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!
I know the first three, but what’s the last one (or the one on there twice)?
Same for me, not sure on the last one. My guess is Wild Violet…
Yes – that’s right. Wild violet.
Yes, and thankful to have all here! Thanks for the book mention. I just added it to my library list.
Yes we have tons of wild violet but mostly dollar weed and chamber bitter (yes a medicinal for kidney stones!) I harvest lots of violets and make a honey infustion in spring. I am trying to buy the more ‘wild’ form of seeds from bakers creek or long time heirloom varieties. I have near 100% germination of all their seeds and they grow amazing plants!
When I do get the renegade wild mustard I will let it grow also, they come up in spring for me here in MS when I get them. I am expanding my garden this year as well hubby was tired of the weedwhacker around all the trees and stuff I keep planting so he said ‘just take that whole side of the yard and we will mulch in the walkways’
That’s awesome. Just… take the yard!
1-Dandelion Greens (with a small flower bud to the left-center),
2-Wild Onions. From the looks of the picture, it is onions as they have multiple stems that grow from a single bulb, wild garlic will have a single stem (& smell of garlic). Also, have the wild yard onions that are tiny bulbs that grow in clusters and the stems are a bluish green. I have them planted in pots & planters, I also have both the Wild Onions & Wild Garlic that produce bulblets that form after they flower every spring. These bulblets either weight down the tops to the ground and they drop to the soil or they will dry & drop without falling over. Then the green tops die back til fall. They both have a growing similarity much like the Egyptian Walking Onions. Must be watchful for the bulblets that fall outside your bed or container as they will become invasive and be growing everywhere.
3-Wood sorrel-Yellow wood sorrel,
4-Wild violet, these have taken over the walk path’s of my garden. Too pretty to destroy and also a good source of Vit. A & C that I toss in salads or cook with other greens.
I often find wild edibles and transplant some in my garden area or woods to have sources close by but also scattered all over the property for a hidden food source that most can’t identify growing in the wild.
You nailed it! Good work.