Eat your yard!
With the sun shining, the rain falling, and the ground warming up, everyone is bringing out their lawn mower and weeding their gardens. People spend hundreds of hours and dollars on their lawn each summer without realizing the benefits they can reap from just a small yard. It is so fun to go outside on a spring morning, and gather a fresh salad, just using plants you may have thought of as useless weeds to be eradicated. Now is an especially a good time if you're stuck at home, or have children who are looking for activities, and have gotten tired of Lego's and playdough. Take them outside, and see what you can find to graze on!
The most obvious, well known edible flower, is dandelions. Everyone knows what they look like, and most people spend lots of time trying to get rid of them. Instead, try using their greens as salad greens! They're tasty and tangy, with much the same flavor as friseee, a common salad green. You can also sautee them in butter with some wild ramps (another wonderful wild green, if you have access to it), or wild onions, which you probably have in your yard.
Next are common violets.
Violets are much more commonly appreciated than a lot of the other edible "weeds" as they are delicately pretty. The flowers are the edible part. They can be used in salads to add attractive color, or freeze them in ice cube trays to add to lemonade or tea. You might enjoy making candied violets as well.
Having little people is perfect for these flowers, as they're a lot lower to the ground than grown-ups and can easily collect a good amount of the attractive purple flowers.
Purple dead-nettle, also called red nettle, is another weed you can eat. The name is a misnomer as it's actually part of the mint family, and does not sting like most nettles. You can recognize it by it's square stem, velvety leaves, and pink, trumpet shaped flowers.
The flower and leaves are what you eat. You can add them to smoothies, like you would spinach or kale, saute them, or eat raw. It's used in the herbal world as an astringent, anti-inflammatory, and as a diuretic.
You can also eat stinging nettle, if you have a patch of woods where they grow. Be sure to wear gloves, as they do sting! Nettles have lots of vitamins, and are used to treat inflammation, arthritis, and urinary problems. Nettle tea is probably the most common way to take it, or you can cook them (they lose their stingy-ness) with greens.
Chickweed is easy to recognize. It's one of the first plants up in spring, and loves shady, damp areas. It has a pleasant, mild flavor is delicious in salads or on sandwiches in place of sprouts or micro-greens. It is also added as an herb to breads or savoury pies.
These are some of the most common edible plants, that you're very likely to have growing in your yard. Make sure you gather them from a clean section, where pets and people don't walk on them, and away from roads and sidewalks. Children will love being able to gather food from their own yards! Now is really a great time, as dandelion leaves are still young and tender, and all the other plants are in their peak. If nothing else, go outside and taste these plants, and see if they don't taste like spring!
If your children think eating weeds is too weird, point out that that's what rabbits do, and they can pretend they are little rabbits finding a tasty meal.
as many dandelion blossoms as you like
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
In a bowl, beat the egg. In another bowl, mix flour, salt, pepper and onion powder.
Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Dip each dandelion blossom in the egg, then coat in flour mixture. Fry till golden brown.
These are delicious on top of a salad of dandelion greens and chickweed, topped with dead-nettle and violet blooms.
Saute wild onions and chickweed and add to scrambled eggs.
Blanch dandelion greens and serve with a hot bacon grease dressing, using salt, pepper vinegar, and melted bacon grease.
Use any of these plants in a smoothie to boost your greens intake.
Just don't forget to leave some dandelion blooms to go to seed, so your kids can blow their fuzz away to the wind!
Easter is coming up, so we wanted to share a few gifts ideas for those who live in the MOV.
Wildroot Flower Co. has Easter flowers, as well as these amazing veggie and bloom boxes! https://www.wildrootflowerco.com/bloom-veggie-boxes
For handmade soaps, lotions and more, check out https://pattersonsfarm.com/
Get your spring plants, ice cream, and so much more at https://scotslandscape.com/
They are currently doing curbside, so everyone can stay safe!
Yummy, fresh, local greens from Yellow and Blue greens are also available from Scot's!
And of course, our website has lots of beautifully dyed, handmade gifts! Be sure to check it out, and subscribe to get further updates, and special emails.