Amaranth (pigweed)

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Amaranth (pigweed)

Post  Charlene on Mon May 25, 2009 8:57 pm

Amaranth (redroot, pigweed) is making a red carpet in my garden. It's a little hard on those seeds I planted who are also trying to sprout, but it will be great in salad or braised when it gets just a little higher...if I don't get it all weeded out. I heard in (Tom Brown's) Tracker School that amaranth is the most nutritious green that will grow in your garden. It is also mild flavored and easy to eat. Sometimes I cook it up like spinach; it does take a few seconds longer to wilt, though.

--Charlene

Charlene

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"Pigweeds By The Pound"

Post  Shep on Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:10 pm

"Pigweeds By The Pound" will be the title of one of the chapters in my upcoming book about life on the farm. If I could sell pigweeds by the pound, I'd be a wealthy man. Perhaps I really need to re-think my garden plantings, since pigweeds grow better here than most any vegetable I can think of. Simply re-educate my clientele to the health benefits of eating pigweeds - that's what I need to do.

Pigweeds are the favorite invasive, take-over plotting, conspiratorial weed in my garden. But here's a different perspective, one reflected by Tom Brown's many books on wild edibles. I was told by an old farmer that if you can grow lots of pigweeds on your soil, it means your ground is fertile, and will grow many things well. Well, we can grow pigweeds without any intent. We are pulling them out of the sweet corn now - and they are tall. Best to get them when they are small, but when it gets wet and stays wet, it's hard to get ahead of them.

I tell my young apprentices if they'll just eat all those weeds they are pulling, they won't have to load them up and haul them to the compost pile, nor will they have to stop for lunch - saves time and effort that way. My weed pulling helpers have recently upgraded their job title to "botanical extraction technicians," a term that no doubt will require higher wages and benefits. Pigweeds, I tell them, should be looked at as "job security" for them - if they weren't there, perhaps my apprentices would be unemployed. This reminds me to say this, some things viewed as liabilities may ought to be viewed as valuable assets - after all, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." One man's weed is another man's meal . . .

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Re: Amaranth (pigweed)

Post  Charlene on Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:46 am

Having eaten them last year, Angela and the girls DID put some amaranth leaves in the salad mix they sold at market. Unfortunately, bugs also like the amaranth, and by this time of year it can be difficult to find many leaves that look like something I'd want to eat; most are riddled with holes. I would like to harvest amaranth seed, but haven't figured out how to manage it yet. When I tried last fall, more seeds ended up on the ground than in my paper bag.

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