Transformational Gardening

Disclaimer: Foraging can be fun, rewarding and provide health benefits. As a novice forager, I will be sharing my foraging experiences. However, in order to be safe, always consult with local foraging experts and guidebooks before beginning foraging. Children should learn to forage safely by being guided by experienced adults. Never ingest anything unless you are certain of the identification and safety of the plant. Some plant species are inedible and some are poisonous.

Japanese Knotwood (Fallopia japonica) (Previously: Polygonum cuspidatum): Images

Date Location Notes Images
May 21, 2010 Southeastern, New Hampshire Notice the large, rounded triangle-shaped leaves that are alternate on the stem. The bamboo-like stems are thick and hollow (except at the nodes/joints). The stems have purple blotches. It can grow up to 6 feet tall and it tends to grow in dense clumbs. It grows along roads, waste areas and untended gardens.
Date Location Notes Images
June 12, 2010 Southeastern, New Hampshire Found huge swaths of Japanese Knotweed at a local park. Remember this for next Spring when it comes time to harvest!
Date Location Notes Images
July 30, 2010 Southeastern, New Hampshire Made a Japanese Knotweed rhizome tincture today. By the way, a rhizome is a “creeping underground stem.” The rhizome is incredibly hard. So hard in fact that I had to go out and buy a hatchet to start to cut up the rhizome. After making the pieces a bit smaller with the hatchet, I put them in two canvas bags and took them out to a parking lot and tried to crush them with a hammer. Some of the pieces were crushed but some tore holes the bag. The pieces on top of the tincture bottles are only partially crushed There are significant crushed bits on the bottom of the bottles.
Date Location Notes Images
September 18, 2010 Southeastern, New Hampshire Japanese Knotweed in flower.
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April 18, 2011 Southeastern, New Hampshire Old stand of Japanese Knotweed in the early Spring.
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August 28, 2011 Southeastern, New Hampshire Japanese Knotweed in flower.
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April 27, 2012 Southeastern, New Hampshire Plants with a height of eight inches or less are best for food..
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May 8, 2014 Southeastern, Connecticut I made several dishes from Japanese Knotweed including soup, steamed and the Japanese Knotweed pickles below. Used a very large amount of peeled Japanese Knotweed (more than pictured below) and added a salt mixture (9 parts sea salt and 1 part nigari (magnesium chloride)) to the pickling container. I also added a bit of sauerkraut juice tohelp the fermentation start (although this may not be necessary).