How To Make Your Own Green Powder
As an avid fan of edible invasive weeds, I glory in the abundance of their presence. This year’s thistle harvest was sparser than usual, but chickweed went house. I was inundated with chickweed! She showed up in every garden and grow-box. I let her do her thing and ended up with five pounds of green powder!
Nutrient Density is in Your Weeds
Weeds are my dear sisters. They show up when needed, sometimes unwanted, to cleanse and nourish my cells. Weeds have taught me about cooperation. Instead of getting stuck on what I want to grow, I now see who shows up around the seeds I want to grow. Instead of fighting the weeds that can cleanse my liver, enliven my blood, refresh my palette, and enlighten my spirit, I co-opt. I co-opt them into my body and into my life.
Wild weeds are more nutrient dense than anything in the vegetable aisle at your organic food store. Seriously. These weeds are here to save your a$$! Stop fighting nature, and accept her glorious abundance! Check out how much chickweed is in one harvest from my garden. I had four harvests this season, and she’s still showing up fresh in my daily smoothies.
(Me looking challenged by the task ahead: My beds are full of plants I didn’t plant!)
Check out my beds up close:
This first picture below shows chickweed overtaking my kale and lettuce box. She’s choking them both!
How to Harvest + Dry Chickweed
The next image is what happens to chickweed when I cut her hair. Chickweed is simple to harvest:
- Use scissors.
- Cut only green leaves, about 3 inches up the stem from the soil.
- Place in dehydrator overnight or on white garden fabric
As you can see below, I start dehydrating the chickweed on white garden fabric. I fill the sheet of fabric with the harvested weeds and then drag it onto the patio so it’s off the moist grass. The sun and air start the dehydrating process. After it’s compacted down, I stuff it on trays in my 9 tray dehydrator to finish the job.
When dehydrating powders, you want to avoid mold. Get your greens crispy and crunchy. They should break, not bend.
How to Make Phytonutrient – Rich Green Powder
After I take the dried chickweed and friends out of the dehydrator, I need to powder it. Here are the steps:
- Do this outside.
- Get a big bowl.
- Put on heavy-duty rubber gloves or clean gardening gloves.
- With gloved hands, fill the bowl with the dried plants.
- Massage the mix until it looks like tea leaves.
- Transfer to a blender. I use a Vitamix.
- Blend on low speed. Tamp down. Slowly increase your speed.
- Pack the powder in airtight containers.
- Dance a joyful jig!
Which Weeds to Make into Green Powder
Not all weeds are great for green powder since they vary in levels of nutrients. Humans benefit from some more than others. According to The Wild Wisdom of Weeds by Katrina Blair, these are the plants you can have loads of in your green powder:
Here are the weeds that “require special attention” if being added to green powder:
- Thistle (use heavy gloves and grind finely)
- Clover (use only when young–and sparingly)
- Dock (due to oxalic acid)
- Lambsquarter (gather before it flowers; use sparingly owing to concentrated flavor)
- Purslane (takes longer to dehydrate)
- Mustard (super spicy)
- Grass (too high in cellulose, but young, tender grasses can work well)
Don’t worry too much about a recipe. Harvest your greens when they are thriving, and you will absorb their thrive. I look for the plants’ “reckless-teenager” stage in life. That’s the abundant energy I want in my blood.
Regarding Katrina’s recommendations above, here’s what I’ve discovered: I like a ton of thistle in my green powder. I don’t use any mustard because of its taste. I don’t intentionally harvest grass, but some always ends up in the mix. I grow a ton of mint and basil and throw that into my mix for taste and phytonutrients.
Read this book and learn more:
The Wild Wisdom of Weeds by Katrina Blair
Give the Gift of Phytonutrients
At this juncture in my wild-weed harvesting career, I’m harvesting way more than my immediate family can consume. The weed-to-food ratio in my garden produces at 3:1. That’s a ton of dried green powder! And this green powder is like green gold. It’s packed with wild, local energy and phytonutrients. It’s my best immune-boosting, blood-cleansing, and palette-refreshing friend. I use it year-round.
Most of my dear loved ones won’t go to the trouble of making their own green powder. So I harvest and dry all summer and then stash it away for holiday and birthday gifts. My gifts tend to celebrate, inspire, and educate. Thanks, Chickweed! Thanks, Thistle! Thanks, Dandelion! You can always visit me!