically the same thickness to ensure even drying.

Spread them on a baking sheet, a couple of centimeters thick, and place in a 250 degree F. oven, leaving the door partially open to allow  moisture to escape. Keep checking them until they look shriveled, then leave them for about 30 more minutes to get a nice brown to golden color. The whole process usually only takes about 2 hours (unless you decide to try this on an extremely humid Georgia afternoon, like I did! Then it takes half the day to just dry them!:))

When their nice and roasted (I can always tell by the Earthy, slightly spicy aroma that permeates my kitchen), store them, unground, in an airtight jar in a cool dark area just like any other medicinal herb.

I like to grind the Dandelion with the coffee beans at a ratio of about a third of the Dandelion root to two thirds of the coffee. Adding more will give you a more bitter, Cafe Du Monde chicory-like flavor. Then Brew just like you would regular coffee and enjoy the cleansing, nutrient rich flavor of your dandelion coffee! Just remember, both coffee and Dandelion roots are diuretic, which basically means you’ll be urinating more than usual. Don’t let it get you down, it just means the dandelion is traveling through your body picking up toxins along the way out. Be sure, however, to get a little extra potassium in your diet, as this can be depleted by a pickup in the frequency of urinating.

Not only is this a great tasting way to take your medicine, it will also extend the time between buying more coffee, thereby saving you a couple extra dollars! I like to use that extra cash to buy plants…and potting soil, and pots, and seeds, and garden tools….O.K, so maybe it wont save me that much!

MMmmmmm.....

The honey-sweet scent of these follows me through my work in the garden!

I thought it would be nice to do an illustrated report of my small raised bed garden. Everything is (thankfully) Thriving, and I dont even mind the weeding this year! Raised Bed, I’ve found, is really the way to go!

This is my small Raised bed and it is packed with veggies! Yesterday I found out I have a reason to be proud of it. My friends little six year old boy came over with his Dad and was very interested in it. When asked what it was, I told him everything in the Garden was edible. He proceeded to pick Collard and Spinach leaves and eat them raw, sitting on the ground, giving half to my rabbit! Apparently the Spinach was extra sweet!

 

My Winding Row of carrots is finally peeking it's head, along with the chives beside them!

Not sure if this is a disease or an adaptaion, but this interesting feature is what started this little photo essay of mine :). It seems the spinach has formed a little cup, perhaps to catch rainwater? Or perhaps its a disease...

 

Another example of the same occurance...Oooo! maybe my spinach is mutating into a carnivorous plant! Lol, Now I feel like Poison Ivey from Batman!

 

A Beautiful little flourette forming!

 

My poppies popping up around the Broccoli!

 

Thinning the radishes, Mr. Bo loves the thinnings!

 

Lettuce, Kale, Radishes and Onions in a small space. They are flourishing!

 

Im so happy I dont have to buy these from the produce section anymore, Collards go from the Garden, straight to the pot!

 

Lovin his radishes!

 

Hope you enjoyed my little Garden! Im hoping to build more raised beds soon to acomodate all the warm weather veggies and herbs I want to grow. Though getting Bear to help me build anything is easier said than done! 😉

Hello to all! I would like to indtroduce you to the newest member of our Farmin’ Family, his name is…Beckham-Bo Bunny! Dont look at me like that! I didnt name him!

He's still camera shy, but we'll work on that! 🙂

 

Mr.Beckham-Bo Bunny is one year old and looks as though he could be Wolverine’s Pet Rabbit (notice the mutton chops ), we got him for free from a family who could no longer care for him, as it turns out the wife was painfully allergic to rabbits. Needless to say, he is very skiddish and has never truly been held for long because of the allergy issue so were going to really have to work with him! He seemed fairly healthy aside from his enormously overgrown claws, which seemed to be tender to the touch, so instead of trying to clip his nails ourselves, we decided to take him to the vet’s office. Though I probably could have attempted the job myself ( its really not that difficult), I feared the quick had grown ( the quick is the small vein located in an animals claws that, if clipped, will bleed profusely) as well as his nails, and I really didn’t want to deal with a bleeding bunny foot! So off we go to the Friendly local Veterinarian’s office for a quick check up and grooming session…..$92 later, as Bear and I limped away as if we’d been shot in the butt, I began to think of a carreer in the Vet’s bussiness! O.K., so Im kidding about that part, but $92? It turned out that our cute little rescue bunny came with a case of ear-mites in one ear and the only possible cure was to charge us; $38 for the office visit, $23.50 for a swab of the ear and a glance in a microscope, $22.50 for an injection of Ivermectin (which turns out to be a de-wormer) and $8 for a nail trim….WoW! Now I have never come across a case of ear mites in all of my bunny raising experience,(which is odd, because all of my bunnies come from the auction-house) and in my ignorance, I didnt think to take matters into my own hands with my knowledge of herbs and home remedies.  I know, Bad Gwenevere! Always thouroughly research an animal your going to raise! But in my reading on rabbits, I only vauguely remembered something about ear mites, and vaguely remembering doesnt constitute full knowledge. Well I learned my lesson, and immediatly after the Vet’s Wallet lashing, I began my research and after hours of my nose stuck in books, my eyes stuck to the computer, and my ears stuck to the wisdom of my fiance’s Grandmother, here are my findings….I spent Waaayyy to much money!

