Why waste your time pulling them out if you are only going to throw them away? Next time you attack these garden invaders, try using some as food.
We all think of weeds as pesky plants that invade our gardens, take over, and ruin our personal Edens. However many weeds are edible and some even have medicinal uses. I encourage you to view weeds in a different light, not as pests, but as valuable plants, welcome additions to your yard, and good food. I feel that if you are going to pull them up, you may as well eat them. Before you pick any weed for the purpose of eating, make sure it was not treated ,or sprayed with chemical pesticides or herbicides. Check rules in your area before you intentionally grow any of the mentioned “weeds”, as some may be considered nuisance or noxious weeds in some areas.
This is probably the best known weed of all, with its yellow flowers and jagged leaves it is consider a weed by most gardeners. However the Dandelion is completely edible and if you have livestock you will notice it is often a food of choice. Even the flowers and buds can be consumed. The most common use of dandelions is in salads, however they are also used in soups, and to make wine. Try adding some flower buds to a spaghetti sauce for an interesting taste. On a medicinal side, Dandelions are diuretics.
This is not common in urban gardens but is well known to most rural gardeners. It is a tall plant with unattractive, small, white flowers. The curse of this plant is that touching it results in an itchy rash, however cooking or drying removes the stinging effect and leaves the plant palatable. They are most often used to make teas, or stir fries, and are noted for the high iron content in their stems.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Plantago_ovata_form.jpg The desert form of Plantain.
Plantains are low growing plants with broad leaves, the flowers appear tightly clustered on an upright stem and are hardly noticeable except for the appearance of the stem. This weed, of course, is not related to the banana plantain. It is commonly used in salads, teas, or soups but has medicinal purposes as well. The medicinal purposes include helping with asthma, bladder problems and to curb smoking desires. It is also used topically as a poultice, with supposed antibacterial properties.
This is a low growing succulent. It has small, thick leaves on a reddish stem that crawls along the ground, often invading rock gardens or sidewalks. It is very high in Omega 3, and the stems are rich in Vitamin C. This is a fabulous addition to salads, sandwiches, or soups.
This is one weed that seems impossible to control, so why bother. It is small and rather harmless, plus you can eat it. Chickweed has tiny leaves and small white flowers and when you try to pull it, the plant breaks free of the roots which continue to grow. It is known for having strong laxative properties, so if you are going to add it to your dishes, do so sparingly at first. It is mostly used in salads or sandwiches.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ArctiumLappa1.jpg Greater Burdock has large leaves.
This is a tall plant, with a spiked flower head. Like nettle, it is more common in rural gardens. It is said to have blood purifying properties. The leaves are often used in salad. The roots of Japanese Burdock have an oyster like taste, and make an interesting addition to stir fry.
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