Fun with Weeds, by Intern Maureen Gullen
August 1, 2012
Here at Stella Gardens we have an abundance of weeds. But, weeds are more than just an annoyance. They can be fun! Show those weeds who’s the boss. Here are some ways you can have fun with weeds.
Play a game!
In true youngest child fashion, I’ve made up a game to play while weeding. Simply, the aim is to see how intact you can keep the weeds’ roots when picking them. It will keep you entertained for hours. Maybe.
Some weeds are edible, and quite tasty. Invest in an edible wild plants field guide and tap a unique food source. My favorite weed to munch on is Purslane. It is a succulent and its leaves, stems, and flowers are edible and taste like spinach. Surprisingly, it’s high in omega-3 fatty acids. Lamb’s Quarter is another common and delicious weed. The leaves can be eaten fresh or cooked and used as a replacement for spinach. It is related to quinoa, and its seeds are a good source of protein and vitamin A. Need some iron? Eat Dandelion leaves. You can also use its flowers to make jelly or wine. Want to eat like an Incan? Try Amaranth. It’s high in vitamins A, K, and B6, as well as calcium and iron. Harvest its seeds as a quinoa replacement.
Before you start eating weeds, remember to only collect them from areas that are known to be pesticide and chemical free. Also, only eat plants you can 100% identify! As with all foraging, proper identification is essential, so think about investing in a book such as A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants or enlisting the help of a local botanist or herbalist to take you on a “weed walk.”
Be safe, have fun, eat some weeds.
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