Now onto the Home Remedies for Ear mites:

*Apparently, any type of oil, rubbed into the affected ear will smother the ear mites, however, the type of oil is widely debated. Some imply that mineral oil is the only way to go, while others swear on olive oil or canola. I personally would rather use a naturally based oil since any type of oil will seep through into the animal’s system.  Something to think about also, is adding essential oils to further heal the ear.  Eucalyptus or Grapefruit seed extract would be my choice for their antiseptic, healing and particularly their anti-fungal properties, because in some cases a fungus will appear after the death of the ear mites. This is rare, but worth a pre-defense.

Apply the oil/oil mixture to the inside of the ear with either a clean cotton cloth, cotton ball, or your fingers. Repeat about three times per day for a couple of weeks to make sure you smother not only the ear mites, but the succesivly hatching eggs as well.

*Apply a one part vinegar/two parts water mixture to the inside of the affected ear every day, about three times a day for a week. This is the recomended time, but I assume it would’nt get rid of the hatching eggs as well and you may have to repeat until all signs of infection are gone. This tends to dry the ear out more than the oil mixture, and should not be used on animals with sores from scratching too much, as it will sting. Vinegar is also said to clean out the debris and detritus from an affected ear. Similarly acidic in nature, lemon juice will also do the trick, while also making your bunny smell lemony fresh!

*Yellow Dock Root Extract:  nine drops of the extract are diluted with one tablespoon of water. Fill half of a dropper with the mixture and place in the ears. Continue this treatment for many weeks (every other day), to prevent any new infections from eggs hatching. You can make this extract at home by adding as much chopped yellow dock root as will fit in a mason jar of your choosing, then cover completely with 80 proof vodka, cover and place in a dark, cool place for about six weeks, shaking to mix ever day. Strain the mixture and store in a dark colored, sealed jar. This is the simplest way to make a tincture and can be used for just about any herb. Im really not sure at all how this remedy is supposed to work. It may only be that the alchohol in the mixture succesfully dries out the mites, but many people have recomended it, so the herb may act in some way.

*As an after treatment, My fiance’s Grandmother, Eve, gave me a little of her Goldenrod ointment. Not only will this help to heal the damage caused by the ear mites, it will also re-moisturize the ear and prevent infection from occuring. Perhaps I’ll do a post on how to make the Goldenrod ointment at a later date.

His ears seems to be doing better, but notice how the far one droops? This is one sign of ear mites. Sadly, He is in quarentine inside the house until we get rid of them.

Though I am now armored with this alternative knowlege, I will continue with the last two shots of Ivermectin the Vet recomended, I would not want any ill-effects caused because I chose to discontinue a treatment early.And  Though Ivermectin is a De-Wormer, Eve also says that yes, it will get rid of the ear mites, along with any other bug-type creature that would possibly infect poor Mr Bo-Bunny. I will, however, be using these home remedies if ever I come across Ear Mites again, first of all, I don’t enjoy wallet- crushing vet bills, secondly, there are rumors that Ivermectin has been known to cause brain damage.

Either way, We now own one very expensive bunny! Do you know what his punishment will be for costing us so much? A life of eating crunchy, fresh wild greens, Playing in the sunlit grass,  and Mating with Beautiful Does! Not too bad a punishment if I do say so myself!

-Gwenevere

You can really see the Wolverine-like Mutton Chops in this pic, Apparently that colorful object next to him is his favorite toy, and yes, he does carry it around when he's playing! 🙂

I must sincerely apologize for the complete lack of my normal Saturday post! The end of the week proved to hail a whirlwind of activity and the blessing of the company of old friends. To be quite honest, I must admit that on Friday evening I stayed up until about 6:30 in the A.M, I really felt like I was in High School again! Then Sunday showed my home full of the laughter of both children and men (you know they act like kids most days anyway;) and my new stove got broken in in a most appropriate way for a homestead…two whole batches of cookies!-all of which were consumed within the hour:)

But now I shall make up for it with this collection of wild medicinal (and of course edible!) plants, all of which can be found growing throughout the wilds of Georgia and I’m sure most of the southeast! I also had the pleasure of taking a wild weed walk in my mom’s Secret Gardens, so these pictures are a culmination of both her homestead and mine. So once again, won’t you join me on the farm, and in my mother’s gardens as we walk with heads pointed down to the ground exploring the bounty of our lawns!

