Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a pretty little plant, I think. It makes a lovely dense green ground cover with tiny white flowers. In my part of the world it thrives during the mild days of winter. The pigs like fresh handfuls.
|Waldo chowing down on a big handful of chickweed.|
The chickens like it too.
|The Speckled Sussex were on hand to jump right in. The|
Australorps were late comers but soon helped themselves.
The goats aren't very enthusiastic about it, but I dry it and mix it in with their herbal vitamin and mineral mix because it's a source of vitamin A and copper.
Chickweed is a good vegetable for humans too, although I grow enough garden greens that I never think to harvest it for that. It can be steamed like any other cooked green, or the young leaves can be harvested for salads. For us, I harvest it for its medicinal value.
According to Penelope Ody's The Complete Medicinal Herbal, it can be taken internally as a cleansing tonic and diuretic, useful for urinary tract inflammations. Externally it is used in creams, poultices, and compresses for skin conditions such as rashes and eczema, for painful joints, wound healing, and to draw boils.
We've got it growing all over the place and I love the pretty carpet of green it makes.
|Thriving in the garden under the shelter of the old Egyptian wheat stalks.|
This is a good time of year to gather and dry it, not only for the goats' mineral mix, but also to have a supply for salve making later this year.