Friday, July 20, 2012

What's on Your Plate?

With Deus Ex Machina and the girls off on their separate adventures, I was on my own for lunch today. I'm not into the whole gotta-eat-at-noon kind of thing, and in fact, I often miss lunch, because I'm busy doing other things. Sometimes I'll miss breakfast, too, except for the requisite wake-me-up cup of tea.

I'd spent the morning in the garden pulling the rest of the garlic, and there was this crazy milkweed stalk leaning over across the path. The path is already narrow and being invaded by the sunchokes. So, I, unceremoniously, chopped the milkweed plant (in my defense, I'd already tried, several times, to encourage it to grow in the other direction, off the path), and then, I realized that there were several pods on the plant.

So, I picked the pods ... and then, I decided I'd have them for my lunch with an egg from my chickens.

It's true, boiled milkweed pod does taste a bit like green beans, which I love, and it makes me wonder why I've been struggling all of these years to grow beans in my very limited space, when I have milkweed just volunteering all over my yard, but also growing unassisted all over my community. I could have all of the "green bean" I want, free for the taking.

Hmm ....


  1. I've been told over and over that milkweed is poisonous?

  2. It's not, clearly, because I ate it, and I'm fine :) ... and, this isn't the first time ... and most of the wild edibles books and cookbooks I own have recipes for milkweed.

    The confusion comes with the fact that dogbane is similar in appearance in the very early stages, and someone, sometime ago, mistook dogbane for milkweed, and milkweed has had a bad reputation ever since.

    Milkweed is not poisonous, but the lesson is to be absolutely sure of what you have before you put it in your mouth.

  3. Interesting - I had no idea milkweed is edible. There's some growing not too far from here in an area that isn't sprayed - perhaps I'll give it a try, since it's also right by the wild garlic that I forage.

  4. Okay. I'll have to check my sources...I just saw a documentary a month ago which explained the reasons Monarch butterflies are poisonous is from the milkweed they ingest as caterpillars. However, perhaps it's just poisonous to the birds who eat the butterflies? It's obviously not harmful to the caterpillars!