Tasty weeds

fat henIts easy enough getting rid of most green waste. Compost it! Great! Make soil improvers from your rubbish!  Perennial weeds are a wee bit trickier. We’ve variously been told to add lime, dump them completely (which has been our preferred option – taking them to the green waste at the recycling centre) or recently in ‘Allotments’ by National Trust Books, we saw to brew them to slime and then compost them. Our preferred option, where possible, is to eat them.

One of our most successful ‘vegetables’ at the allotment has been fat hen. That’s a weed. But a very tasty one. It’s endemic, easy to prepare and every bit as flavoursome as spinach. We use it in exactly the same way.

Its particularly good in an omlette, quiche or even curried with potatoes and onion. There is a slight oddity, not so much an aftertaste as an after-sensation, that your tongue has been messed with. But its fine, nah, better – its yum!

As a rural teenagerI used to forage for hours to find enough for just a couple of spoonfuls of the Fat Hen or its close relative Good King Hal. What I was pleased to find out, is that fat hen likes disturbed soil, so weedy veg patches are conducive to growing the stuff.  Fat Hen was our first glut (draw your own conclusions about our weeding practice).

Oh, by the way, if you’ve not yet done so,  check out Eat Weeds for all your weed eating tips!

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