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wildfoodie

today's forage.....

japanese knotweed! hooray! first time I found it young enough to eat, every patch I know has been decimated by those noxious weed eradication people with no entry signs foot baths and wire fences.. what on earth do they use chemical wise??? ....
my harvest which I'm not eating till I've checked out the safety of it came from a patch treated last year or possibly 2005.... how risky is it to eat do you think?? the shoots I picked looked very healthy and other weeds in the area were also growing well.
also in the basket some delicious, tiny but very sweet ox eye daisy leaves, tender dock leaves for my pickled wild veg project, an abundance of jack by the hedge, ground elder and some ground ivy to dry for tea.
ahhh, the foraging life is a good one!
cab

I usually figure that if the knotweed wasn't killed off, or if it looks healthy, its probably okay. Usually gets attacked with glyphosate I believe, so if its up and healthy it should be okay.

I'll go and see if I can forage some knotweed this weekend Smile
Jamanda

cab wrote:
I'll go and see if I can forage some knotweed this weekend Smile


I know where there's some, and with a newly extended range courtesy of Bellway Homes Mad
Mat S

Watch out for it's laxative effect. I ate a generous helping last year and spent much of the next day running to the small room. Luckily I wasn't at work that day.
cab

Jamanda wrote:
cab wrote:
I'll go and see if I can forage some knotweed this weekend Smile


I know where there's some, and with a newly extended range courtesy of Bellway Homes Mad


Then make the Environment Agency (as I assume it should be those guys), whoever spread the stuff broke the law and should be pelted with rotten eggs.
cab

Mat S wrote:
Watch out for it's laxative effect. I ate a generous helping last year and spent much of the next day running to the small room. Luckily I wasn't at work that day.


Laughing

Rather like rhubarb.
Jamanda

cab wrote:
Jamanda wrote:
cab wrote:
I'll go and see if I can forage some knotweed this weekend Smile


I know where there's some, and with a newly extended range courtesy of Bellway Homes Mad


Then make the Environment Agency (as I assume it should be those guys), whoever spread the stuff broke the law and should be pelted with rotten eggs.


Everyone who should be alerted has been. The response has been a half hearted spraying with glycophosphate, missing half of it, and not going any where that would involve stepping over or under anything.
cab

Jamanda wrote:

Everyone who should be alerted has been. The response has been a half hearted spraying with glycophosphate, missing half of it, and not going any where that would involve stepping over or under anything.


Bloody irritating! Especially around your end of the country where it spreads so badly (does spread here, but its nothing like so savage).

Local papers interested do you think?
wildfoodie

I'm confused: bellway homes the baddies because they caused
knotweed to spread? or sprayed it dead?? enviroment agency spreading chemicals should be pelted with eggs??
explain please!!
Jamanda

cab wrote:
Jamanda wrote:

Everyone who should be alerted has been. The response has been a half hearted spraying with glycophosphate, missing half of it, and not going any where that would involve stepping over or under anything.


Bloody irritating! Especially around your end of the country where it spreads so badly (does spread here, but its nothing like so savage).

Local papers interested do you think?


Maybe. I've just been seconded onto to the committee dealing with the care of the Commons. I haven't actually attended a meeting yet. I know they are aware of it and have had lots of trouble with the housing contractors working adjacent running roughshod over their obligations. Knotweed is only one issue out of many.
Jamanda

wildfoodie wrote:
I'm confused: bellway homes the baddies because they caused
knotweed to spread? or sprayed it dead?? enviroment agency spreading chemicals should be pelted with eggs??
explain please!!


Bellway homes baddies for causing it to spread, after it had been pointed out to them. Just ignored the law and took machinery in. Then made a halfassed job of carrying out the instructions to undo the damage they caused.
cab

wildfoodie wrote:
I'm confused: bellway homes the baddies because they caused
knotweed to spread? or sprayed it dead?? enviroment agency spreading chemicals should be pelted with eggs??
explain please!!


Japanese knotweed, last time I looked for stats, covered half of one percent of Britains land area. Whereas in Cambridge it can be a spreading, troublesome weed, because we're so arid and have a wierd limey/clayish soil it only spreads a bit. In, say, the South West it can spread like a rocket - it can grow inches per day, and spread outwards several metres a year. Its found across pretty near all of the country now (I've found it on Lewis, I've found it on the coast of East Anglia, on the banks of the Clyde, in North Wales, on the Cornish coast, its spread all over the place).

