Free weed

By: Calum Hodgson

Go for a wander and inhale deeply. Take her all in and be enveloped in the haze. For now is the season of delicious weed. These plants in the wrong place are abundant and ripe for the harvest. They give me a real high picking them around Whangaparaoa. I’ve been a recreational user of onion weed for ages. A friend with weed is a friend indeed.

A very versatile and accomplished pioneering and invasive weed, with juicy stalks and unmistakable little white flowers, onion weed is the best target plant for beginner foragers, as it’s literally everywhere.

The entire plant is edible, including the bulbs. When crushed, the triangular stalks smell like onions. As a garnish, the flowers make everything look cool. If friends were flowers I would pick you.

I remember one time when I was picking onion weed, a guy suggested, rather aggressively, that I was stealing. I presented my pickings and offered to share my weed with him, explaining that there were several acres of the unwanted deliciousness behind me.

‘We should be eating this pest! It’s yum as!!’ I said. But no, this guy was convinced I was up to no good and advised he was calling the cops. I was a guy with weeds after all. So I advised I would call the cops too, and report myself for picking onion weed. To my delight the constable asked me what recipe I was going to use my foraging for, and this is what I told her:

Mini pickled onion weed bulbs
Process bulbs – soak the onion weed in water and rub off the papery skins • Pack clean jars tight with bulbs • Bring enough white vinegar to cover the bulbs, and around 10 percent salt, to boil (1 litre vinegar to 100g salt) • Pour this mixture over packed jars and seal with lid. • Let cool and put in fridge.
Consume whenever the mood takes you. I usually wait until onion weed season is over. Bulbs pair well with venison, beef and a good string cheese.

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