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RE: [pfaf] Re: dehydrating food -chenopodium

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  • Elaine Sommers
    Hi Steve and Traveler, thank you for your replies. At the moment I am eating as I m weeding in the allotment. Eating fat hen whilst weeding the spinach! They
    Message 1 of 7 , May 3 12:28 AM
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      Hi Steve and Traveler, thank you for your replies. At the moment I am eating as I'm weeding in the allotment. Eating fat hen whilst weeding the spinach! They are so small and tasty. But there are some in the middle of the plot on their own that I don't need to move so I shall experiment and let them continue to grow and see what happens.
       
      I did also discover Good King Henry last year on the same plot so I ate some and allowed it to seed and I'm looking for the results. I did buy and sow some seeds in a pot at home but only a few came up.
       
      I take part in a community allotment here in the UK and I've persuaded them to have an 'edible weed' plot. Most people just assume that these things are inedible because they are not on the shelves in the supermarkets. Last year was the first year on the plot and we started quite late so not much chance to grow many veggies. However, there was a lot of rain towards the autumn and the chickweed ran rampant everywhere. When everyone else stayed away because they believed there was nothing to eat I collected loads of chickweed and ate it in salads, smoothies, made it into creams and even used it in the bath as my daughter has excema and it is helpful with that. It was so lush when everything else was hardly growing, right into the winter up to the first frosts. A great free resource.

      This year I have been given my own half plot, so I'm cultivating that aswell as still participating in the communtiy allotment. I intend to make a forest garden from my allotment so pioneer 'weeds' will be very welcome there.
       
      Thank you again for your information. I seem to have lost the 3 - page details of how to make leaf curd if anyone can resend them please. I would like to try this again. Is it possible to dehydrate without using a machine?
       
      Blessings,
      Elaine. 
       
       
       
       
      ". . . the greatest peril of life lies in the fact that human food consists entirely of souls. All the creatures that we have to kill to eat, all those that we have to strike down and destroy to make clothes for ourselves, have souls, souls that do not perish with the body . . . All that exists lives."
       
      from 'Shaman, the wounded healer' by J. Halifax, 1982





       

      To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com
      From: traveler.in.thyme@...
      Date: Mon, 2 May 2011 14:39:23 +0000
      Subject: [pfaf] Re: dehydrating food -chenopodium

       
      Chenopodium (lambs quarters, quinoa, goosefoot, good king henry, etc.). I don't know what variety grows here in Texas, Chenopodium alba, I think, but it does get really big if thinned to one plant per 10 sq. ft. by late summer. The seedlings come up crowded, but will get buggy and mouldy if left un-thinned. Keep them from touching each other, harvesting them as they grow, and just eat the tender tips. When you get to only one as big as a Christmas tree, it will have thousands of little tips, then it will flower and go to seed, but the flowers are dusty, dry, and rather bitter, so you must be sure to have all your harvest dried or frozen before mid-summer.

      We get a second crop in the fall, if it rains, so usually can harvest some fresh from March until November, with some going to seed twice a year. Same with parsley, it being a biennial, with a spring and fall crop in Texas.

      So far, I've dehydrated 15 trays of chenopodium leaves, and filled a one quart ziploc bag, which is kept inside a sealed tin. I collect tins and coffee cans for this purpose, since they keep out light and air. Plastic bags "breathe" in the freezer or on the shelf, and are not really suitable for long term storage, and glass jars are really expensive, so we use baggies inside tins for our dry storage of beans, rice, herbs, etc.

