Fresh produce seems to be one of the hardest (next to meat). The prices go up higher and higher with each and every trip to the store, yet the quality seems to be drastically dropping. (example: those grapefruits seem to be the size the oranges once were, and the oranges are now the size I once remembered lemons). And often, we find the produce limp and brownish. Yet they are asking for more money than ever for the stuff we once threw in the trash.
But often times, as we walk across the yard to our car, we often neglect to notice the wealth of produce all around us, right in our own yard, right under our feet, as we are leaving to go spend money purchasing the over-priced,. less than adequate *a-hem* produce at the market.
A couple of summers ago, I learned that the Lamb's Quarters (wild spinach) growing abundantly in my yard was edible. Not only edible, but contained far more nutrients than grocery store spinach, so I decided to try it. It was delicious!!! Gosh, have I ever been missing out all these years!! It is now a staple food in my diet and I freeze and dry some to use all winter. I can't imagine not having it in my kitchen stock, now. And it is FREE!
I have enjoyed the Lamb's Quarters so much, that I decided to research, investigate, and learn as much as I could about other wild edibles that might be growing in my yard. I was amazed at the nutrition levels in many of them! I have really been missing out on some excellent, nutritious foods. Plus, many of them have such a wealth of medicinal properties, that, not only would they save me lots of money on medications, but heal many ills without the side effects of chemical drugs.
So over the past couple of weeks, I have spent some time wandering about my yard to see what all "free veggies" and "free meds" I have right at my feet. I can't believe what I have been overlooking! Worst of all, I can't believe that years ago, I was spraying them with weed killer to try and get the grass to grow! What a waste!! I am definitely going to try some more of these free edibles this season to see what else I have been missing out on and how much money they can save me off of my grocery bill. Dave and I each have different knowledge of different plants, so between the two of us, I am sure we can come up with a multitude of healthy, money saving uses.
Here is just a small sampling of the many wonderful wild edibles I have found in my yard.
|Wild Jerusalem Artichokes|
|Wild Lettuce-Prickly lettuce|
|Wild Onions (and Henbit)-my mom's yard- trying to get the onions started in mine.|
|Chickweed (left) & Henbit (right)|
|We have been told this is Wild Lettuce-would love to know more if you know about this one.|
|Polk Greens (tall stuff in back)|
|Wild Grapes and Honeysuckle|
|Much more Lambs Quarters|
HAPPY WILD SHOPPING!!!