Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nature Consultant and Funny Coincidence

We have this large bush growing in our backyard that is reaching gargantuan proportions. I've never really quite seen anything like it, and because it is isolated and has a rather planned look to it, I assumed it was planted by the previous owners and has a decorative purpose.

Not so, say my wife and kids. It's a weed, they say, and needs to be taken care of. I was more reluctant to embrace this view, so knowing that we have a resident nature guru in our community (the depth of her knowledge is amazing), I had A cut off a branch, with the berries, and bring it to the market for MH to look at.

Sure enough, she knew right off the bat what it was: pokeweed, or poke berries. The produce these beautiful purplish black berries in the Fall. MH even went into the library and checked out a book on the subject for us. How's that for service?

According to the book, the plant is considered a weed in this country, but in England, it is coveted in gardens. So the question is, what should we do with it?

I've always found it rather interesting, but it is getting enormous.

Also, in a funny coincidence, AA came to the market with a branch of a plant she couldn't identify that she'd found on the trail. Sure enough, it was pokeweed, as well. MH sent her over to our booth to share in the wonders of the coincidence.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to PALMER W. COOK for the pic.


MMP said...


It's not so much what you are going to do with it as it is what it is going to do with you!

I noticed Pokeweed over here after we had some logging done and it came up in the slash areas. Everywhere. I never really noticed it before, now I see it all over.

When I was internet IDing it, I came across numerous references to pokeweed salad. You pick it young, boil it ten times in different batches of water, discarding the water, by the way, and then eat it. You have to pick it young because it becomes toxic. That's what all the boiling is about, getting rid of the toxins. I stopped thinking of it as food at this point.

I generally cut it down if I have an impliment handy as I think of it as an invasive and a hazard to goats. They seem to throw care to the wind and eat it in spite of the deadly nature of PokeWeed!

phredude said...

Hey MMP,

Goats are funny that way. My friend was raising them and they ate something toxic and he had to take care of them accordingly. He was shaken by the whole experience. Otherwise, it looks like I'll be doing some trimming. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.