As I washed dishes after breakfast, I had a good view of dozens of Northern Bedstraw. It is like a pond of white flowers.
Northern Bedstraw is a common edible green in North America and is a good addition to salads. I had several around my house when I moved in almost two years ago. Although perennial they don’t live long, but they do reseed themselves.
I collected seed the first year and spread them in nice locations. I had a better crop last year and an explosion of even mounds of white blooms this year. Bedstraw makes a good understory for tall lanky purple asters.
Bedstraw prefers some shade, perfect for my pinyon-juniper food forest. I eat the greens and so do my chickens.
Bedstraw is a northern relative of coffee. It’s fruit can be dried, roasted, and ground for a coffee substitute or extender. I haven’t tried this yet, but I certainly have enough for a taste test this winter.
The roots make a red dye, which I might experiment with when I produce something to dye.
It is called bedstraw because it was used to stuff mattresses and pillows and smelled sweet. It is a thought… changing the inside of your mattress in the fall and spring. We sleep ten years on what?
I can attest that these are deer resistant flowers. They do attract butterflies, though. Birds come by in the fall for the seeds, risking safety for the sake of eating them.
I have waves of flowers all season now so plan to bring in honey bees next year.
I consider this a circular economy mainstay for its beauty, edibility, utility and ease. I’ll report later on drinkability. I especially appreciate its indepence from the water hose.