One of the first greens of spring, this mild juicy little wild green is widely known as a garden weed, but it has a lot to offer as food, beneficial insect attracter, medicine, and even as a cover crop. Restaurants use the mild juicy tips in salad, where it's very mild flavor moderates the stronger flavors of other winter greens like endive and cress. I like the tips as an easier substitute for microgreens or sprouts. Very high in vitamins, minerals, and protein. In the garden, take 2 or 3 cuttings before it blooms and then turn it under--it feeds the soil and breaks down quickly. In perennial areas like under shrubs or fruit trees, you can let it self-sow, which it does thickly.. 200 seeds
Since it blooms before almost everything else, the tiny flowers are are a valuable source of nectar for zillions of native bees, honey bees, syrphids, aphid-eating wasps, and other beneficials. It has been used as a cover crop that breaks down quickly when spaded in or smothered. And it has long been used as a soothing poultice or ingredient in herbal skin-care products. And the other thing about chickweed is that the name is for real--chickens love it.