What to do with thistles? The southwest has quite a few invasive thistles, as well as a handful of native species. In general thistle stems make a delicious crunchy trail snack. Leaves, root and bud bottoms are edible too - all requiring various levels of work and masochism. Gloves and a good knife help some.
Nodding or musk thistle (one of the species to make the naughty list) also has an incredible perfume that keeps its fragrance dried. We use it in our perfumes and as a mild tea. (Check out our Rosehip + Thistle Desert Perfume 🌸).
Many NM counties control thistles with herbicides - sad for the bees, for the soil and the rest of us too.
We work with private landowners to get rid of ‘invasives’ without herbicides. Let us know if you need help! 😘🌿