Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Giant Ragweed harvest this October

A update on my Giant Ragweed.

With my foot in a cast I was still able to harvest half a bucket of seeds from a single patch of Giant Ragweed.
The powers above seemed to be against me. I broke my ankle so I had to wait till I was in a walking cast. Being in a cast I only got to harvest a fraction of what I wanted to harvest. Being in the cast I was limited in what I could harvest. I selected a small patch by my chicken pen. I had purchased a very short heavy duty sickle head on about a three foot handle. The first time I used it the handle split along the length. So out came the duck tape. A short time later off came the metal part. So out came the duck tape again. After a good coating of duck tape it stayed together. I would grab the Giant Ragweed stalk in my left and and cut is at the base with the sickle tool in my right. Than I would hobble over to a tarp I had layed out an place the stalk on the tarp and give it a few good hits with the back of the sickle bar. I could hear the seeds dropping. Once I had a load on the tarp I would drag the bunch to the chicken pen and put the stalks in the pen. The seeds that had fallen on the tarp I collected.

In this manner I managed a couple loads and got half a bucket full of seeds. The seeds that remained on the stalks along with any green leave or seed pods were eaten by the chickens. They cleaned up all that could be eaten in just a matter of a few days. I am now setting with a bucket of seeds that I will sort this winter looking for the biggest seeds. Next year I am likely to cut the Giant Ragweed as fodder for the chickens since it is high in protein and the birds love it.The seeds are high in fat and digestible protein so it would make good bird feed. The one thing I would do differently would be to plant the Giant Ragweed in rows so I can bend the stalks over the tarp as I cut them so I keep more seeds. It is interesting that the seeds were eaten by humans long ago. I have tried some myself since ragweed is not a problem for me. They taste something like raw sunflower seeds. It is likely I can run them through a oil press since they are so high in fats. I am surprised that they are not used by people who have a problem with ragweed pollen. Since 75% of people who have a problem with ragweed pollen have a problem with the leaves of the plant. Leaves and seeds in small doses would seem to offer a way to become less sensitive. One thing I noted was how many honey bees were collecting pollen form my Giant Ragweed. It may explain why the local honey helps with allergies if taken weekly all year long.

This spring I plant to use my new jab planter to put in a new patch of giant ragweed!

No comments:

Post a Comment