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5 Common Weeds You Can Eat For Emergency Nourishment
Most people lead normal lives, expecting little change and even less preparation, never expecting to run out of food. However, disasters do happen and store shelves are often cleared in short order. However, few people know that there are weeds that you can eat and they are usually found in or around the backyard.
Many edible weeds can be found in your yard, around your parking lot, along roadsides, etc. We are going to talk about 5 common edible weeds in this article. However, please note that you must be able to positively identify any wild plants before use, as in some cases, there are wild plants that may be similar or even similar to the weeds we are covering. Potentially dangerous to take.
Plant identification is beyond the scope of this article, so I encourage you to do your due diligence and research before consuming any wild plant or fruit. There are many field guides to plant identification that are complete with color photos and descriptions of identifying characteristics of the weeds you can eat. The information in this article is for educational purposes only to bring foraging options to your attention for further research. Apart from that, let’s take a look at 5 common weeds that you can eat.
Dandelion is a lawn buff’s arch nemesis. However, these “nuisance” plants are, in fact, edible. The leaves, which are rich in vitamin A, can be cooked like collard or mustard greens. Ginkgo biloba roots look somewhat similar to carrots, and can be dried by baking at a low temperature, ground, and then made into a beverage such as coffee or tea.
Another of our weeds you can eat that is as common in yards as dandelions is clover. Clover needs to be boiled for about 10 minutes to make the leaves and flowers easier to digest, however it is a good source of protein. With a hand grinder, you can grind the dried flower heads and seeds into a flour that is healthier than the bleached white flour you usually use.
Wild lettuce is actually a plant that a friend and I mistakenly called “milk weed” because the stems of these plants ooze a milky white sap when cut. Wild lettuce, which is a tall and leafy plant, resembles the leaves of a dandelion. You can eat the young leaves of this weed. As with the clover, you want to boil this for about 5 minutes. Drain and replace the water and boil for another 5 minutes. If the leaves are still too bitter, they can be mixed with other types of greens to reduce the bitterness.
I remember when I was a kid the house we lived in had a backyard that was filled with wild onion pods that grew everywhere in the spring and summer. And, of course, I never knew they were edible back then, but yes, they are weeds you can eat. The leaves can be chopped and added to salads or cooked dishes. Onion bulbs can be dug up or dug out of the ground, and store-bought onions can also be used for seasoning.
Although not suitable for your backyard, thistle is another weed you can eat that grows in your yard in fields or nearby roadsides. The new or young leaves can be eaten after the thorn is removed, either in salads or cooked like collard or mustard greens. Thistle is a biennial plant that, in its first year, has no stem. During this first year of growth, the roots can be eaten raw or cooked. In the second year the early stems of the plant can be peeled and eaten raw or cooked.
We live in a society that has depended on cultivated plants and fruits to fill our plates for generations. However, long ago, foraging for food was much more common than it is today. Fortunately, in times of need, you can also forage as needed and take advantage of many of the edible plants that we commonly think of as weeds in your yard to survive tough times and avoid food lines.
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