Wild food in May – Late Spring Foraging – Food for free in May – Andy Hamilton, Alien Invaders: Did Darwin get it wrong then? Copyright © 2020 | MH Magazine WordPress Theme by MH Themes, Sunny day! Its explosive seed pods aid its spread by sending the seeds into the river, causing further dispersal downstream. Every plant has dozens of pods which contain an average of 800 seeds, so a thicket of Himalayan Balsam can contain up to 30,000 of these tiny bullets just waiting to take root. It grows rapidly and spreads quickly, smothering other vegetation as it goes. It’s now July 2010, I’ve since tried the seeds – they have a walnut like taste and are very versatile. The seeds require a period of cold to activate from dormancy, as a result mature seeds (if carefully picked over) can be stored in an air-tight jar as a store-cupboard standby. Himalayan balsam can completely cover an area and crowd out native vegetation. In areas with a high density of plants, strimming or cutting are effective control measures, but all stems must be completely severed below the lowest node (or joint). I found it also made a bonus by-product of Balsam sweets! In the UK armies of volunteers spend thousands of hours destroying this weed. Chemical control - you must only spray during the growing season when there is green leafy material present and most of … By foraging for this free food you can help your budget and the environment. However the amount needed in a salad by no means corresponded with the amount available – I clearly needed a use for it in bulk. It self-sows vigorously, and takes over any area where it seeds, driving out native plants. I can’t remember which part but I do believe its the juice from the stems. But what can I do? cocoa beans, coffee beans, teas could also be mentioned in this context, but are all very different in nature. I use the jar as a sweet spread and put it on ice-cream. This is what causes erosion – not Himalayan Balsam. If we care to process a little, I think many plants that are otherwise considered useless can be used with great success in the kitchen! Just DON'T plant them! If you grind them up in a coffee grinder they make a very tasty nut burger. This plant is the least harmful of our three main invasive species. The more seeds we eat, the fewer seeds there will remain to spread this plant. I came across a German man called Peter Becker who it seems shares some of my passion for eating invasive species. • Re: Self Sufficient 2021. Thanks for the information, and yes of course we are very careful with these however they are everywhere in Ontario, my grandmother had them growing against her barn (maybe they ate the cow poo? This was late June and from observing the plant near my house I knew it was soon to flower. Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glanulifera) is an attractive looking flower, with a stout, hollow stem, trumpet shaped pink/white flowers and elliptical shaped green leaves. If the Himalayan Balsam is near a water-course the use of chemical control may be impossible. I live in ontario canada and we have lots of Himalyan balsm. Propagating Balsam Flowers . Good to know every seed you eat is one less of the purple river monsters. How about that toxicity? When I see Himalayan Impatiens, the noxious weed that’s usually planted deliberately in Alberta yards, I think of those double agents and how alluring they can be. • Re: Using recycled plastic, (you can use 2tbs of one or the other or use fresh orange juice or squeezy lemon), Cut away all but the petals of the balsam, Boil the juice, sugar and water to make a syrup, Add the petals and cook on the lowest heat for about half an hour stirring all the time, Strain through a fine sieve (the contents of the sieve can be separated out on a plate and eaten like sweets), Pot in heat sterilized jars (jars and lids that have been boiled and are still warm). Ripe Himalayan Balsam seedpods However, the plant’s greatest asset by far is that it produces copious amounts of both nectar and pollen and as a consequence, it is very very popular with insects. himalayan balsam seeds. Seeds are set from August to October. Where it is found in Wales Himalayan balsam is found across Wales most commonly along waterways and in damp places. An excellent tutorial. I first came across the reference in Sir George Watt’s six volume ‘A Dictionary of Economic Products of India’ 1889-1896. It has an explosive seed capsule, which scatters seeds over a distance of up to 7m. Believe me narf – you do not want this weed in Australia -you have enough problem species as it is. I didn’t know you could eat the seeds though, we also have Nigella which are also invasive in the sense that they grow anywhere. Hi Dave, heard chap today on the radio say that HB seed was edible, googled to make sure he wasn’t a nutter before I tried it, and it went