Milkweeds grow all throughout temperate zones, & there are MANY different species. BEFORE investigating whether or not to harvest, look to see if there is an abundance of them around you OR if they are growing in isolation. Do not pick the pods if there are not many plants, & never pick all the pods off one plant so that they can still reproduce.
Milkweed pods must be blanched (dropped into water that is ALREADY boiling) ~ 7 times (until no longer bitter) before being made edible. They cannot be put into water & then brought to a boil or the bitterness will be cooked into the pod rather than removed.
The rock boiling technique makes simple work of this while greatly reducing the young of fuel that is required.
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