Eat Your Weeds!

Lambs Quarter or Goosefoot

Think you can’t have a garden, because you tried it once and all you could grow were weeds? Think again!

For one thing, you absolutely can learn to garden. It just takes perseverance and a willingness to learn. Plants are eager to grow, given even the tiniest bit of love.

But secondly, just growing weeds doesn’t mean you don’t already have a fabulous garden. There are lots of weeds that put the nutrient value of common garden vegetables to shame.

Consider this comparison:

Protein content of Broccoli – 3.0 mg

Protein content of Lambs Quarter – 4.2 mg

Calcium content of Leaf Lettuce – 18 mg

Calcium content of Purslane – 65 mg

Magnesium content of Spinach – 49 mg

Magnesium content of Dock – 63 mg

And don’t even get me started on how good dandelions are for you. Some varieties (yes there are varieties of dandelions!) taste better than others. Check out online garden catalogues or the seed racks of some garden centres. Growing dandelions deliberately in beds makes the roots easier to harvest as well.

Other weedy, but very nutritious, options include plantain, chickweed, stinging nettle and wild amaranth (more commonly known as pigweed and a close cousin to lambs quarter). Plant and harvest these weeds deliberately and you will be sure to to have a bountiful garden, even if other gardeners raise a few eyebrows.

A dried combination of these wild plant’s leaves can be used as an immune boosting tea over the winter months or added to shakes, smoothies and juices. You will have an economical green powder that will put those pricey commercial products to shame.

It does seem strange how we pull out so many edible weeds, just so we can grow less nutritious greens in their place.

As I’ve said before, humans can be very strange indeed.

Always do your own research to make sure the weeds in your garden are actually what you think they are and safe for you to eat. Avoid harvesting in public spaces where weeds are more likely to have been sprayed with herbicides.