How to Harvest Thistle for Green Smoothies

How to Harvest Thistle for Green Smoothies

I crave thistle. I'm not sure when it began…, when my body was attuned to our 1 acre Idaho lot enough to crave what naturally thrived here.


In my neck of the woods thistle is problem. Thistle is the enemy. It's a gnarly plant. If you stroke it's leaves it will draw blood from you.


Of the survival plants thistle is designed to excel where humans have destroyed native ecosystems. Befriending thistle is much like a story of beauty and the beast.


The most common question I'm asked about thistle is:

“How do you get it into your blender without cutting yourself up?'


8 Steps to Harvest Thistle

1. Don gardener gloves. The leather kind work best.

2. Get a shovel.

3. Wear shoes, not sandals.

4. Place the shovel blade at a 45′ angle to the root, under the thistle leaves

5. In a shift kick to your shovel behead the thistle.

Don't worry – you can't kill it without chemical warfare. Thistle is the gift that keeps on giving. Talk to your beheaded thistle plant. Thank it for it's powerful job restoring nutrients by dredging the deep minerals beneath the disturbed unhappy topsoil.

6. With gloved hands, pick up the thistle, and shake the dirt off.

7. Carry the thistle to garden hose. Spray the dirt off, quickly. Pull off any dead leaves.

8. Keeping your gloves on, bring thistle to the chopping block. In 2 whacks, chop it and put in blender.

Now you're done with the gloves. Add some water and fruit and blend into your superweed smoothie.

Here is a recipe for Thistle Smoothies.


Cate Stillman
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