by Grace Bryce
The spring weather has been so pleasant. Everything is green and the air is cool, it is hard to be indoors and not outdoors. I love all of the new plants that come up and the new buds that pop out, as well as the old friends that return each year.
Weeds You Want
This time of year there are several lovely little plants that show up, that some people refer to as “weeds”. Many of these “weeds” can be very useful food and medicine. See my blog article “Medicine in Your Yard, Medicinal Winter Weeds” for more information. Many of these plants are quite tasty & nutritious and can be added to salads and smoothies or cooked. You can explore more about foraging for wild edibles in Mark Vorderbruggan’s book, Idiot Guides: Foraging. Also, Charles Kane has a great pocket guide.
The photo on the right is Lamb’s Quarters or Chenopodium album. I enjoy grazing on it while gardening. It reminds me of spinach.
Weeds You Don’t Want
After you have eaten your weeds and used them for medicine, there may still be some that you don’t want in your yard. For instance, Beggar’s Lice can be edible, but the seeds are very pesky, if it is left to go to seed. I personally do not want it in my yard. (Please be cautious, before ingesting any of your weeds, make sure of positive identification, so you don’t poison yourself.) The best way to remove these plants from your yard, is to pull them up or dig them up. If you don’t
remove them by the roots, they will grow back. If you only cut them off above ground, you are actually stimulating root growth and creating a stronger root system. This certainly doesn’t eliminate them from your yard. I do not use any chemical herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers where I live. I do not believe it is healthy for me, my plants or my animals. I also do not want to contaminate my water supply. Sometimes, I will use a strong 20% vinegar to eliminate some plants, and protective gloves are recommended! I have a great tool, called a Hori Hori, that is great for the job. Be sure to wear gloves, to help prevent nail infections from the soil. Nail fungus is difficult to clean up. Pulling weeds is also good therapy and can really clear your head, so there is a bright side!
Whether you use your weeds for food, medicine or therapy, go out an appreciate them today and enjoy!