Weed Academy: use wild herbs from nature

Weed Academy: use wild herbs from nature

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Wild herbs are often wrongly labeled as weeds

The term weeds triggers horror for many hobby gardeners. However, the term is actually a "bad idea" because it implies that weeds are not herbs. Instead, you can find many healthy and usable plants, especially among the weeds. A "weed specialist" gives some examples.

Weed is not annoying for Peter Franke, but tasty and healthy. Even the morning dew harvest keeps the 66-year-old fit. The Wahl-Spreewälder collects and presents its enjoyment capital in a vaulted cellar.

Visit to the "Un-Herb Shop"

Peter Franke sits in front of his “Un-Kraut-Shop” in the “Zum Stern” hotel in Werben (Spree-Neiße) in the middle of a mountain of elderberry branches and cuts off the aromatic, fragrant white flowers. His day begins early at 6 a.m. with collecting flowers, herbs and leaves. "You have to harvest them in the morning dew, then they stay fresh for processing," says the 66-year-old and brings a large bowl of flowers to his vaulted cellar store.

There, an unexpected, concentrated aromatherapy awaits the visitor: linden flowers, cornflowers and lilacs are stuck in dozens of paper bags. Spicy notes come from sage, ribwort or yarrow. The meadow herbs hang dried and tied to shelves. Dried blueberries, juniper and aronia berries await processing. Vials with syrup, oils, vinegar, leaf blends for tea or bath additives complete the range. No "weed" seems to have grown that the trained cook does not know.

Giersch is a vitamin and mineral bomb

The most stubborn weed is Franke's true love: The Giersch, which many gardeners know as a scarcely manageable plague, is a vitamin and mineral bomb. It's better to eat than to exterminate, ”is his motto. Greed tastes like parsley and carrot, belongs in every herbal seasoning mix and is popularly known as "Zipperleinkraut". It helps against rheumatism, gout and arthrosis, as well as cystitis and sunburn, says the 66-year-old, whose trademark is a light straw hat with herbal jewelry.

Traditional plant knowledge

The native of Thuringia got his knowledge from his mother. "I grew up with it. There wasn't much to buy in the post-war years. That is why we mainly feed on nature, ”Franke recalls. It started in early spring with the first herbs, delicate birch leaves were added in April and in May the harvest ended with rose hips. Knowledge from childhood also accompanied him later, Franke says. But it was only ten years ago that he fulfilled a dream with an herbal factory, says the 66-year-old. 25 years ago, he came to the Spreewald “for love”.

Strengthen vitality with wild herbs

“The national dish of the area is herb curd with linseed oil. The main cultivation area for horseradish is in the Spreewald. There is no better antibiotic, by the way, ”says Franke. The Spreewald and her herbal passion went well together. He wanted to keep the knowledge about the healing effects of these natural products. Several cookbooks with him as a co-author have already been published. The latest work on the green Spreewald pharmacy, which he wrote together with a pharmacist, will be released soon. Health you can taste and food as therapy are Franke's newest credo, especially in Corona times, as he emphasizes. "Wild herbs strengthen our own vital powers, which we now need so badly."

Training in the "Weed Academy"

The herb fan cooked with celebrities and colleagues in his Spreewald Cooking Academy. His "weed academy" visited urologists and other medical professionals. Now he is organizing seminars on the use of medicinal plants, processing and conservation or his coffee gossip with dandelion coffee and herb wafers in the large hall of his hotel "Zum Stern".

The weed ambassador from the Spreewald

“Franke is a real ambassador for the Spreewald and its products. Fresh ingredients from the garden and from the field are in demand. And even weeds can be turned into tasty and healthy dishes, as he proves, ”emphasizes Birgit Kunkel, spokeswoman for Tourismus Marketing Brandenburg GmbH (TMB). Regionality and healthy food would also become increasingly important topics in tourism.

Forgotten vegetables and herbs

"I am a happy person because I was allowed to try out a lot in my life," emphasizes Franke. Rediscovering old types of vegetables and herbs is simply exciting. "The Corona crisis has shown us how important it is to get our own economic cycles going," says the 66-year-old, who works with almost 20 agricultural producers in the Spreewald.

Topinambur insider tip

The herbalist swears by the healthy tuber Jerusalem artichoke, which he processes into chips. "No other tuber is so beneficial for the stomach and intestines." Jerusalem artichoke is also suitable for diabetics as a sugar substitute.

Lienig Wildfruchtverarbeitung cultivates 100 hectares of the plant from the Zabener district of Dabendorf and processes it into children's food, food supplements, vegetable juices and pet food. “Healthy vital substances are a real market. Since Franke has hit the nerve of the times and brings it across very authentically, ”adds Managing Director Frank Lienig. Both are working together on a new “Un-Kraut-Schorle”, which according to Liebig could become a new, authentic Spreewald product. (vb; source: Jeanette Bederke, dpa)

Further suggestions for the use of wild herbs can be found in our category "medicinal plants".

Author and source information

Video: Abandoned House FOUND WEED IN THE ATTIC (May 2022).