Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Last night while doing my online reading I ran across some information about chickweed. I learned that it's sometimes used in salads as a "wild" ingredient. Vitamin rich chickweed can be steamed or cooked as an ingredient in soups, but probably the most popular culinary use is simply as an addition to green salads. Harvest the plants when they are lush, green, and full, including the tender stems, buds, and flowers, right along with the leaves, as they’re all edible.

Chickweed is reputed to have many medicinal properties and is often recommended as a weight-loss aid and for skin irritations. In addition to using the fresh leaves, it can also be dried for use in making herbal teas. The plant is sold in capsules and tinctures, and used in formulas for poultices and ointments.

Chickweed grows everywhere on our property. I find it near the pond's edge and in our field. After learning that this "weed" is actually nutritious and that it got its name because (drum roll please) chickens like it, I decided I'd do some weeding today and feed the weeds to the chicks. I got Millie and Sweet Pea out of the run and took them with me. I filled my metal bucket three times with chickweed, plaintain (tough to pull), lamb's quarter, dandelions, and henbit (deadnettle). The chickens loved their fresh, organic salad!

If any of you want that little Barred Rock rooster in the upper right hand corner of this photo, you are welcome to come and get him. He's mouthy!

This little cedar bed was a gift from a friend back when I was raising Redworms (Eisenia fetida) in my basement. He lives out west and is very involved in recycling and composting. He sent me a very nice, large red cedar worm bin too, which I still have even though it's empty right now. I may not get back into worms, but I have the bin in case I ever decide to. They are very low-maintenance, but my chickens are eating all the kitchen waste that would be fed to worms, so I really don't need them.

[Side note: if you search for Eisenia fetida or Eisenia hortensis some of the images you'll see are mine. I was known as the "worm photographer" about four years ago. I photographed them to help educate others about composting worms. At the time, there were very few good images of worms online.]

In keeping with my purple/yellow color scheme for the landscaping, I planted some dainty little yellow and purple annuals in the bed. They'll look better when they fill in in a few weeks. Both are hybrids and of course I didn't save the tags.

I think the bed looks quite charming next to the little chicken coop. And what do the chicks think of it? Well, they think it's just dandy!


  1. Amy, that's quite an education on chickweed. Thanks! Looks like all the chicks are growing quite well! I've nominated you for a Blogs That Make My Day award. Find info here:

  2. The cedar bed is nice! Good ifo regarding chickweed, I wonder if we have any around here? Congrats on your nomination, I enjoy your blog too! ~Kim


Thanks for your comment! I may or may not be able to reply to comments depending on how busy I am.