Like most gardeners, I’ve picked my share of chickweed (Stellaria media) out of my garden beds. I’ve done it without even knowing what it was called or anything about it. Never tasted it, either.
My curiosity eventually kicked in, though, so I identified it, found out it’s edible, and started eating it. It’s quite nice, mild, and, as all the guides will tell you, reminiscent of corn silk in flavor. I treat it like any fresh green, tossing it in salads and sauteing it with other mixed greens to toss with pasta or put into savory pies/quiches.
Nutritionally, it’s full of vitamins C & B, beta carotene, and minerals, too, such as magnesium, iron, potassium, and zinc.
If you have so much of it you can’t eat it all, chickens like it, too, as the name suggests. Let the chickens have the leftovers, but be sure to try a little nibble, at least.
Another chickweed, mouse-ear chickweed, looks very different. You can eat it, too, but its fuzzy leaves are usually cooked. Here it is among the clover.
To take these pictures, to avoid confusion, I had to weed the weeds. That is, I removed some of the other weeds, like henbit, around the particular weeds I wanted to spotlight. Poor henbit, of whom I shot about 30 photos for another project the other day. I’m sure she doesn’t know what she’s done wrong.
It’s interesting two of the most common weeds in my yard seem so tailor-made for feeding my hens, that “chick” or “hen” is in the actual name.
Have you ever eaten chickweed?