Gardening

Eat your weeds and wildflowers

Amber Shehan April 8, 2014

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I have to ask you a favor….it isn’t a favor for me, specifically.  It’s a favor for all of us…STOP USING PESTICIDES!

Not all bugs are bad, and in fact, many are very beneficial to have around. We really need our bees and our wild pollinators! Butterflies and praying mantises, ladybugs and dragonflies, fireflies and luna moths…

Besides, if you don’t spray your yard, you’ll have all these new options for your spring and summer salads, teas, and other yummy bits…a fun reason to walk around the yard with your kids in the evening before dinner!

Eat your weeds and wildflowers - pixiespocket.com

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Dandelion: Fritters, wine, salad, mead, roasted root tea…dandelion is a powerhouse of nutrition.  All parts are helpful for your liver, and we ALL need a little liver love!

Violets: these sweet purple little flowers are completely edible, and the small leaves are tasty, too.  High in vitamin A!  (Learn more about violets)

Daylilies: the spring shoots, buds, and roots are totally edible and delicious!

Blackberries: these are considered a nuisance bramble in many places, which boggles my mind.

Garlic Mustard: invasive and also delicious

Chickweed: an amazing healer, and a delicious cool green to add to a salad (read more about Chickweed!)

Queen Anne’s Lace: the flowers are lovely, and they also make a tasty jelly, believe it or not!

Wild Onions/Ramps: all parts are edible, the greens, the bulbs, and even the flowers!

There’s many, many more…there are probably edible plants in YOUR area that I don’t know about.  See if you can find a native plant walk in your county to learn about what grows around you.  Maybe you’ll come to love it, and not feel the need to remove the “weeds” so you can enjoy the fireflies and butterflies.

Amber Shehan

Hi! I'm Amber Pixie, and this is my site. Enjoy the recipes, information, posts, and please feel free to message me if you have questions!

10 Comments

  1. [email protected] on April 8, 2014 at 9:48 am

    What a great post! Our wild blackberries, which we call dewberries, will be ready in about 3 weeks. I’m so excited. We can usually pick enough to last all year. And like you, I don’t understand why people think they’re a nuisance. We also have wild mustang grapes that will be ready in early June. It such a blessing.

    • amberpixi on April 8, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      Our blackberries are about the same – and I’ve never heard them called dewberries, but I like that! I pick them and make cordials, meads, and anything I can with them. 🙂

      OH, I wish we had wild grapes, they are so tart and delicious! Thanks for commenting, Angi!

  2. Rebecca | LettersFromSunnybrook on April 8, 2014 at 10:23 am

    I’ve never understood why so many lovely (and tasty!) plants get denounced as ‘weeds.’ Time to go foraging …

    • amberpixi on April 8, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      It just makes NO sense to me, Rebecca! I mean – why not eat what is there instead of breaking your back trying to stop biodiversity?!

  3. Amber on April 8, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    It’s always a treat stopping by! Another great post!!

  4. Dave Myers on April 8, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    I am so tempted to start doing things with the “weeds” in my yard, especially dandelions. I am hesitant because I just can’t be sure what I’m looking at is a dandelion. I have lots of other pretty flowers that show up every spring and my yard is this amazing tapestry of colors, but I usually end up mowing it and then I also just can’t identify what some of them are. Lots of interesting things, I just feel nervous about eating stuff without being really sure of what I’m getting.

    • amberpixi on April 8, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      That is totally a reasonable fear, Dave! Here’s a REALLY good and clear guide on identifying true dandelion: http://stitchandboots.com/2009/05/06/dandelions-taraxacum-officinale-plant-profiles/

      If you want to send me pics by email or Facebook, I’m happy to use my experience (and books, and websites, and herby friends) to help sort out what you’ve got!

      • Dave Myers on April 8, 2014 at 4:52 pm

        Ha, I went outside using what I learned and my dandelion suspect looks right in the flower, one per stem, jagged pointy leaves and a thick, hollow stem with a whitish interior. I tried to find one away from where the puppy might have relieved herself, and then I ate some of the leaf. Not bad. Definitely tastes like a salad green. The leaves are kind of small though, I would need to do a lot of foraging to gather enough for use. I’m also interested in maybe foraging and making some stinging nettle tea sometime.

  5. […] and Eat Your Weeds! Really. The Pixie’s Pocket provides a great list of edible weeds and wildflowers. What sorts […]

  6. Drying Strawberry Tops | Pixie's Pocket on June 30, 2014 at 7:15 am

    […] I admit it – I’m lazy. A lazy cook, a lazy gardener…I like to set things up and let them do their own thing with minimal input from me, which is why I’m fond of permaculture, biodiversity, sustainable foraging methods and perennial native plant gardens, not to mention eating weeds. […]

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