Takingawa is a Asian Vegetable that you can order seeds for in the seed catalogs but before you do, have a good look around your farm, as the odds are good you have it naturally turns out its been eaten and grown in N.A. and Europe for many years, we just know it by a different name.. Burdock.. Now you might be wondering if you have had a run in with this plant.. if you have in its second year of growth, I am sure you remember its sticky small brown seed balls that just won’t let go of your cloths, or end up taking forever to get out of your dogs hair..
This plants is a Bi-annual, you can eat the leaves, that are similiar to asparagus in flavor, the young delicate roots can be eaten raw..The older roots can be used like a carrot in any cooked dish.
My Sheep love to eat this plant, to the point that I can no longer find it growing to any size in the pastures and had to give it its own place in the garden. The natural time to harvest is the fall but I also leave a number of year old plants in for the spring, its one of the first greens available in March/April and the young fresh roots can be dug and used in cooking..
Susun Weed in Healing Wise says that burdock root helps “provide optimum nutrition to the glandular and immune systems, liver, kidneys, blood, lungs, and nerves.” Chromium, iron, magnesium, silicon, thiamine, and inulin are among its many useful constituents. Fresh root is also high in vitamin C. Not only is it packed with nutrition; the mucilaginous fiber of the root will absorb, bind and remove poisons and toxins in our digestive tracts
So here are a few idea’s for you..
One Burdock Root, One Carrot, wash, peel, slice into sticks, cook in the cast iron pan, at the end add, raw honey, soy sauce, ground ginger, one tbs of white wine vinger, cooks very quickly at this point, maybe 30 seconds still sticky and ready, then sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve as a side dish.. This is close to the tradional way to use overseas.. with me replacing the suger with the raw local honey.
The second one is Red Rice, I use dried mushrooms of different kinds or fresh mushroom, dice into small pieces, one burdock root, washed and diced, one onion, and if you would like one carrot, all diced. Follow your normal rice directions in regards to water, I use two cups rice to the amount of veggies listed above and into my heavy clay baking rice pot into the oven for a two hour bake at 350.. Been known to add dried stinging nettle to this, or dried burdock or horse radish leaves to add a little green flakes color as well.. Goes really well with lamb or goat..
You can also use the root raw in a salad, I don’t, I didn’t care for the taste of it the times I tried it, so if anyone has any recipes to share for the raw use, I would be interested to hear them.
Last but not by any means least is Burdock Tea..Mix one teaspoonful of burdock root into a cup of water, bring to boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes, then add raw local honey to taste or you can mix dandelion root and burdock leaves to make a tea instead, follow basic directions as above.
Burdock as been used safely for a long time.. interesting tidbit for you..
During WWI, the supply of pharmaceutical plants to Europe was interrupted and every patriotic effort was made to cultivate them at home. Burdock was among the medicinal plants listed as being in shortage as proclaimed by the British Board of Agriculture and Fisheries in 1914.
Interesting way to grow them.. I read this on someone’s site, they gave general credit to a book they read but didn’t say who.. so this is not my idea but its a funky one none the less.. Don’t have good soil, don’t want to spend all that time digging a couple feed down to prepare the bed and not really interested as much in the greens as I am. I like to let mine grow the natural full 2 to 3 feet, more like four to five feet tall on my farm.. try growing in a straw bale, the top of the bale has a couple inches of dirt on it to get the plants started the roots grow into the bale, and so when it comes time to harvest, you just break the bale open and there they are.. all nice and clean and easy to get, compost the leftover bale.. Now having grown potatos and few other things in straw, its worth noting that you do normally have to water more in this method then in ground, depending on your typical rain fall. When I grow in strawbales, I like to make compost tea to water with.