Last spring I wrote about chickweed and how much my chooks loved it. At the time, they were too small to let them out to forage on their own, so I picked bucketsful of chickweed each day and put it in their run for them. They devoured it with gusto.
Spring is almost here as evidenced by the return of the turkey vultures and song sparrows last week. Today the chickens were chasing and catching small flies that looked like large gnats, the first insects of the season. Some plants are beginning to come to life too, like chickweed. The chickens stormed the field on our property and feasted on the fresh, green patches of chickweed. While it is edible, I've never tried it. The plant is rich in vitamin C and it helps the chickens make some very tasty eggs with deep golden yolks. For a very informative website about chickweed, click here.
There is a spring weed that I do gather and cook though: lamb's quarter. I learned about its culinary possibilities last year and I can hardly wait for it to reappear! It tastes exactly like spinach and you've never tasted lamb's quarter, you really should give it a try. I've added it to spinach salads and I've sauteed it in butter. It's absolutely delicious and it has nutritional value as well. It grows everywhere around our property and I really like its price--FREE!
With spring just around the corner and lots of uncultivated areas on our property, I'm looking forward to the return of the edible wild plantsthat grow here, for both man and beast.