Monday, March 10, 2014

Edible Weed Walk

The Byron Bay Herb Nursery sells a huge assortment of quality herbs, vegetables, and other plants.  What they don't offer; potted weeds (only an equally large variety of weeds growing in random spots in the garden, as weeds do).  The Herb Nursery was kind enough to let CO-OP Kulcha share their space for an Edible Weed Walk to teach the community about the benefits and modern uses of the weeds we often find around this land.

As we know, a weed is a plant out of place, growing where it is not wanted.  As such, the varying names (depending on region of the world) can be hard to keep track of, and rather we focused on the look, smell, and taste of these plants to identify them properly.  The first weed was easily recognizable for the assortment of flowers dangling from the top like a chandelier.  In the sun, with the right focus, they shine yellow, pink/red, and purple.

The leaf pattern is alternate, spiralling up towards the chandelier, with delicious dark green leaves.  It was one of my favorites (that bite on the top was the first of many), the taste was perfect for adding to a basic salad of greens and herbs.

This (below) was another one of my of the worst to deal with around Main Arm (for me at least) but one with many uses as I've recently discovered.  Any guesses?

Bidens Pilosa, with a whole heap of different common names; including farmers friend and cobbler's pegs.  No need to document what the little devil's needles look like; instead take a look at the opposite leaf pattern of this delicious leafy green that's perfect for a healthy salad, or tea, decide.

From here I got a bit lost amongst a sensory based garden; there was a smell section, a touch section, and a taste section.  I was munching away on the tasty options while sniffing some others and only half understanding what our guide was telling us about nettle, another very useful medicine.

The taste section was full of french sorrel and water spinach, amongst others.

Smell had different mints, basil, lemongrass, lemon balm, so many smells.

Below is one of the touch options I stayed away from...

The sign is slightly indicative of the different nature of this garden; I guess rubbing your hands along spiky plants is enjoyable for some...?

Shortly thereafter I suffered the consequences of some karmic circumstance, and learned how painful centipede bites are to deal with.  The rest has turned into the past two weeks of herbal teas that I've joined forces with en route to a caffeine free diet.


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