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Sprouts

Amazon.com is a terrific source for certified organic seeds intended for home sprouting. Dress up salads, stir-fry, sandwiches, spreads, and other dishes with homegrown sprouts of all kinds. Follow this link to order your sampler or to find home sprouting kits.

 

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Touch Me Not on Bloom Day

The flowers of Jewel Weed are small but quite pretty and they attract all kinds of native pollinators. Jewel Weed prefers damp soil, so look for it along stream banks.

This Garden Bloggers Bloom Day in my Small Kitchen Garden is a real downer. 8 inches of rain last week drowned roots of my climbing beans and my chili peppers… and I must believe the winter squash isn’t happy. The rhubarb is also looking pretty bad which is especially distressing because rhubarb should be building up stores to help it through the winter.

Stepping out of My Small Kitchen Garden

To escape the ugliness, I stepped out of the garden for September’s Bloom Day post. I found one of my favorite common plants, the Touch Me Not, which many people know as Jewel Weed, and shot a few photos.

What I Know About Jewel Weed

I know Touch Me Nots from when I was a kid. It grew in thickets at the summer camp I attended. There were three things I loved about the plant then… and I still love those things:

Jewel Weed produces small pods that contain one or more seeds. As the pods mature, they become plump, and you can eventually see dark spots through their skins. The spots are seeds which are ripe when they turn dark.

1. The flowers are gorgeous

2. The seeds are edible and they taste pretty good

3. The seed pods explode

I’ve since learned a few other tidbits about Jewel Weed:

1. The sap is a cure for itchiness—particularly for poison ivy. Supposedly, if you crumple up and crush a leaf and rub it on a rash, the itchiness will diminish for several hours.

2. The flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

What’s not to like?

When you bump a ripe seed pod, it explodes and sends its seeds up to several feet away from the parent plant. I contained the explosion of this under ripe pod to capture the seeds and provide a look at the springy parts. Find a stand of Touch Me Nots, gently harvest a bunch of ripe pods, and contain them when they explode. Then snack on the dark-brown seeds. The flavor may remind you of wild hickory nuts.

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4 Responses to “Touch Me Not on Bloom Day”

  • Lara:

    Love jewel weed! I’ve noticed around here that it often grows nearby poison ivy, too.

  • Donna B.:

    More on Jewel Weed! Not only are the leaves good for poison ivy – but it’s mainly the stems. If you break one of the stems open it’s a hollow [like a mint] and incredibally sappy; THAT’S what you want to use on the areas that have been recently affected by poison ivy~
    Story time: My MIL one day was pulling weeds, and noticed that the area her friend and self was in was all covered in poison ivy – she, all-knowing gardening goddess, rubbed the jewel weed all over her exposed areas and was fine the next day. Her friend didn’t fair so well… I’m taking some seeds to plant in an area I want it to go nuts. Mwahaha.

  • Daniel Gasteiger:

    Donna: Thanks for the additional info. I hope when you say “I’m taking some seeds to plant…” you mean Jewel Weed seeds and not Poison Ivy seeds. Your evil laugh got me a little concerned!

  • Donna B.:

    @ Daniel: Hogosh! No, no no no, I have enough Poison Ivy in my backyard! I need the Jewel Weed so I can *pull* the P. Ivy out. I had my first exposure to P. Ivy on the top of my right hand this spring [admiring a jack-in-the-pulpit in the woods... touched it without noticing at first, /sigh] although I didn’t get a terrible reaction, it still affected my gardening/illustrative endavours…

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