The first in the series is common in most areas of the country in one form or another- Chickweed! This diminutive plant is both edible and medicinal in nature; having the properties to Treat coughs, hoarseness, constipation, kidney related disorders, and is now revealing itself as an effective antihistamine! With a whole host of vitamins and minerals including Ascorbic-acid, Beta-carotene, Calcium, Coumarins, Genistein, Gamma-linolenic-acid, Flavonoids, Hentriacontanol, Magnesium, Niacin, Oleic-acid, Potassium, Riboflavin, Rutin, Selenium, Triterpenoid saponins, Thiamin, and Zinc, this plant is a treasure waiting to be discovered!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One easy way to identify chickweed is the tiny star shaped flowers, which upon closer inspection reveals instead of ten petals, five deeply cleft petals. It also has a line of hair running along a creeping purplish green stem, this particular variety is called mouse-eared chickweed, and is fuzzier than the variety shown above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This beautiful weed is called Ground Ivy, it makes a lush green ground cover and grows in areas grass doesn't like...but be careful, it's related to the mint family and tends to take over! Thankfully, it's medicinal and edible so it adds greatly to the useful lawn. It makes an excellent spring tonic, aiding in relieving congestion and inflammation of mucous membranes associated with colds, flu, and sinusitis, stimulating the appetite, treating allergies, digestive disorders, gastritis, acid indigestion, and diarrhea. These are just a few of it's many benefits. It is also an appetizing salad and soup green adding a great host of nutrients to the meal!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since it is a member of the mint family, it's stem is square, hairy and creeps along the ground forming a mat, it's leaves are heart shaped and scalloped. The leaves, stems and flowers can be harvested year round, since it is a perennial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do not, under any circumstances, confuse ground ivy with this plant! This is called Delphinium and is very poisonous!some distinct differences include the serrated leaves, rather than lobed, and the more compact nature of the entire plant instead of the creeping nature of Ground Ivy. Remember, always properly identify before you even touch a plant, let alone harvest it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite appearances, no this is not a strawberry leaf! This ancient plant is called cinquefoil, otherwise known as Five Finger Grass. Purely medicinal in nature (I tried a leaf and neither the texture nor taste is appetizing in the least, so, though you could probably eat it as a salad green...well, let's just say I told ya so 😉 It's medicinal uses include treating Diarrhea, Menstrual Cramps, Mouth Inflammation, PMS, Sore throat and used as an astringent skin wash. In the old days, this herb was almost considered a 'cure all', it's scientific name; 'Potentilla' can attest to that...see 'Potent' in its very Latin origins!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A close-up of this precious groundcover, notice the five serrated leaves on a single axis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hmmmm....is this one of those 'what is this' closeup pictures you sometimes find in the back of a magazine? Nope! This is a most amazing resin from a very common plant...the Pine! Members of the Pine Family grow almost everywhere in America and most, if not all, are medicinally interchangeable to varying degrees of success. The Native Americans used this as a very valuable food supply in the winter when fresh vegetables were scarce. Because of it's very high vitamin C content, it's very useful in treating scurvy; the severe vitamin C deficiency commonly found in malnourished countries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another amazing quality of Pine sap (and pine needles) is it's ability to treat just about any form of influenza, and though I've not come across a case, I'm almost certain even the bird or swine flu could not stand up to this resin's healing properties! More research is defiantly required in this area and if you come across any vases I would be delighted if you shared! On another note, pine sap also makes an amazing healing and drawing poultice for splinters, glass, spider bites and other small wounds. There are a great many old-timey pine sap slave recipes out there so I'll not take up more space with another one, simply know the knowledge is there for the taking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was overjoyed to recently learn (from my brilliant mom:), that this curious looking wild plant I've been wondering about for over a year now is actually the ancient healer Fumitory! This beautiful little plant has been used in medicine for thousands of years and just it's name brings images of monastery cottage gardens, ancient monks tending the healing plants in times such as King Arthur and Robin Hood lived! Many times I'm sure the smoke of this plant has graced the halls of catholic churches and has even been used to purify sick rooms and quarantine areas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Internally, Fumitory is useful as a digestive tonic, treating gall bladder and Liver conditions, along with Being gently laxative and sedative in it's nature. Externally, it has been used to treat skin conditions such as rash, eczema, and other inflamations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much for joining me once again as we explore the bounty nature has provided for us! Last weeks it was a salad, this week a healing potion…all from plants freely given to better our bodies and minds! Ahhhhh…..I love Spring!:)

Signs of spring are popping up everywhere in the SouthEast! Early wild pears are blooming, the peach trees are beginning to leaf out, and my hands are now perpetually dirty! I Love IT! As I scrambled my eggs this morning with the Dandilion leaves left over from my root digging session, I decided that with new growth popping up all around me it was time to do a weed walk. Though I wish I had a video camera, pictures from the farm are going to have to do. This list is by far not a complete over veiw of the wild goodness availible in Georgia this time of the year, simply a couple of my favorites along with various poisonous look alikes to stay away from, Now come along and walk with me on the farm…Its a great day outside!

