In the Deep South, winter is an ideal time to forage for edible wild greens.
Con you identify these four common “weeds” in my yard?
All of those are good eats, though I don’t eat much of #3 since I am not a fan of kidney stones. (That’s a hint, by the way!)
Wild greens are often healthier for you than their cultivated counterparts. Wild mustards, henbit, chickweed, wild lettuce and other good wild greens abound during this time of year.
My Grocery Row Gardens are full of henbit and some chickweed, thanks to the seeds being turned up when we tilled the grass in late summer.
We’re just letting them grow as a winter cover crop. They’ll keep the ground alive and lower erosion until we plant in spring.
I’m currently reading Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson, which reminded me again how much I enjoy the wild greens of winter.
Her book is intriguing so far, and makes the case that mankind bred out much of the nutrition in many of our common vegetables and fruits via favoring flavor, size, sweetness and appearance. Adding a little “wild” back in to your diet helps reclaim some of what we’ve lost.
My favorite way to eat wild greens is to pick them fresh in the morning, then sauté them in ghee, butter, coconut oil or lard with my scrambled eggs for breakfast.
Wild onions, dandelion greens, henbit, mustards, thistle and many other plants are excellent this way, often with a bit of healthy bitterness mixed in with the sweet.
You’ll find good edible wild greens to be most abundant at forest edges and in areas with recently broken ground. Unsprayed lawns are also a good hunting ground.
Yesterday I even managed to find a few edible bolete mushrooms to mix in with my mix of wild greens at breakfast.
God has provided abundantly – we just need eyes to see!