Become a Fan
I always say the gardener's best revenge is to eat the weeds. I've been doing it for thirty years and can testify that my health and the health of my garden has never been better. Here are a few hints for gardeners who'd rather eat their weeds than hate them (and for non-gardeners who are adventurous enough to try out nature's bounty).
View your weeds as cultivated plants; give them the same care and you'll reap a tremendous harvest. Harvest frequently and do it when the weeds are young and tender. Thin your weeds and pinch back the annuals so your weeds become lushly leafy. Use weeds as rotation crops; they bring up subsoil minerals and protect against many insects.
"Interplant" (by not weeding out) selected weeds; try purslane, lamb's quarters, or amaranth with your corn, chickweed with peas/beans, and yellow dock, sheep sorrel, or dandelion with tomatoes).And, most importantly, harvest your weeds frequently, regularly, and generously.
Here are some of my favorite edible weeds:
-Burdock (Arctium lappa) Roots of non-flowering plants harvested after frost make a vinegar that is deep, and richly flavorful as well as a world-renowned tonic. Petioles of the leaves and the flowering stalk are also edible; for recipes see my book Healing Wise.
-Chickweed (Stellaria media) Young leaves and stalks, even flowers, in salads. Blend with virgin olive oil and organic garlic for an unforgettable pesto. Add seeds to porridge.
-Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis) Leaves eaten at any time, raw or cooked, but especially tasty in the fall ? not spring!. Roots harvested any time; pickle in apple cider vinegar for winter use. Dandelion flower wine is justly famous.
-Garlic Mustard (Alliaria officinalis) Year-round salad green. Leaves used in any season, even winter. Roots are harvested before plant flowers. Seeds are a spicy condiment.
-Lamb's quarter (Chenopodium alba and related species, e.g. Chenopodium quinoa). Young leaves in salads. Older leaves and tender stalks cooked. Leaves dried and ground into flour (replaces up to half the flour in any recipe). Seeds dried and cooked in soups, porridge.
-Purslane (Portulacca oleracea) The fleshy leaves and stalks of this plant are incredibly delicious in salads and not bad at all preserved in vinegar for winter use.
-Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella) Leaves add a sour spark to salads. Cooked with wild leeks or cultivated onion and potato they become a soup called "schav."
-Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) Young leaves cooked for 40-45 minutes and served in their broth are one of my favorite dishes. Seeds can be used in baked goods, porridge.