Hogweed has one of those Latin names that you can actually believe, for a change. A quick translation gives us Hercules‘ Skeleton and if you look at the stalks, with their knobbly knee competition entries, you can see how we came here from there.
It is another one of those Carrots. Like any large family, there are the good, the bad and the ugly. One of the problems associated with this is that you might have to poison yourself to death a few times, in order to find out that a particular plant is just not edible. They all are very similar in appearance and habitat, especially while they are young.
If you’re going to eat these things, then eating the young delicate shoots comes with lots of positives. Most importantly, they will probably regrow, so you will have new shoots over a longer period. Perhaps only slightly less important, they taste nicer. We could go so far as to say the older the shoots, the more inedible they be come.
It’s very tempting to think that once upon a time our life involved lounging round the camp fire, every now and then going out and spearing a mammoth or two. Then, from the Monday after that, we started ploughing the fields, planting crops and herding sheep. But it didn’t happen that way, of course.
The term ‘Hunter Gatherer‘ is a complete misnomer. In reality our ancestors were Wild Farmers and as the population grew our farming merely became more intensified to meet this new challenge.