      ~Traveler in Thyme

      --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, Elaine Sommers <elainesommers@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > Hi Traveler. I have been following your posts about chenopodium with interest. I live in the UK where lamb's quarters (Fat Hen here) is treated with distain and as a nuisance weed. Especially by veggie growers. Therefore I have rarely seen it more than a few inches from the floor. I was amazed when you said how tall it grows.
      >
      > Can you tell me whether it is good to let it grow this tall, in terms of taste. I have picked it as a seedling plant and it is very sweet and juicy. Would it be as good to let it grow to about 3 ft (to the horror of all my fellow allotment holders here in Blighty!) and pick off the side shoots to eat and keep it producing, or do you harvest the whole plant in one go? And does it taste the same as the smaller plants? It wouldn't be a problem to harvest them quite small here as they are abundant wherever there is fertile ground and a manure heap!
      >
      > Blessings,
      > Elaine.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ". . . the greatest peril of life lies in the fact that human food consists entirely of souls. All the creatures that we have to kill to eat, all those that we have to strike down and destroy to make clothes for ourselves, have souls, souls that do not perish with the body . . . All that exists lives."
      >
      > from 'Shaman, the wounded healer' by J. Halifax, 1982
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com
      > From: traveler.in.thyme@...
      > Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2011 14:07:25 +0000
      > Subject: [pfaf] dehydrating food
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > We use an electric dehydrator to dry foods for storage (ours is round, but I wish it were rectangular, a more efficient use of space and easier to fit food in).
      >
      > For herbs, I air dry them, either hanging them up in bunches, or in baskets under a towel to keep off the dust.
      >
      > The dehydrator is full of lambs quarters (chenopodium) this week, it holds about 10 servings, which dry down to a cup of green powder.
      >
      > The stems usually get cooked, but they dry so much slower than the leaves, so I just dry the leaves and compost the stems.
      >
      > At this rate, I'll have about 200 servings from the "weeds" in the front garden. Not bad for a year with no rain since last October!
      >
      > I'm letting the cilantro (a native winter weed) go to seed, so we'll have too much coriander, anyone wants some can send a SASE. Email me off list for my address.
      >
      > The chenopodium goes to seed in late summer, you can have some of those, too, when the thyme comes.
      >
      > ~Traveler in Thyme, zone8-9
      >


    • peter wheat
      Hi Elaine, For the leaf curd try: http://hackneypermaculture.org.uk/2009/04/19/making-leaf-curd-from-lime-tree-leaves/ Without a machine you need a source of
      Message 2 of 7 , May 3 1:44 AM
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        Hi Elaine,

        For the leaf curd try: 


        Without a "machine" you need a source of heat (i.e. the sun) and a good airflow.
        I've had some success with hanging bunches of herbs in paper bags, in the green house / over the the wood burner.
        For anything more advanced in the UK climate (e.g. fruit leathers), I suspect you will need some kind of machine.
        Ideally a solar / wood burning combo.  e.g.


        Kind regards,

        Pete.


        To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com
        From: elainesommers@...
        Date: Tue, 3 May 2011 07:28:31 +0000
        Subject: RE: [pfaf] Re: dehydrating food -chenopodium

         
        Hi Steve and Traveler, thank you for your replies. At the moment I am eating as I'm weeding in the allotment. Eating fat hen whilst weeding the spinach! They are so small and tasty. But there are some in the middle of the plot on their own that I don't need to move so I shall experiment and let them continue to grow and see what happens.
         
        I did also discover Good King Henry last year on the same plot so I ate some and allowed it to seed and I'm looking for the results. I did buy and sow some seeds in a pot at home but only a few came up.
         
        I take part in a community allotment here in the UK and I've persuaded them to have an 'edible weed' plot. Most people just assume that these things are inedible because they are not on the shelves in the supermarkets. Last year was the first year on the plot and we started quite late so not much chance to grow many veggies. However, there was a lot of rain towards the autumn and the chickweed ran rampant everywhere. When everyone else stayed away because they believed there was nothing to eat I collected loads of chickweed and ate it in salads, smoothies, made it into creams and even used it in the bath as my daughter has excema and it is helpful with that. It was so lush when everything else was hardly growing, right into the winter up to the first frosts. A great free resource.

        This year I have been given my own half plot, so I'm cultivating that aswell as still participating in the communtiy allotment. I intend to make a forest garden from my allotment so pioneer 'weeds' will be very welcome there.
         
        Thank you again for your information. I seem to have lost the 3 - page details of how to make leaf curd if anyone can resend them please. I would like to try this again. Is it possible to dehydrate without using a machine?
         
        Blessings,
        Elaine. 
         
         
         
         
        ". . . the greatest peril of life lies in the fact that human food consists entirely of souls. All the creatures that we have to kill to eat, all those that we have to strike down and destroy to make clothes for ourselves, have souls, souls that do not perish with the body . . . All that exists lives."
         
        from 'Shaman, the wounded healer' by J. Halifax, 1982





         


        To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com
        From: traveler.in.thyme@...
        Date: Mon, 2 May 2011 14:39:23 +0000
        Subject: [pfaf] Re: dehydrating food -chenopodium

         
        Chenopodium (lambs quarters, quinoa, goosefoot, good king henry, etc.). I don't know what variety grows here in Texas, Chenopodium alba, I think, but it does get really big if thinned to one plant per 10 sq. ft. by late summer. The seedlings come up crowded, but will get buggy and mouldy if left un-thinned. Keep them from touching each other, harvesting them as they grow, and just eat the tender tips. When you get to only one as big as a Christmas tree, it will have thousands of little tips, then it will flower and go to seed, but the flowers are dusty, dry, and rather bitter, so you must be sure to have all your harvest dried or frozen before mid-summer.

