#HaltonWasteChallenge Weekly! Week 9: Garlic mustard pesto

Hello Friends of Halton Green Screens,

This week’s challenge helps you reduce waste, help remove an invasive species, and eat some delicious, wild, free food all in one go! Even if you haven’t yet heard of garlic mustard you have almost certainly seen it. It is everywhere, particularly in green space with moderate levels of disturbance such as many of the trails that run through our communities, and even in our own yards.

Garlic mustard growing in my yard

Garlic mustard growing in my yard

Garlic mustard reduces forest biodiversity by taking away space and resources from native species that are important to our local ecosystems. Refer to this useful link by Conservation Halton for more information on the appearance, impact, and removal of garlic mustard.

Each year I do my part to reduce the spread of garlic mustard by

  1. Pulling it up in my own yard &
  2. Pulling it up sometimes while I walk through the woods or trails.

Because it is so harmful to our ecosystem they recommend that you don’t even throw the garlic mustard in your yard waste – you are meant to seal it in garbage bags and throw it out with your landfill waste. While I would hate to cause further harm to the ecosystem, it also doesn’t sit well with me to throw the plants in the trash. So my challenge a few weeks ago was to make pesto!

Because believe it or not, garlic mustard is delicious and edible. It tastes so garlicky that you don’t even need to include garlic. If you do a big pick of garlic mustard you could easily fill a freezer with pesto to last you all year long.

Garlic mustard picked from my yard

Garlic mustard picked from my yard

Click here for a recipe, or find one (or create one) of your own.

This challenge has so far been a bit of a fail because I keep gathering my greens then forgetting about them until they wilt. So I now have a few piles of garlic mustard to go out with the trash, but I will try again soon and post an update. (Un)fortunately there is still plenty of garlic mustard around to try again.

If you try making some garlic mustard pesto let us know how it tastes! And post some pictures of the process and the finished product. Please do not plant garlic mustard in your garden. If you enjoy your pesto you should not have to go too far to find (and then remove) garlic mustard that is already growing in the wild. Post your thoughts and experiences in the comments below or share to our social media pages:

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