straight to your site. Himalayan Balsam was added to Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in April 2009 in Wales and England. I found a recipe for Rose petal preserve and adapted it a little for the balsam. It is pollinated by bumble-bees. After finding out that Japanese Knotweed was edible (use the young shoots as you would rhubarb) I began a quest to find out what other invasive weeds could end up on the dinner plate. By foraging for this free food you can help your budget and the environment. we are already using a lot of other bland tasting plant-parts with an interesting texture, but is perhaps not aware of it? Dave has now left Selfsufficientish but you can catch up with him on davehamilton.me.uk or on twitter @davewildish. This attractive annual plant was introduced to Ireland from the Himalayas and has since become a very invasive weed. Q7: How do I remove Himalayan balsam? Posted December 12, 2020. Once established Himalayan balsam, which can grow up to 10ft in height, outcompetes native … The extreme pace at which Himalayan Balsam can spread, thanks to its exploding seed pods and the damage it can cause to the environment, makes it an invasive species. They both needs to be cured and treated to have any interesting culinary appeal and yet they popularity is evident. Immature seed pods (before they reach the 'explosive' stage) are edible whole, and can be cooked like radish pods or mangetout (snow peas) and used in stir-fries and curries. Strimming and mowing of Himalayan balsam may also be … The reason this can be such a disaster is that because this plant is not native, there aren’t many creatures that will eat it and keep it under control. In Articles. Himalayan balsam is an annual plant that is propegated by seed (each plant can produce 800 seeds). The young shoots and stems are edible, when cooked, but care should be taken as they contain high concentrations of calcium oxalate (which is broken down and leached out on cooking) but it is recommended that they are not consumed too frequently. Collect the seeds by covering the whole seed head with flowers and all in a bag. Could they be used for this since the physical make up is so similar? This recipe makes one jar but scale up if you’ve found a good source of the plant and don’t forget to bash the balsam as you pick! I love spy movies, ones like James Bond where the cars are fast, the suits expensive and you never know which beautiful woman you can trust. You probably won’t find transplants of balsam sold at the nursery, but you can start this forgiving annual from seed. They are supposed to be related to a wild species here called Jewel weed, which is supposed to CURE the effects of poison ivy. We have 4 dogs, the balsam literally eat the dog droppings in about a day, with no smell left. Himalayan Balsam is naturally found in Asia in the mountains of the Himalayas and bought back to the UK by the Victorians. Each seed has a viability of 18 months. Cornish trials have shown that Himalayan Balsam seeds only remain viable in the soil for 1 year. We are stuck with blackberries and periwinkle and gorse with a dose of bracken fern thrown in ;). Himalayan Balsam - Free food. I`m preparing Jelly and brewing Vinegar with the flowers and Marzipan from the seeds. Regards to you and yours, Maggie. It was introduced to Kew Gardens in 1839 and is thought to have mainly been spread by people passing seeds … I think of Capers and olives as very popular options. Strimming or cutting is an effective control. Himalayan Balsam by Rob Sproule . The colour is so vivid that I would use it to colour jellies, jams and cordials. What is the problem with Balsam? Re: Do goats eat Himalayan balsam? By mid-July there was a lot more of the plant in flower and so again I set to work. This eruption catapults the seeds inside in all directions, spreading the Balsam invasion even further next year. Mature seed capsules explode when touched and can eject seeds as much as 5 metres from the parent plant, giving it the alternate common name of “Touch-Me-Not plant”. When collecting the seeds, you need not be too particular in removing all bits of the seed pods that you collect with them as the pods are edible. Therefore, if effective control is carried out before seeding, complete eradication can be achieved in one season. A wonderful web site for lots of recipe ideas can be found at Celtnet. From experimenting I found the flower was rather bland but mixed in with a little dressing and some more flavoursome leaves it made an attractive addition to a salad. They are useful for substituting in cakes instead of nuts for those with nut allergies and ground himalayan balsam seeds can be substituted for ground almonds. shares some of my passion for eating invasive species. There are 4-16 seeds per pod and each plant can produce 800 seeds. By growing to such