When it is a sunny day and I am not in the garden I can often be found on my bike. One of the things I love about riding is that it gives me the ability to see plants along the road that I would normally miss. And right now the chicory (Cichorium intybus) is in bloom.
This bright blue plant somewhat reminiscent of bachelor buttons (Centaurea Cygnus), is a herbaceous perennial that lingers along many a highway, field and abandoned lot. An unappreciated and untended plant, it reached the height of popularity during WW II when its ground and roasted roots became a substitute for coffee (Coffea), which was rationed around the world. I’ve tried it and while I would not trade in my morning cup of Guatemalan coffee for it, it is not bad in a pinch.
And for those of us on a tight budget, it’s dirt cheap available for the taking.