        We get a second crop in the fall, if it rains, so usually can harvest some fresh from March until November, with some going to seed twice a year. Same with parsley, it being a biennial, with a spring and fall crop in Texas.

        So far, I've dehydrated 15 trays of chenopodium leaves, and filled a one quart ziploc bag, which is kept inside a sealed tin. I collect tins and coffee cans for this purpose, since they keep out light and air. Plastic bags "breathe" in the freezer or on the shelf, and are not really suitable for long term storage, and glass jars are really expensive, so we use baggies inside tins for our dry storage of beans, rice, herbs, etc.

        ~Traveler in Thyme

        --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, Elaine Sommers <elainesommers@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Hi Traveler. I have been following your posts about chenopodium with interest. I live in the UK where lamb's quarters (Fat Hen here) is treated with distain and as a nuisance weed. Especially by veggie growers. Therefore I have rarely seen it more than a few inches from the floor. I was amazed when you said how tall it grows.
        >
        > Can you tell me whether it is good to let it grow this tall, in terms of taste. I have picked it as a seedling plant and it is very sweet and juicy. Would it be as good to let it grow to about 3 ft (to the horror of all my fellow allotment holders here in Blighty!) and pick off the side shoots to eat and keep it producing, or do you harvest the whole plant in one go? And does it taste the same as the smaller plants? It wouldn't be a problem to harvest them quite small here as they are abundant wherever there is fertile ground and a manure heap!
        >
        > Blessings,
        > Elaine.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ". . . the greatest peril of life lies in the fact that human food consists entirely of souls. All the creatures that we have to kill to eat, all those that we have to strike down and destroy to make clothes for ourselves, have souls, souls that do not perish with the body . . . All that exists lives."
        >
        > from 'Shaman, the wounded healer' by J. Halifax, 1982
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com
        > From: traveler.in.thyme@...
        > Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2011 14:07:25 +0000
        > Subject: [pfaf] dehydrating food
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > We use an electric dehydrator to dry foods for storage (ours is round, but I wish it were rectangular, a more efficient use of space and easier to fit food in).
        >
        > For herbs, I air dry them, either hanging them up in bunches, or in baskets under a towel to keep off the dust.
        >
        > The dehydrator is full of lambs quarters (chenopodium) this week, it holds about 10 servings, which dry down to a cup of green powder.
        >
        > The stems usually get cooked, but they dry so much slower than the leaves, so I just dry the leaves and compost the stems.
        >
        > At this rate, I'll have about 200 servings from the "weeds" in the front garden. Not bad for a year with no rain since last October!
        >
        > I'm letting the cilantro (a native winter weed) go to seed, so we'll have too much coriander, anyone wants some can send a SASE. Email me off list for my address.
        >
        > The chenopodium goes to seed in late summer, you can have some of those, too, when the thyme comes.
        >
        > ~Traveler in Thyme, zone8-9
        >



      • travelerinthyme
        Given dry weather,it s easy to dry most herbs and also chenopodium by tying bunches by the stems and hanging them upside down. Our house is dusty because we
        Message 3 of 7 , May 3 8:56 AM
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          Given dry weather,it's easy to dry most herbs and also chenopodium by tying bunches by the stems and hanging them upside down. Our house is dusty because we live on a dirt road, so I usually dry my herbs in brown paper bags, just toss them in loosely and close the top, shaking twice a day for a week or two. Also, I have lovely big wicker baskets that hold drying herbs, covered with a dish towel to keep out the dust.

          But the dehydrator dries a bunch of greens in less than 2 hours, juicier chunks and slices like bananas or carrots overnight. I dried tons of peppers last fall, and saved lots of freezer space, in only two jars.

          I can the tomatoes, I like the sauce. ButI may try dehydrating some this year.

          ~Traveler in Thyme, on a cold May day in Texas (frost warnings 50 miles NW of here yesterday, record tornadoes over the South, but we have still had no rain since October)
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