My garden has heaps of Chickweed (Stellaria media) at the moment! It tends to be a sign that the garden hasn’t been weeded for a while … but my excuse is, that I can’t weed until I have picked the amazing and nutritious chickweed!
So, this pile of chickweed is going to be used for a few things, including making it into some pesto for dinner (on some yum tofu); wilting it overnight to add to almond oil to make into some salves for dry and itchy skin; and then any that is left will be made into an extract.
Chickweed likes cooler weather, so it will be found at the end of winter and just as we are moving into spring – some are lucky enough to also get it in their gardens in late autumn, but it doesn’t seem to happen here … so I am always really excited to see it in September!
If you want to check that you have chickweed, then look at the cute 10 petal flowers (actually, to be technically correct they only have five petals, as each group of two is joined at the base), and then if you look really closely you will see that the stem and leaves have lots of little hairs – for me, I have to use a magnifying glass!
As well as being delicious, chickweed is loaded with nutrients like chlorophyll, some protein and fibre; minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and potassium; plus vitamins like C, A and some of the B vitamins – folic acid, riboflavin, niacin and thiamin … so it is definitely a nutrient tonic.
So, check out your patch for chickweed – I hope you are lucky enough to have some too!