Saturday, September 29, 2012

Coincidence, or Anticipation of Change?


I sometimes wonder if The Universe is trying to tell me something. Two years ago my yard became infested with chickweed, which is edible. 

Now just in the last 6 weeks or so, my lawn is sprouting Yellow Dock in quite a few places. Yellow dock is also edible. It's best when the leaves are no larger than 2½-3 inches. Caution: The leaves usually contain high levels of oxalic acid. In very small quantities they can be eaten raw; eating large quantities means that the oxalic acid can lock-up other nutrients in the food, especially calcium, thus causing mineral deficiencies. The oxalic acid content is greatly reduced if the plant is cooked. (Cook like spinach.) Even the seeds are edible: Yellow Dock Crackers.

Broadleaf Yellow Dock

I've been leaving all the dandelions in place, since they draw up minerals from the deep. One narrow bed along the walkway is almost solid in dandelions now. Half a cup of dandelion greens contain more calcium than a glass of milk, and more iron than spinach. The leaves have more vitamin A than carrots. And, they’re also packed full of protein and fiber. The flowers make great fritters!

Plantain seeds

There is also a lot of Plantain coming up in the edges of the gravel driveway. Sesame and Wilted Greens Recipe. My sorrel has managed to spread itself into several plants, and it regrows quickly after being cut for soups or greens.

Jerusalem artichokes in bloom (Click to enlarge)

Three years ago I planted 5 Jerusalem Artichoke tubers. Last year they began to multiply a little, and grew to about 6 feet tall. This year they have grown like crazy, with most being over 10 feet tall. I suspect there are hundreds of tubers underground. I'll dig some tubers to transplant along the fence, try to sell or trade some tubers, and leave the remainder in the ground for winter storage.

There are a few other wild edibles coming up here and there but I'm not very knowledgeable about them yet. Nor am I fully informed about the medicinal values of the plants above; it's my "winter job".



  1. Please let me know when you are ready to sell some of the Jerusalem artichoke tubers. I would like a couple to start them growing here.

    Thanks, Kris

  2. Well who knew... I have been pulling and tossing plaintain all these years. Could have been tossing it into the salad. Is there a good book on edible "weeds"? Thanks Darius

    1. I don't know about a good book, but Green Dean has the best website I've seen, and you can sign up for his newsletter.

  3. I love your blog, I live in central VA and just this morning used some broad leaf plantain. I got stung on the cheek yesterday working my bee hive, this morning the swelling is unbearable and my right eye is almost swollen shut. I started doing some research and the plantain can be picked, chewed (hold the saliva in your mouth) and then spit out and placed onto the sting site. It will help with the swelling and pain (yes, it is working even though my 2 kids think I'm a dork with a wad of green stuff on my face) and also works for insect bites.

    1. Lori, Thanks for stopping by... I knew plantain has medicinal value, and I'm glad to hear it is helping your swelling from the bee sting.


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