People Near Here; 109; The Weed Eater
Were you going to do what you were going to rule over. But I see something else here Becky. I spent all of last Saturday ripping all of this stuff out of my garden this week in my garden overdue so I'm sorry. It's OK. It's not a weed it's delicious it's edible it's personal. If you spent long summer days trying to keep the weeds out of your garden then you'll want to meet a woman who welcomes the wayward invaders into hers. Get to know the weedeater. It's next on people near here.
Oh yeah. YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH
YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH. It may be the middle of winter but it's not too early to plan the summer garden. This is my summer garden. I've got asparagus here some pumpkins along here and then squash tomato plants for herbs green beans peas. Usually two kinds of potatoes and then corn. I spend a lot of summer days out here most of it planting and harvesting. But a lot of it I'm out here weeding. Now I like to keep an organic garden and the weeds really do run wild if you don't pull them up. Well last summer
the videographer Paul Frederick and I caught up with a gardener who lives in Potsdam New York who encourages the weeds to grow in her garden. Becky horrible and not only likes weeds she turns them into baskets wreaths jellies him breads mustards and medicinal cure alls. When life in the fast lane of New York advertising got to be too fast for Becky hardly She did what some rat racers only dream about doing. She lit out for the wilds of the Adirondacks eventually settling here on a
quaint old farmstead in the St. Lawrence Valley. Becky has grown close to the earth and what the Earth can teach. For those who are willing to learn. You know I think when most people if you think about these. Why old lead strewn field they think about this right. Yeah and they think maybe this is something that somebody's got to do something with you know they had to get rid of it. But there's a lot of food in here. You could live off it. We could live off this. Show me with what. Well for instance milkweed provides a fiver on the right right here. That's Milk Way early. The newly formed pads are edible. There is a process that one needs to go through to get rid of some of the SAT in terms of rinsing it and rinsing it before but actually sauteed it's really pretty good. So yes. OK. And and it does have dried stem of the milk wheat is also something that you could spin and make a fiver so you could make a rope. Yeah. Very
similar to him. Well we're just loaded with stuff here. Lansley of gold and gold and gold light is delicious. Now I know people that will go out of their way to keep it out of any garden or any field near. Yeah but it just grows abandoned right it does. What do you do with golden rice. Well I make jellies from it. I use it to infuse and make ice teas with it and makes a wonderful tea taste a little bit like a cross between a peach a pear. Very few flavor and this is not what people think is going to be giving them an allergy. It's ragweed that's air pollinated this is not a are pollinated. OK. And you make a tea out of one of the black blossoms and these are just coming to blossom. Yes. OK this one for instance would be good. This is a pity there is a good horse and jelly. It's a natural dye Reddick a lot of the Native
Americans used it to help the medicine go down. What else can I say what I mean hopefully Mann's latest Who knows lake place some people call it wild carrot that probably cut by this wonderful spider that hangs out on Queen and you know that I should destroy it because it was it was this far with its food. What would you do with Queen Queen Anne's lace in the early form. I don't know if you can catch this but there are some carried down in here. This I see that you have and if we were if we had a little bit of equipment with us we could pull that up and actually have a nice carrot. Now you can see kind of purity here. It's a close relative. They're all in the umbrella for I family. So this is a route to be. Yes the route is about a bill and you can eat that. Yes. And when I get to this you eat the blossom. Well you can make a tea out of it. I made jelly and it has a very nice flavor.
Now the problem with all of this is I do what I call my my rule of three and that is use three books three different books to identify a plant because Queen Anne's lace looks a lot like water and lock and that's it is OK but there are one so you see this bird's nest that the seeds that the blossom forms after it's gone by you know that's Queen Anne's lace no other plant as that. And inside once these little green seeds are mature and ripe they actually taste really good they're wonderful and breads. While it's a little caraway seeds. Yeah yeah nutty Tastes like this lightning idea that you can taste and now get an idea of what they will be like they're a lot softer obviously now a little little. Well that is I think it is a nice taste. I walk through this stuff. There are stuff that you know
I'm not feeling well and I come over to medicine. OK what can you do for me. Well let's say this is a plant that actually comes from South America. It's used by indigenous people it's called Spa Lantus. And there's two different species. And basically they grow the same. This one is for me. Well it will numb your or your gum let's act a little numb numb your gum adds a little bit. Like I just chew this little yeah this is this is they have like your say. Trust me. It tastes like it was kind of bitter. Is being nice in a salad too. It would be. Yeah we can't speak we know they weren't. I don't know if that's amazing. Yeah it's a great clan. It was wrong. Yeah it was a movie it was a hot warm feeling to
it. One of the other plants it's it's right here that might be interesting for pies a little new you know those not oh my goodness lamb scores. It's a baby lambs quarter and it's in the podium family and it is actually delicious. Taste greatness salad. You're out here really. Yeah. Then you can collect them and stuff all those big zucchinis that you can't find any use for him. So with this instant onions This is a beautiful color. What is this is called Key Kenya and this is also a South American plant has a very strong stand. This is used by indigenous people for liver health as a general liver tonic. We know that a lot of it's not just folk medicine effect scientists. This happens to be a plant that has not had a lot of research by modern medicine but it's work and that's good enough.
