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May 18, 2010 07:31 PM

What weeds are worth turning into tea or dinner?

I'm finding there is many uses for the wild plant life in my yard. I'm finding black walnuts can be harvested and eventually eaten. Raspberries leaves can be used for tea. My garden beds can produce food if I play my cards right.

I tried searching on google for uses for weeds, but all I got was references to the illegal drug in America. More importantly than which weeds can I use, which weeds are worth the effort to harvest? I also have some small trees, oaks and black walnuts I think. I figure as long as I'm taking the effort to uproot these pests, I might as well make use of them. I do not want to throw too many weeds in my compost, least the compost come alive! :)

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  1. If your compost gets hot enough, no worries about most weeds.

    Where do you live? You might want to check out a foraging book written with your area in mind. There are lots of edible greens around; the two that pop into my mind are nettles and dandelions. I know there are a lot more.

    1. Here's a link for a list of some edible weeds and wild plants you may have growing in your backyard and garden, from Wildman Steve Brill, who is quite well known in NY for his plant foraging tours in Central Park. I have to go take a hard look at what I've got in my backyard; I believe I saw some epazote out there the other day:

      1 Reply
      1. re: bushwickgirl

        Use the search term "edible wild plants". That will filter out the marijuana references. You can also add your regional location to get more specific results.

      2. You can check out this blog. He is on the West coast but he has links to other sites about this kind of stuff. Purslane is one that comes to mind that grows like crazy. The hunter angler gardener cook guy made dolmas with mallow. That stuff grows like crazy all over the place.

        1. Great links so far, but you would get a better response by posting the type of weeds you have. I have tried chickweed and dandelion greens which are pretty much like most greens ... sort of spinach-like with a little bitterness depending on when they are harvested.

          Lookingg at the links, I not only never knew this weed was edible, but even the name for the Long Leaf Plantain. I've seen that from coast to coast .. from Connecticut to California.

          Do be careful. Many plants look very similar and can be poisonous. I would take a local foraging class if available.

          And if you look at the links provided, while on Chowhound the replies need to be culinary, many of these weeds have other uses in addition to food.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rworange

            What area are you living in? If you google foraging and add your state you may find some thing more local?

            This is another blog writer who has a book

            This forum may be more help full? You may need to ask for a specific plant.


            or ask for a specific plant you are interested in on this forum? Such as a specific onion in the allium topic area. I am sure you can find some thing there.