a height and exploding it can disperse its seeds maybe 3-5 m from the original plant, which can cast into the river and carried on by the flow. We have a nice contained area for them and keep them in check as they do spread, fortuanately they are easy to pull. Himalayan balsam is a hardy weed, which can flourish in even low levels of light, with explosive seed pods, dispersing up to 800 seeds up to 20 feet away, the weed can spread fast and kill off all surrounding vegetation. I waited a couple of weeks and in early July I set to work harvesting the flowers and bashing the plant as I went. In it he mentions that the seeds are eaten, having a nutty flavour. Manual – As Himalayan balsam is a shallow rooted plant it can be easily uprooted by hand. himalayan balsam seeds. According to my studies over the last ten years, balsam is, without doubt, the most important riverbank plant for bumble bees, honey bees, wasps, hoverflies and more than 50 species of other flies. Himalayan balsam is an annual, so the big problem is the seeds, not the plant itself. I found I could pull up the plant root and all quite easily so I yanked on each plant as I removed the flower. Generally, Himalayan balsam grows to just over 2 metres tall and can be seen flowering in the middle and end of summer. This plant is the least harmful of our three main invasive species. Amongst other things he had found some edible uses for Himalayan Balsam, a plant which is choking out a lot of the native plants along river banks in Bristol. Himalayan balsam was introduced as a garden plant in 1839, but soon escaped and became widely naturalised along riverbanks and ditches, especially close to towns. Dreams of the Med in frozen north, Return of the Good Life: the new craze for front garden allotments, Ron Finley at MAD4: “Save Your Food Save Your Life” – YouTube, How to Harvest Your Own Seeds from Fruit and Vegetables for Propagation into Nursery – The Permaculture Research Institute. The flowers can also be used to make floral jams and jellies or added to salads. Control of invasive non-native species - Himalayan balsam Eradication may be possible in two to three years unless your site is being colonised by seeds from further upstream. Your email address will not be published. There’s an American forager called Steve Brill who eats the seeds of jewel weed just as I do with Balsam. The seeds have a chilling requirement for germination to occur. The more seeds we eat, the fewer seeds there will remain to spread this plant. Btw. I would love to hear from you on the similiarities of jewel weed and himalayan balsan. Ensure all stems are completely severed below the lowest node or joint. Hi and thanks a lot for sharing this useful info in English! The shallow roots of Himalayan Balsam make it easy just to pull it straight out the ground. Please do not sow seeds of Himalayan Balsam, its incredibly invasive and will smother out native plants! It is becoming more widespread and County Galway particularly in damp habitats such as river banks and wet grasslands. Article written by Dave Hamilton. Himalayan balsam ( Impatiens glandulifera ) is a relative of the busy Lizzie, but reaches well over head height, and is a major weed problem, especially on riverbanks and waste land, but can also invade gardens. Im Danish and have stumbled across this incredible plant for the first time and my German is really rusty . Himalayan Balsam is a tasty plant commonly eaten as curry in its native Northern India. Amongst other things he had found some edible uses for Himalayan Balsam, a plant which is choking out a lot of the native plants along river banks in Bristol. Mechanical control, by repeated cutting or mowing, is effective for large stands, but plants can regrow if the lower parts are left intact. We balsam bash before the plant flowers to prevent seeding, but once it flowers, the seeds will develop even if you pull it up. “Impatients glandulifera is slightly toxic in all parts but the flowers and seeds; both of which can even be consumed raw. Himalayan balsam flowers from June to October. And once growing, Himalayan balsam can proliferate at a fearsome rate. It is mostly found in riparian areas, especially river edges and wetlands. )and she loved the beautiful colours, right next to her apple orchard! | mentalmapping, A slow winning battle « One foot in Wales, The ish Local - (Chat) • What's a Self Sufficient Christmas, The ish Local - (Chat) • Re: Codewords puzzles, The ish Local - (Chat) • Codewords puzzles, But what can I do? They are excellent baked in cakes, breads and biscuits and make a welcome addition to soup, stews and curries. As you can see, himalayan balsam can achieve quite a height (3 m) allowing it to disperse its seed by exploding seed pods. Each Himalayan Balsam plant can produce up to 800 seeds. Like other balsam flowers, the plant