Tag Archives: Gallant soldiers

365 Frankendael day 209

The Amsterdam Manor Hotel on Linneausstraat has a lovely wrought iron fence along side the road and I was delighted today, to find masses of delicious Chickweed (Stellaria media) tucked behind it, just within arms reach.

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I harvested a bag full I’m no time at all, drawing a few interested glances. No matter, I now have a 500 ml tincture jar set up and a small apple cider vinegar infusing with this wonderful herb and wild food.

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I’ll use the tincture for cleansing and if needed, to dissolve cysts our solve itchy skin complaints. Ill use the vinegar as a salad dressing, straight of the spoon or to draw minerals out of cooking food.

Chickweed is a nutrient dense plant, so easy to harvest and find and so tolerant of the cold weather.

Also today, behind another fence, this time belonging to Spanish tapas bar, Pata Negra, is a healthy patch of Gallant Soldiers. Quite appropriate I think!

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365 Frankendael day 206

I had a lovely time with the Apprentice group this morning. We went out hunting for Chickweed and found some along with plenty of delicious Gallant Soldiers (Galinsoga parviflora) This pavement garden patch looked particularly vibrant and suited to a Colombian potato soup!

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After the group had left I had another little wander around my neighbourhood and found the biggest patch of Chickweed (NL: Vogelmuur, Stellaria media), just 100m from my home. Here is a fraction of it. I feel a nourishing and skin calming Chickweed vinegar in the making…

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365 Frankendael day 160

Today on a walk to the local swimming pool we found a lovely stand of Rose bushes which are still partly in flower. I harvested a handful to their into an old Indian ginger tonic recipe. It’s very simple and we’ll look at it on the Exotic herbs workshop on 14th October.

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In almost every place I turned this morning, there were Gallant Soldiers growing. Now is a good time to harvest, dry and store this little herb for use, especially in potato dishes, through the winter. See day 154, for some background on the herb and a link to a traditional Colombian recipe which requires this South American herb.

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365 Frankendael day 154

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Just one photo today, of Gallant Soldiers (Galinsoga parviflora, NL Kaal knopkruid) in a crack at the local garage (where we took our car to get the golfball hailstone dents taken out). I certainly would advise anyone against harvesting from such a location, as it’s sure to be polluted but it certainly is a nice example of this edible plant. Gallant Soldiers seems to be everywhere at the moment so if you develop a taste for it, you certainly won’t go hungry.

It was apparently brought to the UK Kew Gardens from Peru, in 1798 and made a very successful break for freedom. It has since become a garden weed throughout Europe and much effort is put into weeding it out. However it is edible and tasty, it’s used to spice up a particular potato & chicken soup called Ajiaco, in Colombia and I intend to try it out this weekend. The only problem for me being that each time I see it, it’s growing in quite dirty locations. It’s obviously quite a survivor! Here’s a recipe which seems to be fairly authentic, although it does use stock cubes. The herb they name as Guascas is Gallant Soldiers.

As I was searching for more uses of the plant I found this treasure trove of a website. Scroll through the list of herbs to find out African uses. Gallant soldiers is apparently a known wound herb in Kenya. Pound the leaves and stem, squeeze the juice onto the wound.