Forage Friday #52 Star Chickweed

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Star Chickweed 32420” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve reached week 52 of Forage Friday having not missed a week due to lack of subject matter. The was a few times when something prevented the post but wasn’t because of not having a plant to talk about. When I started Forage Friday I thought that I would run out of subject matter in the winter months. But what I learned was that if you look hard enough that you’ll find what you need when you need it. And that’s one of awesome things about Chickweed! It’s one of the early Spring forage plants.

I was first introduced to Chickweed by my grandfather during one of walks to check the fence line. Chickweed was huge blessing to people in the great depression. But the time it shows up the winter stores of home canned food would have been running low. Every meal in late winter would have shown how few mason jars were left on the shelf. Then one day the snow melts and reveals a thick mat of fresh greens. Grandpa said it was enough to make you drop to your knees and give thanks right there one the spot.

A thick mat of Chickweed in early Spring.

As the name suggests Chickweed was often fodder for livestock as well as the family. In our modern world with its frozen dinners we tend to forget that our ancestors not only had to feed themselves but also had to make sure that the animals were well fed and healthy.

Chickweed is a veritable nutrition bomb!! If you could turn a leaf over and read a label you’d see vitamins A, C & several of the B vitamins. You’re also getting a trainload of minerals like calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron, phosphorus and potassium. Of course like all plants this is going to depend on the soil health.

Chickweed can be eaten raw and goes well with other forage plants. I recommend wild purple violets for the color and sweetness of pedals. Chickweed can have a strong flavor but it’s a plant to be consumed for it’s benefits as it replenishes a lot of nutrition that can be lost over the winter.

Medicinal information about any wild plants found on this blog is given in a historical context and not intended to be medical advice on any level. Remember, I’m a photographer and not a doctor.

Herbalists say that preparations of Chickweed help with constipation and other stomach/bowel problems. Lung troubles, obesity and even rabies. Salves made with Chickweed are recommended by herbalism for skin problems like eczema and I have personally used it to relieve itching from bug bites.

Chickweed is often found growing with Speedwell

Chickweed is often found growing with Speedwell and Speedwell is said to have similar uses. ( Speedwell is to be covered in an upcoming post. )

The Chickweed flowers look really similar to the False Rue Anemone that featured in the previous two posts but if you look at anther you see that they don’t quite make a crown shape as with False Rue Anemone and they’re a reddish brown as opposed to bright yellow. The flowers themselves are also a bit smaller. The leaves of Chickweed are not mitten shaped like those of False Rue Anemone.

Chickweed is a blessing in hard times and could be considered a luxury in good times.

As always I’ve only given enough here to get the conversation going so if you have a personal experience with Chickweed I’d love to hear about it. Just let me know in the comments section below. 😊

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Forage Friday #16 Jewelweed or Touch-Me-Not

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image was taken specifically for this article and is untitled. All of the photos on my blog are my original work. Unless otherwise stated. Prints are available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

I’m often in awe at the providence of God. There’s so many “everyday blessings” that constantly surround us that it’s easy to take them for granted. Such is the case with Jewelweed. The name was given to plant because of “jewels” that adorn the leaf when it’s wet. The leaf also takes on a gemstone like look when fully submerged.

The bright orange or pale yellow flowers are hard to mistake once you know what they look like.

The unmistakable flowers always reminds me of a fairy hat of some sort. I can almost see a tiny elf plucking a fresh dew covered “hat” every morning so it can go about its business in style. In reality the flowers are favored by bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Tonight’s photos are from my back yard near the forest edge. The large patch grows on the shady side of the mountain beneath the hickory and magnolia.

The name Touch-Me-Not is more commonly used in my region. In the Fall when the pods are fully mature they explode at the slightest touch. The pressure is provided by natural springs that grow in tight coils within the pods.

Here in picture 3 you can see the bean-like pod just behind the orange flower. This one is not ripe yet but in a few days the pressure from the coils growing inside make the pods bulge.

The seeds can be ejected as far as thirty feet from the plant. Those seeds are edible and said to taste similar to walnuts. The collection technique is to place a bag over the pod and gently shake it until you hear the seeds impact on the bag. They are covered by a shell that’s rough to open. The suggestion of how to get to the tasty little nut ( it’s really small ) is to crush them and dump the mix in a dish of water. The nuts sink but the shells float. Simply skim the shells off of the surface.

Jewelweed comes into it’s own as preventive and remedy for poison ivy rash.

The thing I use Jewelweed for the most is as a remedy for poison ivy rash. Now, it’s possible for anyone to have an allergy to anything. And there’s probably a certain amount of people who it will not work for but I’ve not met them yet. I have successfully prevented poison ivy rash by crushing the plant stems and all directly on my skin. Admittedly, I am not very sensitive to poison ivy in the first place but I do get a mild rash when I am unprotected. I rubbed the juice of the Jewelweed into my skin and then brushed the poison ivy across the underside of my arm. No reaction. Next, I juiced up my skin and pulled the poison ivy out of Bush. Still, there’s no rash. It wasn’t until I crushed the poison ivy out my skin that the protection of the Jewelweed was insufficient. Even then the rash went away when I applied more Jewelweed the next day. The most extreme example that I ever seen was an eight year old boy who had blisters from head to toe. I helped his parents collect several Walmart bags full of Jewelweed and we crushed them with a rolling pin. The crushed plants were dumped into a tub full of hot bathwater and the boy soaked for several hours. By the next morning his blisters were gone. ( I’m not a medical professional. I’m just telling you about my personal experience .)

Jewlweed/Touch-Me-Not is really a good plant to have around.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

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If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Click here to visithttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simply message me on Facebook oruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