Week of October 28, 2014 - Halloween Weed Walk

Monday, October 27, 2014 7:35 PM | Anonymous

Halloween Weed Walk

Here comes the Witches’ New Year. The official beginning of winter. The Day of the Dead. Halloween. Trick or treat. Apple cider and stars. Are there any plants left to play with? Of course. The frosts are nipping the tenderer plants these nights, but there are still plenty of green blessings to entice us outside. Here are a few green offerings I found this morning.

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiac)
Are you surprised to discover that motherwort is nearly evergreen? Ah, how wonderful to be a beginner, no matter how much we know. These tender leaves that are sprouting everywhere make a delicious vinegar.

Poor Witches Pepper (Lepidium virginicum
Though my field guide calls it “poor man’s pepper,” we know who really uses these seed pods as a peppery condiment. Since it is in the mustard family, no surprise that the seeds are “biting!” and hot. I toss them into salads, or harvest the dry seeds and use them in a mill instead of black pepper.

Potted Kale (Brassica oleracea)
We enjoyed being with the purple kale (in pots) on the deck all summer long. Now we will eat it, as I don’t have room to bring it in and our winters are typically cold enough to kill even kale. In milder climes, or with some care in harsher weather, it will happily overwinter.

Chickweed (Stellaria media)
Chickweed is back, now that the weather is cooler. It thrives on my compost pile and in all the potted plants. It partners so nicely with garlic mustard in my early winter salads, with a few lemon balm or catnip (or even yarrow) leaves, finely minced, for savor. And, if you catch it before hard frosts kill it, there is still time to make chickweed tincture.

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