If it decides to grow near your house then unchecked it'll take walls down, sometimes finding cracks in the foundations to grow up through and appearing indoors behind furniture. To kill it, you either need to dig every last scrap out (an inch of stem, all of which being meristematic, will sometimes be enough to get it growing again). Doesn't sound too bad, but the roots spread down and out seemingly as far as you can dig. So to eraricate it you either have to spray and keep spraying (problematic and nasty), cut the stems and pour high concentration glypohosate down the holes (doesn't always work even then), spray 'smart' (do it in autumn and repeatedly in spring, then autumn again), cover in black polythene a much greater ground area than has visible plant, or strip the soil down to geology and burn it. Even then it has been known to come back.

Unsurprisingly, the estimated cost of eradication is in the billions.

Technically, transporting it (even stuff home to cook) is illegal. Spreading it and replanting it is definitely illegal, and it is meant to be the duty of people who are moving soil about to make sure they don't do it. Aren't many prosecutions though (I don't recall any!).

While the environment agency spraying herbicides sounds bad, its usually better than leacing knotweed unchecked. Personally, I think we should encourage people to eat it to death.
wildfoodie

thanks cab and jamanda... food for thought... having picked it I'm now going to add all the cut off bits to the burn pile ( not the compost bin!)
last night I was entertaining some subversive thoughts about planting some on my side of a neighbours fence (neighbour has a big russian vine imo THAT should be an illegal planting) and sitting back to watch the Battle of the Noxious Spreading Weeds, but now I have visions of it invading said neighbours house walls, leading to prosecution and fines so I won't be doing that!
Jamanda

I wouldn't put it on your burn pile. I'd burn it ...NOW. If you have put any in your compost, don't use that compost. It is evil!

Now - can you eat Himalayan balsam Cab?
wildfoodie

Quote:
can you eat Himalayan balsam

allegedly, yes, tho not tried it personally
see:
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Impatiens+glandulifera

the burn pile is ready for burning - tonight! and its in a weed burner not on the ground. - I might microwave the jk offcuts before burning for good measure. and no I haven't put any on the compost pile... Smile
cab

Jamanda wrote:

Now - can you eat Himalayan balsam Cab?


Yes, kind of. Too much of the leafy stuff is really bad for you (as is pointed out in the link to PFAF that Wildfoodie posted). The leaves aren't that tasty anyway (I think they taste of soap). The seeds, however, are really nice and packed full of vitamins when fresh. You want them ripe though, and harvesting them is just the most fun Laughing
wildfoodie

found this cab, on jk as a food resource - whaddya think : shall we start a UK eat jk campaign?
http://wildfoodplants.com/article/48/if-you-cant-beat-em-eat-em
cab

Its one idea Laughing

Wildman has something to say on the subject too, if I remember correctly:

http://www.econetwork.net/~wildmansteve/

My only concern is that people eating it will lead to it spreading (being dropped carelessly, even planted on purpose!). You have to be really careful with it... Cynically, do we trust people to be that carerful?
wildfoodie

education and collaboration.... make for a good antidote to carelessness from greed (people planting illegally) and speed(dropping bits thereby risking it spreading )
I've a mind to contact a jk extermination company to ask about picking a site before they spray it... - that's one form of collaboration that comes to mind. I'm doing a workshop next week at the botanic gardens - will definitely add a bit on illegal weeds (tho with its laxative properties I will probably only take a photo of jk to show and not the peserve I have planned for my bits...
cab

wildfoodie wrote:
education and collaboration.... make for a good antidote to carelessness from greed (people planting illegally) and speed(dropping bits thereby risking it spreading )
I've a mind to contact a jk extermination company to ask about picking a site before they spray it... - that's one form of collaboration that comes to mind. I'm doing a workshop next week at the botanic gardens - will definitely add a bit on illegal weeds (tho with its laxative properties I will probably only take a photo of jk to show and not the peserve I have planned for my bits...


You know, if you're doing a workshop, you can always publicise it here Laughing

Theres a stand of JK in the botanic gardens, I think its down on the systematic beds although I wouldn't be surprised to see more of it popping up in different places. I suspect that they built the appropriate bed (polygonaceae?) around their patch of knotweed!

I like the idea of picking prior to spraying, makes a deal of sense.
We used to have endless fun kicking whole patches of knotweed to bits as kids up our way.
wildfoodie

Quote:
You know, if you're doing a workshop, you can always publicise it here


thanks but it was fully booked nearly a month ago! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
am working on my website with forage and workshop dates and downsizer is definitely on my list of places to link to!
I'm also waiting on 2 return calls from jk erdication specialists.. nothing like a bit of spontaneous instant acting on an idea!!
cab

wildfoodie wrote:

thanks but it was fully booked nearly a month ago! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
am working on my website with forage and workshop dates and downsizer is definitely on my list of places to link to!
I'm also waiting on 2 return calls from jk erdication specialists.. nothing like a bit of spontaneous instant acting on an idea!!


