Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"Eat Your Lawn"

Hank over at Hunter Angler Gardener Cook (one of my new favorite blogs) recently rattled off a long list of edibles growing in his lawn.

Many of these species are ubiquitous Old World weeds that followed the Europeans here. Hank lists some of the highlights and describes the weather that produces the best tasting harvest (with environment affecting plant metabolism and all...)

Since reacquainting myself with Eastern wildflowers this past spring, I've kept a running mental tab of native and/or edible herbs that I'll be overseeding my glyphosated lawn someday. I'm glad to see that I can now put an "edible" checklists next to violets and vetch. Why anyone would want a solid green lawn over a seasonal gradient of yellows, whites and purples, I'll never understand...

Just make sure you know what you're eating.*

*Incidentally, does anyone know if there's any risk of picking up parasites eating from the same salad bowl that your local critters roll around in?


  1. Never heard of anyone picking up parasites from wild greens, although if you are picking in a populated pasture (say that 3 times fast!) I'd be more careful - population density and all...

    Only the young growing tips of vetch are edible - the "peas" can be a little toxic, although in small doses they'd be OK - but the plant is super high in nitrogen, so it is a supreme compost material.

  2. Thanks for this post, especially the small text at the bottom. I'd never even given parasites a thought when doing some foraging.


    Now I'm curious and scared.

  3. I'd like to think that, as a tropical species, we've left most of our parasites closer to the equator than most of us live (boo to global warming!).

    I can't picture my great-grandparents fretting about getting infected from their foraging, and if they were full of worms, it certainly didn't keep them from living long, healthy lives... I'd expect that since such a big deal is made out of the risks of a few, very specific sources of parasites (e.g. poorly cooked pork and rabbit), that they're pretty much the only ones we have a chance of running into...

    That's my rationalization at least! I won't be cutting back on my foraging any. I figure there's a vanishingly small probability of picking something up from apparently-clean plants, and even if you did, I can't imagine it would have any serious consequences (unlike, for example botched home canning).

  4. I've read recently in Weedless Gardening that to kill the weeds in your garden to lay down some newspaper...does anyone have an opinion on this approach?



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