Foraging for Chickweed

Chickweed is found commonly all over the world, and foraging for it is simple! Learn about how to fing, harvest, prepare and eat two different types of chickweed.

Chickweed is common plant that comes up in late winter/early spring. A favorite of chickens (hence it’s name!), the very presence of it decreases insect damage to other plants. This lovely weed is self-seeding, therefore it will return year after year.


Chickweed’s use in folk medicine has been recorded as far back as the 16th century when it was often used to treat wounds.

It is still eaten in many cultures today, but when eaten in excess has been said to have some unpleasant side effects. As with every new wild edible, do an at-home allergy test.

Read below to learn where to find and use this foraged delectable!

Where you Can Find Chickweed

Chickweed grows in many areas in a wide variety of habitats and soil textures. It is one of the most common weeds founds in lawns but it also grows well in cultivated fields, pastures, waste areas and in some deciduous forests. This plant occurs in many countries.


Chickweed flourishes in many habitats and soil textures. It is one of the most common weeds found in lawns, but also thrives in waste areas, forests, and pastures. It tends to grow in large patches, hence it’s

chickweed

How to Use

This plant doesn’t like to stick around in the hot months, so forage it early and freeze it. Click here to learn the very best ways to freeze foraged goods!

  • Chickweed is perfect for making into an herbal salve to use on dry or itchy skin, rashes, or bug bites.
  • Combine it with other wild greens, such as dandelion greens, miner’s lettuce, and purple dead nettle, add a little homemade sauerkraut, and have yourself a tasty wild weed salad.
  • Add the leaves to sandwiches as you would sprouts, for a pleasant, earthy flavor and slight crunch.
  • Toss into smoothies! Sneak in all that those vitamins (A, D, B complex, C, rutin (a bioflavinoid), calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, sodium, copper, iron and silica).
  • Toss into soups and stews.
a photo of spurge, a chickweed lookalike

Caution

Steer clear of these toxic lookalikes:

Scarlet Pimpernel – if you see a plant that looks like chickweed but has orange flowers, do NOT eat it. Scarlet pimpernel is toxic.

Spurge – Young common splurge often grows within patches of chickweed. It is also toxic. See the photo above for reference.

My Favorite Recipes

These recipes are written by other foragers/chefs and are some of the best recipes out there! Have fun cooking!

Share your favorite recipes & uses below in the comments!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *