Tonight for dinner we are enjoying a repeat performance of Nana’s Cabbage Rolls, a yummy way to appease those who might not be so fond of cabbage. As I’ve already posted this recipe during the Winter CSA, (please find it here) I thought I’d take this time to share on some of the other hidden jewels lingering around the farm.
I’ve been thinking about doing a post about the plants that grow on the farm but don’t necessarily make it into the share boxes, or (intentionally) into the raised garden beds. After my littlest one got stung by a hornet recently, I was inspired to finally write this post about weeds.
Just after the hornet sting, I was approached by a fellow mom who told me about the plantain weed and it’s ability to quickly soothe insect stings. All one simply has to do is chew the plantain weed into a paste and apply it to the site. Within minutes, there is incredible improvement. This stuff is everywhere, and I was excited to get the memo on how to use this “weed” to help my little one.
There are many other secret veggies on the farm and in our own backyards just waiting to be enjoyed! Here are a few faves…
One such weed is the lamb’s quarter or wild spinach. I first learned of this beauty from farmer and forager extraordinaire Elizabeth Almeida at Fat Moon. Nutrient rich and a perfect stand-in for traditional spinach, it is a welcome visitor in my garden come weeding time. One thousand and one thank-yous, Elizabeth!
It is growing in abundance in my yard, my plot at the Community Garden, and in between the Springdell herb garden boxes. It gives the cultivated stuff a run for it’s money!
I have a bit of a love affair with purslane. This weed has been going mainstream as of late. It’s succulent leaves have a nutty flavor and a nutritional content that is rivaled only by the heavy hitters such as kale and collard greens. I’m fortunate to have it growing amongst my carrots at the Community Gardens. It’s dynamite in a morning smoothie, in a stir-fry, a mixed green salad, or simply as-is!
Lemon sorrel is another micro-green that’s just about everywhere, and utterly tasty. I like this stuff more than some of the usual spring mix suspects. It’s lemony non-bitter flavor is a pick me up in any salad, or as it’s own salad! Identify this beauty by the arrowhead-like leaf shape.
There are many more out there but I think to keep this post at a manageable size, we may stop here for this evening… Now before you run off to forage, be sure to keep in mind the source of your weeds! Are you picking from an area that is frequented by walking dogs, for example? If so, you may want to look elsewhere. My disclaimer is to pick at your own risk, research further, use common sense, and have fun! If you see me on the farm, please feel free to pull me aside and I’ll grab you a leaf or two of my faves to sample. As always, thanks for reading!