The Notorious Dandilion! We all know it, some of us like it, some of us hate it, but we all have to admit we've made a wish on the seed heads a time or two! Though its been talked up and down in various other "weed eater"(Lol;) Blogs, I had to include it because the picture just makes me smile! All parts of this wonderful plant are edible. Its leaves are great stir fried, steamed, scrambled with eggs and any other way you could eat spinach. The blossoms make great additions to salad and some like them fried though I've not tried them that way yet. The Root is the real powerhouse, being a liver tonic, blood cleanser, iron builder and all around spring do-gooder. Try it chopped like carrots and steamed (with Butter!), sliced into a savory warming soup for the chilly spring nights, or dry it and grind it for a coffe substitute. (Done in this manner, I usually mix mine in my coffe for a slight chicory like flavor. I still have yet to experiment with Dandilion Wine!

 

This Delicious weed is also great any way you would fix spinach. I like it in an oriental style stir fry! The health Benefits of Yellow Dock are very similar to dandilion and combined create the best spring cleansing tonic out available. Be careful, though, the roots effects could be slightly laxitive as well as diuretic(i.e. makes you pee alot:), but thats just part of the cleansing effects.

The middle section of the yellow dock leaf can be bitter, which is very good for it's digestive effects, but I just can't bring myself to 'like' the bitter flavor. To solve this problem, I just cut the middle out before I cook the leaves. You can munch on a few middle pieces before a particularly heavy meal to prevent indigestion!

This wild onion is absolutely unique in taste, like a cross between a sweet onion and garlic all wrapped up and concentrated in a quarter sized bulb. The flavor is so strong it usually only takes one bulb to flavor an entire dish. The curly tops (a great way to identify them) are like chives and can be used in all the ways chives can, my grandmother likes to dry them and munch them for a viamin packed snack! I have had great success with treating colds and weak flu like symptoms by cooking chicken noodle soup with about three bulbs of wild onion, so Im assuming it probably has at least some of the antibacterial and infection fighting properties of garlic along with all of the micro-nutrients wild species can provide.

Dont Confuse this plant with wild onion or garlic, It is Poisonous! This is a daffodil, or narcissus, and can sometimes be found in the same areas as wild onion. Wild onion usually has more slender, rounded leaves and either curly or very pointy tips. The Daffodil has flatter, more blue tinted leaves and is only edible to squirrels or chipmunks.

Henbit is a great little pot-herb full of micro nutrients, a relative to mint. Toss some in that Dandilion root and wild onion soup!

One great way to identify Henbit is by its beautiful purple tinged tops and it's suqare shaped stem. It's leaves are also kind of fuzzy and soft. The square shaped stem is common in all of the mint family.

Cleavers is a wonderful little herb that loves to hang around henbit. You can identify cleavers by the seven or so leaflets emerging from a very long and creeping stem. You can also see the tiny, very sticky hairs all over the whole plant. Cook or Dry the plant before using because the sticky hairs can irritate your throat, Believe me, I know from experience;)!

Don't confuse cleavers with this very Un-Edible weed, from the wild pea family. From a distance it can look similar, but it is not sticky at all and the leaflets occur opposite each other on the stem instead of in a circular pattern. It also likes to hang out with cleavers, so be careful. Dont try to eat anything wild from the pea or bean family, they are notorious for being poisonous!

Fresh or dried cleavers are alterative, anti-inflammatory, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, tonic and vulnerary. It is also very cleansing to the entire body which makes it useful for treating cancer patients or those with a buildup of toxins.

This plant was called white man's footprint because it has spread everywhere the European explorers travelled. Besides being edible, it is also very useful for treating wounds, spider bites and to draw out a splinter. The most effective application is a poultice created by chewing a leaf or two and applying directly to the shallow cut, scratch, or bite. I succesfully treated my cat in this manner after I walked in to find a very large black widow spider hanging from it's paw!

You can properly identify plantain by the very pronaounced ribs on it's leaves and very dark green color. This is the lance leafed variety but there is also a wide leaf variety that has'nt made an appearence yet. Though it is edible and very nutritious, I would only save this for a life or death survival experience because the leaves are more stringy than celery!

As I said before, this is but a hint of the availible  bounty in your lawn!  As more plants peek their dainty heads out of the soil and the seasons begin to change creating all the transformations spring brings, we will continue to document wild plants and their uses, along with uses of the different parts like root, flower and seed that havent been covered today. Who knows, maybe I’ll find a video camera and we’ll go on a real weed walk!
Gwenevere