reproduces by seed, and it will put out up to 800 of them every year.These seeds can travel a short distance through the air or miles and miles if they get caught up in a river or stream. According to the USDA, sunflower seeds are “the richest source of vitamin E.” Aside from salad toppings, you can add sunflower seeds to muffins or bread recipes, in vegetable dishes or stir-fry, into trail mixes, and in cereals or yogurt. • Re: It really is difficult at the moment, But what can I do? Yet even the young stems are edible after being blanched in a change of water and yield a crispy vegetable; that although it doesn`t have much flavor is a wonderful addition with much plate appeal to stirfries or pickles. And since Bachflower # 19 is renowned for it`s calming effects; we who bash Himalyan Balsam with Fork & Knife get rewarded with the nutritional benefits of this wonderful plant.”. Hello Anita, Both Jewel weed and Himalayan Balsam are closely related, they are of the Impatiens genus so as related as Broccoli and Cabbage. The plant must be cut below the lowest node to stop regeneration. Seed can survive in the soil for up to 3 years so annual treatment will be required, and monitoring for a further 2 years to ensure eradication. It spreads through local seed dispersal. When the seeds are ready, the Himalayan balsam's seed pods explode violently, dispersing over 800 seeds per plant, no wonder we have such a rapidly expanding problem! « Reply #3 on: September 22, 2014, 11:40:54 pm » We pull ours and burn it before it seeds ,don't think I would risk the goats with it though How to treat Himalayan balsam. Home / Articles / himalayan balsam seeds. I mean symptoms, level of toxicity, how to remove, etc.. Is there any info available perhaps? Try crushed sunflower seeds … I`m preparing Jelly and brewing Vinegar with the flowers and Marzipan from the seeds. It is also commonly referred to as Indian Balsam. It is fast-growing and spreads quickly, invading wet habitat at the expense of other, native flowers. These can be ejected up to 7 metres from the parent plant and can be spread far and wide in streams and rivers. I love these plants, and contrary to what I am hearing they don’t take the bees away from the other 100 or so other species we have in our garden. It is mainly found along rivers, however can also appear in gardens, whether planted or not. The seeds themselves can be eaten raw and have a nutty taste that is variously described as being like hazelnuts or walnuts. I wish we had weeds like these in Australia! By . It makes a clear pink preserve which is incredibly sweet. Both unripe cream coloured seeds and the dark brown/black ripe seeds are edible. Maybe you have a Triffid . It’s important to time your Himalayan balsam control so you don’t inadvertently spread more seeds. It is also commonly referred to as Indian Balsam. I emailed him and received this reply –. I emailed him and received this reply – “Impatients glandulifera is slightly toxic in all parts but the flowers and seeds; both of which can even be consumed raw. Thanks for giving us something to try with the flowers themselves. Q6: Why is Himalayan balsam an invasive species? Collect the flowers once they appear in the summer and the seeds in Autumn, August/September. It is believed that Himalayan balsam seeds remain viable for up to two years. The entire seed population germinates synchronously in spring to form a dense stand. Himalayan Balsam is, as the name suggests, native to India, more specifically to the Himalayas. Himalayan Balsam ( Impatiens glandulifera) has been eaten in India for hundreds of years. In the UK we have Impatiens glandulifera or Himalayan Balsam whereas in the US and Canada it seems you have Impatiens biflora and Impatiens pallida or jewel weed. Touching the seeds through the bag will make the seeds explode into it. The seeds sprout in as little as four days in moist soil at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Bees adore it and we can eat it but when it gets to be too abundant it crowds out our natives. I just dry roasted a few and found they were quite walnutty, very nice. It grows in dense stands and can be up to 2m tall. However, it is extremely important to exert caution as even the slightest contact with the plant can result in … Bees are also attracted to the flowers and can spread the seeds widely. It produces thousands of seeds in explosive seed pods, so it can spread very quickly. It could also be used as a topping for trifles or other deserts. It is fast-growing and spreads quickly, invading wet habitat at the expense of other, native flowers. Each plant can produce up to 800 seeds per year. Himalayan Balsam is a tasty plant commonly eaten as curry in its native Northern India. To see how to make a curry from them, try Eat Weeds. 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