Nutsedge

WHAT is this grass growing all over my yard? I pull it out, it comes back. Over and over all season long. A friend told me her husband calls it coffee grass, and that got me intrigued. A way to get a coffee flavor, locally, in abundance? I’m in!!

So the research began.

Nutsedge. It’s not native and it’s earliest recorded usage was in Ancient Egypt. The 1/2 inch sized tubers are delicious, can be used as a sweetener or a flour, or added to soups and stews. It has another common name, Chufa, and in Spain it is mixed with water, sugar and cinnamon.  It is a common nut milk for people avoiding dairy.

And what about the coffee?? Well it’s not the tubers, but the roots. Roasting the roots, apparently, gives them a coffee-like flavor.

With this info in hand the kids and I set out in the yard “looking” for Nutsedge. There’s no real looking involved, it’s everywhere! We each dug up a clump and each found 1 nut. (How exciting!) We tried them and they were tasty!! I even tasted a root, to see if it could maybe, at some point, taste like coffee, but it didn’t taste like much.

We went to pull more and didn’t find ANY. Turns out harvest time is more like late summer into autumn. Still, I’m grateful that we found those lucky three.

My plan now is to stop pulling up the Nutsedge and Geoff has agreed to avoid mowing this one little patch. As an experiment. It’ll spread. Nearly every website I came across was about controlling this invasive, exotic plant. Invasive exotic? That doesn’t sound like me! But since the tubers are the primary way Nutsedge propagates itself I have a feeling this is a win-win situation. 🙂

So that’s one less weed in the garden, and one more thing to look forward to.
Good Stuff.

Some info I collected:
http://www.extension.org/pages/65211/yellow-nutsedge-cyperus-esculentus-in-greater-depth#.U6WZnHVdWhM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horchata
http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/nutsedge-edible-zb0z11zsie.aspx
http://threeissues.sdsu.edu/three_issues_coquillofacts02.html
http://dianabuja.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/nutsedge-perhaps-the-oldest-managed-weed-in-predynastic-egypt/

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