Good afternoon to all my chicken friends! This last week had been a rainy one, but one that we have needed to make up for the small amount of snow we got. Yesterday I actually saw the sun late in the afternoon for a bit, nice to see Mr Sun since the grumpy old clouds have been blocking him lately.
I have to tell you I love weeds, my yard right now has tons of dandelion flowers blooming & it reminds me of when I was small picking them for my mother. For me any weed that can be used is a blessing to have. Yeah I know there are those out there that want the 'perfect' lawn but for me finding usable weeds makes my day. I have dandelions, plantain, lambsquarters & purslane that all get used either by me or for my chickens.
When I was growing up in Oregon we had a neighbor on our Experimental Station named Virgil who was a big 'back to nature' guy & taught me how to find, cook & eat purslane, then a very old farm woman in Missouri taught me the wonders of lambsquarters, plantain I learned through reading wild plant books or of course dandelions I seemed to always know about. I know Mother said the small leaves were good to cook & eat.
I love that all of them can be used for the chickens & be a healthy green for them. I do use a commercial chicken feed but as you all know I tend to hunt for other healthy things to give them. Since I could not get much lambsquarters are natural weeds up here in my yard I ordered seeds from a company in Canada who carried them as well as the golden purslane 4 years ago to start in my garden.
I let them go crazy in the areas where the garden paths would be instead of trying to weed all the time...too hard on this old back! I pick the lambsquarters when they are small leaved for us to eat then when they get too big & tough I put it up by its roots & give it to the chickens. By the end of the day all is left is the stock & the roots. I do allow some to go to seed so there will be plenty for the next year before I pull them all up. The purslane I have not had alot of as of yet...they are kind of picky...they want crappy soil so I have found they do well in my tires where I plant the small cantaloupes. So I have yet to get a big crop of them but keep hoping.
OK the reason I am writing about all of this is I found a cool bread recipe 2 days ago that deals with the blooming dandelion flowers. I have always used the leaves & dried the roots but never knew anything to do with the flowering tops....the chickens play with the flower heads but never really eat them well now I have something to do with them...
So since I like to share here is the recipe for you if you would like to try it:
Dandelion Quick bread Makes 1 loaf
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups of dandelion blooms (yellow flower petals only) washed & lightly towel dried
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup honey
2 beaten eggs
2 2/3 cup milk
Mix all together & place in a lightly greased bread pan.
Bake 400 degrees 20-25 minutes
So my dream is that all of you will get out in the yard & grab those wonderful flower heads & create a cool bread/s for your family.
For those of you that have purslane, you use the whole pant except for the roots, you can either blanch it for about 3 minutes & then freeze or steam it & eat it like spinach. The lambsquarters you pick the small leaves, wash them & do the same, steam them & eat like spinach.
Now just bewared, lambsquarter has a furry underside on its leaves so if you eat a lot of them you will get what feels like a fuzzy tongue for a bit...but for me its well worth it. I love to cook them & add a small bit of fresh garlic & real butter then when in the bowl toss them with a bit of sea salt & pepper.
So friends get out there & have fun with your weeds!
Have a wonderful Chicken day...M'