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Wales, United Kingdom
Documenting one couple's attempts to live a more self-sufficient life.

Friday 6 September 2013

Foraged Food Friday: Speedwell

I'll take a break from mushrooms this week, though I did find a huge cep this evening, which I ate for my dinner. I also had a very successful foraging trip last Sunday, but as all the things I gathered are being preserved one way or another, I'll tell you about those another time. This week I'm returning to the easiest source of foraged foods: Garden weeds.

I've always loved the pretty little blue flowers of speedwell, so I'm quite happy that it grows in my garden. I transplanted several pieces to my terrace, and it's doing well there.

Pretty little blue flowers with white centres

Some gardeners try to get rid of this, but I'd be quite happy to have a lawn of it.

There are several varieties of speedwell, but the most familiar (to me, at least) is this one, the Germander Speedwell. As well as the flowers, it can be distinguished by the two lines of hairs running up the stems (and other features - you can look them up if you're interested).

Hairy stem of Germander Speedwell (Veronica chamaedrys)

As well as being a pretty ground-cover plant it is, of course, edible. At least, the leaves make quite a good tea. It's mostly regarded for its medicinal value - I learnt last year that it seems to effective at shifting a chesty cough. I'd forgotten until I looked up that post just now that I drank the tea with honey last year. Today I had some neat and it was OK, but probably would have been nicer with honey.

Also harvesting this week
Sepia bolete mushroom (probably best avoided in future)
Cep mushroom
Elderberries (for wine)
Blackberries (for wine)
Hops (drying, for future brewing experiments)
Golden plums - just a few, but they got buried under elderberries and played with by Pebble, so they weren't much good after that
Sloes (unripe, for an experiment with brine and vinegar. Apparently they'll do a passable imitation of olives. Distressingly, these sloes were too far from home to go back when they're ripe - there were loads of them!)
Runner beans
Broad beans
Tomatoes - just a couple, but they're coming!

Also eating
Lacto-fermented courgettes

Also drinking
Blackcurrant wine (still last year's)
Elderflower champagne (this year's, and almost finished)

Foraged food challenge summary page here.


  1. Oh! I had no idea speedwell was edible. Can you eat the leaves as salad / cooked veg too or is it just suitable for tea? I'm always learning from your blog - thanks!! :-)

    1. Yes, I'm pretty sure you could put the leaves in salad, but you might want to taste one first. The flavour is quite strong.


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