i like a lot wild plants/food but knowing that vitamins & minerals pass on
to the wash & cooking water i'm wondering what's the nutritious value left
bob, can u please give more details concerning the place/climate of the
----- Original Message -----
From: "Judy Phillips" <newmoon@...>
Sent: Tuesday, March 12, 2002 11:15 PM
Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Subject: confused farming? (very late and
> I have been offline the last few weeks with computers woes and have a lot
> catching up to do. My but this group is getting active now that spring is
> strting to creep up on us! A few weeks back I started a dialog with
> concerning taking advantage of the bounty of edible wild plants--an
> I consider even closer to the "do-nothing" approach to natural food
> production than seedballs! As often as not I will work my gardens around a
> healthy natural plantation of edible weeds, rather than destroying them to
> plant more conventional "produce"
> I'm including info below on milkweed--this is a posting from another
> that I cherish: email@example.com. Anyone interested in learning
> more about edible wild plants would find this a great place to start--it
> an extremely knowledgable and friendly group.
> It's good to be back--I'll plunge into more discussions as soon as I catch
> up with all the backlog of threads I've been missing!
> Judy Phillips
> P.S. regarding your question about the Roma seeds--I have only a few that
> saved last year, though I expect a number wll come up volunteer in the
> gardens as well. If their excellent qualities hold true through this next
> generation, I'll be happy to share them with you for planting next season!
> > Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 09:13:20 -0000
> > From: "poptones" <poptones@...>
> > And uh... milkweed is edible? I thought it was poison? I', familiar
> > with collards and kale and dandelions, but I was always told milkweed
> > is poison. And thistle? Please do elaborate!
> IDENTIFICATION: COMMON MILKWEED-(Asclepias syriaca)
> Milkweed is easily identified. The syriaca is the commonest and most
> widespread of the Milkweeds. It is the one with the stout stalks,
> large leaves, rounded umbels of sweet scented, greenish purple flowers
> and a warty seed pod which splits down the side when mature releasing
> the light seeds, each with its streamer of silk which allows it to float
> on the wind to a new location. It is found from Nova Scotia to
> Saskatchewan and south to Georgia and Kansas.
> Its wide distribution , abundance and ease of procurement could make
> the milkweed an important wild vegetable if more people knew the
> secrets of processing its products into palatable food. Milkweed has
> not one, but four, very good vegetables, and has a possible fifth as
> The young shoots up to six inches high, make a very passable veget-
> able to serve like asparagus; The newly opened leaves can be served like
> spinach; the unopened flower buds are eaten like broccoli; the young
> pods can be cooked like okra. All of these are only good if properly
> The milkweed has a very bitter printciple that seems to permeate
> every part of the plant. Fortunately this excessively bitter taste is
> easily removed with boiling water.All four of the milkweed vegetables
> are prepared by very much the same process, so we only need to describe
> it once for all of them. The shoots.leaves, buds or pods are put in a
> pot, covered with BOILING water and placed over a high flame. When they
> have BOILED one minute, drain, and cover with fresh BOILIMG water and
> return to the heat. This process is repeated at least three times, then
> the vegetable is simmered for about 15 minutes to make it tender (except
> the buds which only require 5 minutes) and then seasoned to taste.
> WARNING: Do NOT cover with COLD water and bring to a boil as this will
> cause the bitter principle to become fixed in the cooked product.
> The young SHOOTS are only good in the spring when they are only 8
> inches high or less. Washed, bundled together with a string, like
> asparagus and given the BOILING water treatment, they can be served
> plain, with salt and butter or covered with a cream sauce and served
> with toast. While milkweed is easily identified, the young shoots have a
> look-alike in the young shoots of Dogbane(Apocynum androsaemifolium)
> both plants have a milky juice,the Dogbane leaves are slightly narrower
> and more pointed than milkweed and the dogbane stems are smaller in
> diameter and more fibrous than milkweed. When the two plants mature
> there is no similarity as bogbane branches and milkweed doesent and the
> dogbane pods are longer and much thinner than the milkweed pods.While
> not deadly poisonous the dogbane can cause severe illness. So be careful
> out there. BTW, I was fortunate in being able to find and photograph two
> young shoots of milkweed and dogbane growing side by side and am able to
> use the slide to make the point when lecturing on edible plants.
> The young LEAVES can be gathered over a slightly longer season than
> can the shoot. Take only the tender top leaves before the plants start
> forming flower buds.Milkweed leaves can be mixed with other greens if
> given the BOILING water process first.
> I prefer the BUDS to any other milkweed products. Gather the buds
> while they are still young and in tight clusters.They will appear dull
> and slightly wooly but as soon as they are covered with BOILING water
> they will become bright green and make an attractive vegetable to look
> at as well as taste. After the BOILING water treatment, simmer the buds
> for about five minutes, then season with salt and butter.
> The other milkweed product I like is the young PODS, but they must
> be gathered at the right stage. If the pod has become tough and elastic
> to pressure it is inedible. The hard young pods should be cooked a
> little bit longer than other milkweed products. When gathered at the
> right stage and cooked properly, the developing seeds and silk inside
> the pod cook up into a soft and delicate masswhich is delicious.
> You can freeze a supply of the buds and the pods for off season
> use, These are put through the usual three changes of BOILING water,
> then quickly and thoroughly cooled in cold water, drained, packed in
> plastic bags or other suitable containers and placed in the freezer.
> When used they are placed still frozen, in very little boiling water and
> cooked for 10 to 15 minutes, seasoned and served. Quite a few years
> ago(at my age I lose track of time) I was asked by the Churchville
> Nature Center to conduct a wild food buffet for their first nature
> exposition. Fortunately I had a good supply of frozen milkweed pods so
> that a lot of people were able to try one pod each.
> There are persistant rumors that the French in Canada made brown
> sugar from the copius nectar secreted by the blossoms of milkweed but
> the exact process seems to have been lost.
> This concludes the the material on the edibility of milkweed.Some
> of the material is from Euell Gibbons book "Stalking th Wild Asparagus"
> and some from my actual experience. I have eaten all the milkweed
> products except the brown sugar made from the flowers,
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