Yeah it is. This is an example of something that people call we need. This is planting this is a very important medicinal. And if anybody really wanted to teach their children or their grandchildren about this plant to be a really good idea it will take away a basting state in 20 seconds flat. You simply remove the leaf and this time of year it gets pretty tough so you might have to chew it but you squish it or just you know chew it for a minute or so so it gets a little bit broken up and you can release some of the juices and apply it to the bee sting and it takes the sting away really quickly. Much easier than a child running into the house trying to find some cold water to put on it or some aloe or something like that. Plant. I've seen that in just about every for every look. Yeah yeah.
We could spend the entire show just learning the wonders of Betty's medicine garden. But there's lots more to see here. So we moved on to the vegetable garden where the zucchini flourishes along with the weeds Basler basil and one side of the ocean you're from. But I see something else here Becky. I spent all of last Saturday ripping all of this stuff out of my garden has taken my garden over this I'm sorry. It's delicious it's edible it's personal it's what purslane purslane léonie. Then why did I spend the whole day tearing the stuff up out of my garden because no one told you about how good it is. They want us to call this practice an escape their gardens this is not a native plant. And it's really quite good raw raw. I can't believe that I mean something that was away in my garden. When your pickled is good it is slightly sour acidic
wonderful and sad. This is now wait a minute. I pulled this out of my garden too and it wasn't OK. This is something you want to leave in your garden. Yes what is it called gallons so good GA. L I N S O G A and this is what it looks like and yes and rice are green. No dizzy. I'm born again. OK so I've been ripping out the more exotic inhabitants of my garden and I promised Becky I'd be more tolerant next time by the way. Becky wanted us to emphasize the importance of knowing what it is you do have growing in your garden whether you put it there or not. Do not consume anything unless you're absolutely certain it will not do you any harm. Remember Bacchis Rule of 3. Check it out in three different plant books before you taste it. Well winter comes quick to the north. It's mid-December and we've come back because we wanted to show you that
even though it's winter doesn't mean the end of the work around back in the herb farm. In fact this can be one of the busiest times of the year in this barn in the loft. It's where she does a lot of her creative work. Come on this way Paul. And we can find her around the corner and up the stairs. Knock knock knock. Hello workshop. This is it. And look at look at this walk you walk right in and right in front of a big basket of dried roses. Beautiful arrangements and this is where you do your range. This is a this is the place that is also a storage place for all the drugs all over this. This is Georgia something you're working on. And I see some are here. I see
things. Oh yes you do. You know which is a wonderful edible lots of wonderful teas can be. That and a little drive. And here is this is your garden. It is the remnants of the summer. Lots of lavender and straw for just one and all of this and doing decorations. Now I know a lot of people would look at this and drive. This is also better if they had your house you would start all kinds of foods. Would you make some of those. Let's do that let's get over to the house I said. Yes an old farmstead originally from
33. So to her you know the House tried this is just beautiful. Oh yes please take your time here in the front room as they used to call it. Oh I see here is the formal entrance way here. And I love these old floors looking past fall it's just gorgeous. What a night. 1833 a few years old. How kind of shape was it in when I was in bad shape. There was a lot of years and years of paper and it took all that out plus room place trying to preserve most of it will study here. Yeah this is the this is where Don does his work and I do my labeling and so I knew we had made a few. This is our inventory of books.
Look at all these. Yes I can see this. We'll talk later about that because maybe I can get you to recommend a couple of books for viewers. OK and this takes us back to this is a practically built house. Did you know they painted them but the pine table carried out on the table. And here you have even more. Oh I wish that I could have sort of an agreement with the local florist. We take care of their compost which is good for the earth and we get what they call their dead. They call these dead. But they drive wonderfully. In fact you can see another pile that's been hanging there for a couple weeks and then
they go up above the barn and into arrangements yes. Beautiful and a nice look at all of the stuff. Here are your angels. Yeah that's a snowball hydrangea harvested when they're still green. Yeah. Before they turn white and there's some sort of pepper plant that I have who are still green and and some of them writing this they hung and now it's a beautiful color though it's not and this that's a Russian sage the 1995 prevail of the years that was very popular in 95 and probably will be for the next few years. That's lemon grass. This is what I mean. Yes. It's wonderful you're home. It's the dead of winter but it still has a real flavor of summer and here this is great. Now what we want to talk to you about today is cooking with the stuff. Well good subject. OK let's take a look here. You cook often with the things you harvest from you're absolutely in the summertime. Wow look at this this is
wonderful. Yeah. Next year the chair for a cameraman here. Yeah. Now tech This is from here. This is amazing what is that. And the boy in front of you. This is homemade pasta. And this is pasta made from curly dark and also from golden brown. So you combine these two flour and you just you just these these are actually stripped off. They're put in the other at a very low temperatures low as your oven can go for about eight to 10 minutes. Dried in the ground and they're ground into this flour and it's just a very short haul. Yeah and it has a wonderful taste. Very sweet very closely related to Buckwheat.
