Check this out:
That’s a close-up of one of my garden beds. All the way to the right is a cilantro plant with a red lettuce behind it… but a lot of the rest of the bed has been overrun by delicate and edible chickweed. That’s the sprawling green stuff everywhere.
This isn’t an accident. We planted this bed with lettuce and other greens… then a few weeks later, I noticed that in between our deliberately planted veggies, we had a lot of little chickweed sprouts coming up. As my wife and I weeded, we went around them.
Three words: chickweed is delicious.
It’s good in salads where it adds a “sweet corn” flavor, and it’s good in stir-fries or any other dish where a pleasant green provides a nice addition.
Chances are, you have some in your yard right now. For identification keys and lots more info, Green Deane has the lowdown.
If you keep your eyes open and aren’t a weed-Nazi, there’s good food everywhere. When I see something worth nibbling in my beds, I leave it alone (unless it’s going to take over, like Shepherd’s needle will). Purslane, chickweed, dandelions and wild lettuces are always welcome.
This particular patch of chickweed is going to be fueling salads for the next few months until it fades out in the late spring. There’s nothing like free food.