Wow! Theres that much interest in foraging in these parts? I'll have to guard my spots quite carefully Laughing

How many do you take per workshop?

Incidentally, is that your regular spot for three cornered leek opposite Midsummer Common? Is it being built in?
wildfoodie

Quote:
I'll have to guard my spots quite carefully

How many do you take per workshop?

Incidentally, is that your regular spot for three cornered leek opposite Midsummer Common? Is it being built in?



no worries cab, I use well trodden places for showing people what grows where (ie mcp, general footpaths etc )and stress that part of the learning curve is to go out and look for yourself. finding a patch of edible weeds unaided is a wonderful and rewarding learning experience. there's 15 on the botanic gardens course, and its more classroom based than outdoors. my own privately run dates will be restricted to 6 or 8 people and are going to be totally out of doors... the cooking part will be mostly on a trusty gas powered camping stove!
my 3cl spot is on the footpath on the north side of the river opposite side of the footbridge to where I think you mean... not a potential building site. I did collect some seed from there last year but don't remember where I put it in the garden and it hasn't shown itself... will try again this year!
cab

wildfoodie wrote:
no worries cab, I use well trodden places for showing people what grows where (ie mcp, general footpaths etc )and stress that part of the learning curve is to go out and look for yourself.


Cunning! Thus avoiding having to show anyone where your own best patches are Smile

Quote:

finding a patch of edible weeds unaided is a wonderful and rewarding learning experience. there's 15 on the botanic gardens course, and its more classroom based than outdoors. my own privately run dates will be restricted to 6 or 8 people and are going to be totally out of doors... the cooking part will be mostly on a trusty gas powered camping stove!
my 3cl spot is on the footpath on the north side of the river opposite side of the footbridge to where I think you mean... not a potential building site. I did collect some seed from there last year but don't remember where I put it in the garden and it hasn't shown itself... will try again this year!


Glad your patch isn't being built on - there seems to be a bit of building going on where theres a huge swathe of 3cl, on that patch between two boat houses, down the steps from the North side of the Fort. St. George bridge.

Be careful sowing three cornered leek... It spreads like wildfire on our soil you know, especially if you have ants in the garden (you probably know this already, but the top unusual fact about A. triquetrum is that it has little drops of oil on the seeds, which ants like, so they collect the seed, eat the oil, and then dump the seed somewhere, thus distributing it).
wildfoodie

Quote:
Be careful sowing three cornered leek... It spreads like wildfire on our soil you know, especially if you have ants in the garden (you probably know this already, but the top unusual fact about A. triquetrum is that it has little drops of oil on the seeds, which ants like, so they collect the seed, eat the oil, and then dump the seed somewhere, thus distributing it).

I most certainly didn't know that!! where do you get all this info cab? highly interesting! how about a top-10 most interesting facts about edible weeds article??

3cl seeds are tasty - not unlike those silverskin onions when still yellowish-white...
cab

wildfoodie wrote:

I most certainly didn't know that!! where do you get all this info cab? highly interesting! how about a top-10 most interesting facts about edible weeds article??


Errm, I got that one from my battered old copy of 'flora of the British Isles'. I'd never seen three cornered leek before moving to Cambridge (although since then its spread further; not only is it getting more common here, but I've since found it in some of my old haunts further North), so when I first saw it I keyed it out the old fashioned way. Theres a simple line in there 'seed dispersed by ants', which I then lokoed up somewhere else (can't rememeber where) and found the details. And when you encounter that kind of tidbit you remember it!

Quote:

3cl seeds are tasty - not unlike those silverskin onions when still yellowish-white...


Isn't that the little plantlets? I'm on shaky ground here, but I rekon that the realy short distance spreading it does is by division of bulbs, for spreading a few inches it spews out little plantlets (or 'bulbils' probably) from the flowers, whereas the seeds appear later, little oval browny black things.

Fascinating plant. I've got a tiny clump in the garden, 'cos when picking some earlier in the year I accidentally took some out by the root, and the soil seemed like the best way to store it. No way it'll be allowed to flower though Laughing Although as theres some in the neighbours garden its only a matter of time till I get it anyway.
Jamanda

Do the ransoms have the bulbils on the flowers too? I could plant some of those in my garden. The 3cls are taking over at the front.
Jamanda

I'm quite happy to post 3cl bulbs/bulbils/seeds/whole plants to anyone who might want them BTW.
cab

Jamanda wrote:
Do the ransoms have the bulbils on the flowers too? I could plant some of those in my garden. The 3cls are taking over at the front.


Not that I've ever observed, just big black seeds.

I'm only mostly sure abut the bulbils on 3cl, I could be wrong on that.
cab

I'll try to get a pic of a firefly this year. Thus far, I've failed to take a good enough one to be worth sharing.
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