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What is Axseed and Why Should You Grow It?


What is Axseed and Why Should You Grow It?

Axseed, also known as crown vetch or Coronilla varia, is a European herb that resembles vetch and has been naturalized in the eastern United States. It has umbels of pink-and-white flowers and sharp-angled pods that contain seeds. Axseed is a perennial plant that can grow up to 2 feet tall and spread by rhizomes. It is often used as a ground cover, erosion control, or forage crop for livestock and wildlife.

There are many benefits of growing axseed in your garden or farm. Here are some of them:

  • Axseed is a nitrogen-fixing plant that can improve soil fertility and reduce the need for fertilizers.
  • Axseed is drought-tolerant and can survive in poor or sandy soils.
  • Axseed is attractive to pollinators and beneficial insects, such as bees, butterflies, and ladybugs.
  • Axseed is edible and nutritious for humans and animals. The young leaves and flowers can be eaten raw or cooked, and the seeds can be sprouted or ground into flour.
  • Axseed has medicinal properties and can be used to treat wounds, skin infections, coughs, colds, and inflammation.

If you want to grow axseed in your garden or farm, you will need to sow the seeds in early spring or fall, after soaking them in water for 24 hours. You can also propagate axseed by dividing the rhizomes or taking stem cuttings. Axseed prefers full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil. You will need to water it regularly until it is established, but then it can tolerate dry conditions. You can harvest the leaves and flowers throughout the growing season, and the seeds in late summer or fall.

Axseed is a versatile and beneficial plant that can enhance your garden or farm. However, you should be aware that it can also be invasive and difficult to eradicate once it spreads. Therefore, you should plant it in a controlled area or use a barrier to prevent it from spreading to unwanted places. You should also avoid planting it near crops that are susceptible to competition or allelopathy from axseed, such as alfalfa, clover, or peas.

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How to Use Axseed in Your Kitchen and Medicine Cabinet

Axseed is not only a useful plant for your garden or farm, but also for your kitchen and medicine cabinet. Here are some ways you can use axseed in your daily life:

  • You can make a salad with fresh axseed leaves and flowers, mixed with other greens and vegetables. You can also add some cheese, nuts, or dried fruits for extra flavor and texture.
  • You can make a tea with dried axseed flowers, which have a sweet and aromatic taste. You can also add some honey, lemon, or mint for extra benefits. This tea can help soothe your throat, relieve coughs and colds, and reduce inflammation.
  • You can make a poultice with crushed axseed leaves and flowers, which have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. You can apply this poultice to wounds, cuts, burns, rashes, or insect bites to promote healing and prevent infection.
  • You can make a flour with roasted axseed seeds, which are rich in protein, fiber, and minerals. You can use this flour to make bread, pancakes, muffins, cookies, or cakes. You can also mix it with other flours for a more balanced nutrition.
  • You can make a sprout with soaked axseed seeds, which are crunchy and nutty. You can add these sprouts to salads, sandwiches, wraps, or stir-fries. You can also eat them as a snack or garnish.

Axseed is a versatile and beneficial plant that can enrich your diet and health. However, you should be careful not to consume too much of it, as it may cause allergic reactions or digestive problems in some people. You should also consult your doctor before using it if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications.

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