And so you get a very kind of a flavor. So it's good in the breads either or or other kinds of breads. Now wait a minute hold on here I'm assuming it was poisonous berries red have no dread berries a white poisonous red so they can feed all he wants. And I enjoyed this glabra. And there are several kinds that grow in the Northeast and the berries are stripped and they make a wonderful team. There are very important medicinal again to be really careful before you start stuff. Absolutely. You know some people believe that this is poisonous but it doesn't mean that they don't have allergies to people who have allergies to mother's milk. That is possible. And this is your series your label and goldenrod jelly no cans. So this is golden rod
is that right. That's going right here is the jelly and that's the jelly and that would be to try another kind of bread. Yes this is golden Mart bread. This is made with golden rod. It's a fairly sweet bread. And I have a dull knife. It's not that tough. And it has all been in it a little bit of what a fruit of dried fruit. So it has a slightly sweet taste. Try this without body really good for you the flavor. My bad. Yeah I want some goldenrod jelly. Sure that's very good. I had called him a list of the things I've been ripping out of my garden for years. Johnson over the bank. Yeah and the birds love the golden rod as well.
That's very good. If you do the same thing on our place Queen Anne's lace makes wonderful Jelly Jelly is wonderful. Very surprising. And wow. How would you describe it is it. Yeah a little on the food inside but it has kind of a mysterious tang to it. Yeah very very very good game for some more. I'll try sure. OK. This is clearance legs. Unbelievable tonight we have a wonderful white blossom that once it's dried forms a bird's nest and their seeds are edible and slates and they are wonderful and pastor you can make those and you're crying about them in Queen Anne's lace. Joey how did you get this recipe to do this. I knew it was edible and I just made a jelly out of it lists. Once you start making jellies you become addicted to the process. If it's edible you can make it for the verdict that's very good. How would you
compare the two flavors. Well this is more of a kind of more subtle. The Queen Anne's lace to me as a more like a tea flavor. Now you made this must realize that mustard and here is you grew the mustard mustard mustard. OK. And that's all that snow is wonderful. Yeah. And mustard firm that he's gotten into here. That's hot. It's going to it's going to and I going to get here. I don't know. Possibly. Oh yeah. That's a wonderful story.
The genesis of a home grown lifestyle is ancient history long before modern medicine or supermarkets. People of all continents used wild edibles as foods and for promoting good health it's somehow comforting to know that people like Becky are carrying on this tradition. Getting back to the Earth does not necessarily have to be a rugged sacrificial lifestyle. Rather it can be abundant. A rich and rewarding experience with new wonders of nature to discover every day even in a patch of woods.
Your local library has plenty of books on herbs and wild flower gardening but two of Becky's favorites are road Dales Illustrated Encyclopedia of herbs and the Field Guide to medicinal wild plants by Bradford and deer last summer I was out here mowing the lawn and I ran over a yellow jackets nest hidden in an old gophers halt. I got stung up pretty good but once I got clear of the nest I chewed up some broad leaf plantin pressed the pulp on the sting justice Becky Harlan showed us. I was skeptical at first but after only a few minutes the pain of the sting was gone. I found out that for me anyway the planting cure also worked. A mosquito bites on behalf of videographer Paul Frederick. I'm very clear in saying Thanks for watching. We hope you'll tune in again next time when we'll introduce you to some more interesting people near
here. OK. How about coming inside to make you a nice hot cup of skunk cabbage tea and some pine needle cookies. The other two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese unused pickles and sesame seed bun. You're at the with
- People Near Here
- Episode Number
- The Weed Eater
- Producing Organization
- Mountain Lake PBS
- Contributing Organization
- Mountain Lake PBS (Plattsburgh, New York)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- "While most of us curse the intrusive weeds in our lawns and gardens, there is a woman who actually welcomes all wayward weeds because she eats them! Becky Harblin's herb garden (and ""naturally seeded"" fields) are magical places where ragweed and fleabane flourish.*(episode number on tape label and/or slate may be incorrect)"
- Series Description
- People Near Here is a documentary series that explores Adirondack history and culture.
- Local Communities
- Media type
- Moving Image
Camera Operator: Muirden, Derek
Editor: Frederick, Paul
Producer: Muirden, Derek
Producing Organization: Mountain Lake PBS
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Mountain Lake PBS (WCFE)
Identifier: 0074A (MLPBS)
Format: Betacam: SP
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
- Chicago: “People Near Here; 109; The Weed Eater,” 1995-00-00, Mountain Lake PBS, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 3, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-113-22v41vht.
- MLA: “People Near Here; 109; The Weed Eater.” 1995-00-00. Mountain Lake PBS, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 3, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-113-22v41vht>.
- APA: People Near Here; 109; The Weed Eater. Boston, MA: Mountain Lake PBS, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-113-22v41vht