Which gardener has not been annoyed by a burdock in the garden? Try to pull it out - not everyone will succeed, it sits so firmly in the ground. Or maybe it is worth leaving 1-2 plants on the site, what if they come in handy? After all, there is no care for it, it will grow itself, only it is necessary to rip off the seed heads in time.
Meanwhile, as a valuable plant, vegetable burdock is widely cultivated in the USA, France, China, Japan. In culture, it is grown on moist soils through seedlings or by sowing seeds into the ground. At the same time, root crops, young leaves, and petioles are used as food for vegetable burdock. The pulp of burdock root crops is grayish-white, juicy, sweetish, and has a pleasant taste. They can replace parsnips, parsley and even ... carrots.
In recent years, Russian breeders have also created good varieties of vegetable burdock. The most famous of them is a Russian variety with a Japanese name - Samurai.
In the first year, this plant forms a powerful rosette of leaves and a juicy root crop of an almost cylindrical shape, branched in the lower part. It looks like a large carrot 30-35 cm long, up to 5 cm in diameter and weighing up to 500-600 g, covered with dark gray bark, with white and dense flesh.
The agrotechnology of growing vegetable burdock is simple. Seeds are sown directly into the ground to a depth of 1-2 cm. The time of sowing seeds is April-May or before winter. Previously, the bed is dug deeply and rotted manure and wood ash are introduced. On heavy soil, additional river sand and well-ventilated peat must be added.
Before germination, the soil must be kept moist. Until the leaves reach a height of 20 cm, the bed is weeded several times, and then the plant itself suppresses all weeds.
Vegetable burdock, including our wild one, is extremely useful in home cooking. It is cultivated for its delicate lettuce leaves, stalks and sweet root vegetables. They will be most delicious in the first year if they are removed at the end of September along with late carrots.
If you left some of the plants for the spring, then they must be removed before the peduncles protrude, no later than the end of May. Several root vegetables can be left for seeds if there are no wild relatives nearby.
Salads are prepared from young burdock leaves. For salad or vinaigrette, boiled sweet roots and peeled, boiled petioles are used. Fresh leaves and petioles are added to green cabbage soup. Roasted or baked burdock roots are especially tasty.
To make coffee, burdock roots must be chopped, dried, roasted in the oven until brown, grind on a coffee grinder. To prepare a drink, you need to put 2 teaspoons of powder and sugar to taste in 1 glass of boiling water.
You can make jam from burdock roots without ... sugar. To prepare it, pour the vinegar essence into the water, bring to a boil. Then put burdock roots chopped in a meat grinder into boiling water and cook for 2 hours. Both from the leaves and from the roots of burdock, you can make wonderful preparations for the winter.
Both root crops and burdock leaves have the richest chemical composition. Young burdock leaves contain up to 300 mg% vitamin C, which is 6 times more than the revered lemon, and the same amount as the vegetable champion - sweet pepper and many, many times more than beets, potatoes, carrots, zucchini and other vegetables.
And burdock roots contain a large amount of the polysaccharide inulin (more than 35%), which determines the sweetish taste of the root. Inulin in the human intestine is broken down into fructose molecules, which are completely safe for diabetic patients.
For medicinal purposes, the roots of plants of the first year of life are used, when they are juicy and fleshy. Both fresh leaves and dry leaves soaked in warm water have strong antibacterial properties.They are used as a wound healing agent, applied to burns, wounds, cuts, abrasions, inflammations and swollen areas of the skin.
All the same burdock is one of the most used plants in cosmetics. This is primarily due to the high healing properties of burdock oil.
Of course, vegetable burdock is still a curiosity for the Russian garden. But on the other hand, how many curiosities have come into our everyday life lately.