Strawberry Goosefoot (Chenopodium capitatum)

Today I ordered Strawberry Goosefoot seeds. I have eaten these in the backwoods of Oregon and Alaska, and am pleased to note that they are also native to the mountains of New Mexico. These have a broad range in the United States, including the states both west and north of New Mexico. This is not found wild in Texas and the southeastern United States. It is also found in Canada, Ukraine, Russia, and Europe.

I ordered my seed from Nikitovka Seeds, Ukraine, which carries no GMO seeds, and I am glad to say that Russia has also banned GMO products as well as all corn and soybeans from the United States, since the little amount that is non GMO  may well be contaminated.   Sad to order seeds from the Ukraine to ensure that it has not been purchased by Bill Gates/Monsanto and turned into GMO or male sterile.  The United States government seems to be in their thrall, and even Presidential candidate Clinton speaks openly on behalf of Monsanto.  I suspect she eats organic non GMO herself, and would never feed her new grandchild Roundup Ready anything.  I ordered through Amazon this time, but may order direct next time.  They carry many seeds adapted to my climate.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Strawberry Goosefoot has a mildly tart taste much like oxalis, and for the same reason.  Both have oxalates.  New research notes little impact of dietary oxalates on kidney stones, but as always, follow your doctor’s recommendation.  We not only eat oxalates in many fruits, vegetables,  and meats, we manufacture our own from vitamin C.  Still, if you are sensitive, no need to add another.

Chenopodium is a nice edible family, with many growing wild all over the United States.   This one is a woodland species, so you can sow seeds in a shadier location than your vegetable patch and turn a non productive shady spot into nice greens and berry production.  Like its cousin Lambs Quarters,  Strawberry Goosefoot is an annual that reseeds itself.  They are not deep rooted, if it comes up where you don’t want it, pull and eat.

The red berry is also edible and mild.  It can be eaten out of hand, cooked, or preserved.

First Americans used this plant as a medical as well as an edible.  It is good for bruising, and pulmonary problems.  The berry was frequently used as a skin dye and to color leathers.

I ordered 2 packets of seed even though one will do.  I will freeze the second packet to help retain its seed viability.

I admit I was looking for a good alpine strawberry when this came up.  Internet serendipity, since this plant is much more important to my Food Forest’s circular economy than another domesticated strawberry.  It feeds most wildlife and me too.  I expect it to naturalize here.  I will start the Strawberry Goosefoot seeds in raised Hugelkultur bed 2, with the blackberries, and encourage it to spread from there.


About rebeccatreeseed

I am a naturalist raised by naturalists. Treeseed is my earned name, while Rebecca is my birth name. I am of Northern European descent, with a quarter Irish.quarter thrown in. I suspect I was a product of northern invaders into Ireland into Ireland. but hard to say since DNA disproved the family story about Apache blood! I have found some odd ancestors to replace them. Last year I bought 5 acres of pinyon-juniper forest on the side of a mountain in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. I am fulfilling a lifetime dream of a cabin in the mountains and a food forest that will feed me and local wildlife. I want to share this new phase of my life with others that might be interested.
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2 Responses to Strawberry Goosefoot (Chenopodium capitatum)

  1. Helen says:

    I was intrigued to find out more about this plant, following on from your post. You have an amazing knowledge of plants.

    On the other hand, I am dismayed that presidential hopefuls are so keen on the likes of Monsanto. I have never before followed the run-up to the elections but this time it seems you really are caught between a rock and a hard place.

  2. Helen
    We are indeed between a rock and a hard space as far as having a candidate who represents people instead of big money interests. This is a bad election cycle, as will they all be since Citizen’s United. It hurts my heart that those running our country think so little of us. Plants? I have been fascinated by them since I was a tiny child. I got excited to see these seeds, these are the kind I usually have to tramp the woods to find. This one I learned from my dad.

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