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7 Edible Weeds You Can Forage Right in Your Front Yard

Posted by Courtney Parker, PhD on

If you've ever thought it might be fun to go foraging for wild, local, edible plants, we've got some good news! You probably don't have to go any further than your front (or back) yard.

So, before you head to the grocery aisle and buy some monoculture crop (the cultivation and export of which left a gargantuan carbon footprint), review this list of extremely common edible plants sure to be growing in a yard near you.

What we've compiled here, is a list of edible weeds, herbs, and flowers which you may be able to harvest right outside your door. Challenge yourself to find at least one this week?

Print this out (then treat it like a book; don't waste paper -- again, carbon footprint), step outside, and forage up some lunch or dinner.

If you have trouble finding any that may specifically appeal, you can click on the name of each herb for those we currently have in stock (most of them) -- we'll keep you updated as the others become available.

Be on the lookout for:

1) Clovers

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Found en mass in many, many, large, grassy areas. You may eat Wild Clovers... raw... but you may find they taste better boiled...

2) Plantain

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*Not* the same as the banana-like plantains you may have seen (eaten, or purchased) at a grocer or restaurant (or elsewhere in the world). However, they are indeed edible in their own right and have been used thousands of years for their sustenance and medicinal properties. Very high in both calcium and Vitamin A, you are likely to find them in wetter areas but they also sprout up in more alpine locations.

 3) Henbit

File:HENBIT.jpgThe name 'henbit' is not random -- it earned this moniker due to its popularity among chickens (seriously). Hummingbirds like it, too. While it is in the mint family, it does not have a strong mint flavor compared to other mint varieties -- the taste has been compared to kale. May be consumed fresh or cooked.

4) Deadnettle

File:Purple dead-nettle vancouver.jpgIt's easy to miss so keep your eyes peeled; it's most likely around you somewhere at some point, even if you don't get out much. The picture above may help you realize how often you have stepped over and even on it. It is also in the mint family. Deadnettle is considered a 'superfood'! Eat the greens raw or use them in soups, smoothies, or pesto.

5) Dandelion

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Wild Dandelion is easy to spot and easy to harvest. They can be added raw to a salad; made into jelly; or, even fried in batter ('dandelion fritters' -- yum?). You can eat every part of the plant, from the roots, to the stems, to the leaves, to the flowers. Keep in mind the leaves are rich with antioxidants, Vitamins A and C, and potassium.

 6) Lambs Quarter (Look for this on our website, soon)!

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Lamb's Quarter is one of the more common herbs you might stumble upon in your immediate, habitat. The Latin name is, 'Chenopodium album'. It's in the same family as quinoa, chards, beets, and spinach; and, it grows around the world. It's been said that the top two inches are the tenderest. You can steam or saute it; and, it provides not only protein and iron, but also A, B, and C Vitamins.

7) Viola / Violets (Look for this on our website, soon)!

 Image result for wild edible violets, creative commons

Wild violets may be eaten in salads or cooked -- prepare as you normally prefer to serve up any other greens. The flowers can be made into jelly or candied. All parts of the plant are edible. It may be last on this list, but it's one of the first flowers to bloom in spring. So, keep your eyes peeled!

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