Monday, April 23, 2012

Wildcrafting: Plantain

Blessings Darlings!

We are finally getting rain here in the northern Blue Ridge Mountains.  We were at about half our normal rain for the year, with yesterday and today (today be Sunday) we might get up to 65% of normal.  The grass and fields planted in winter wheat are loving it - they were both VERY unhappy about the lack of rain. 

The wild greens are loving it, too.  We've moved out of dandelion and chickweed seasons (well, I have one patch of chickweed on the north side of the house I will harvest tomorrow, but that's it) and moved into the dock and plantain seasons.  Today, out in the cold rain, I harvested a scant quart of plantain.  Here are some pictures of it.  I have both the narrow and broad leaf varieties in the yard, but I harvest the broad leaf. 

Most parts of the plantain plant can be used, either for food or healing.  If you have a choice, the best parts for eating are young leaves.  The leaves get tough later.  And while the seeds are often listed as an item 'Indians ground and used for bread' ... that speaks more for how hungry folks got rather than the taste of the seeds, says a friend who tried doing that.

I'm going to use these as the greens in soup, with canned or dry tomatoes, whole wheat pasta or wheat berries, chickpeas, wild onion, and some asparagus.

What's fresh and tasty in your land base?

Frondly, Fern


  1. besides the plaintain and dandelion, wild mustard and asparagus have been happening here.

  2. We're past wild mustard season - it's all blooming and the heat has made it pretty dang hot ... and I've never had the pleasure of running into wild asparagus.