Eating Your Lawn

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 19, 2012 at 2:39 AM

So I am walking my friend out to her car, through my overgrown property, when she points at some generic looking weeds and says, "That's Pokeweed. You can cook it and eat it just like spinach."

Before I can answer, she goes over and starts taking off and collecting the leaves. I shrug, come over and just break off the whole weed, leaves and all, and tell her to take it before we lawn-mow it.

I also ask her if she's reeeeaallly sure that it is Pokeweed and it's edible, but she is God-knows-how-old (at least 65, she won't tell) and still alive, and in better shape than me, so....

Anyhow, later on she sent me this article about Pokeweek WILDEATS

that also has some cool stuff about other edible wild plants.

So, now I am wondering if I should go out and eat my lawn? Anyone else go out and eat their weeds? (I know there is a pot joke in there somewhere) :-)

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5 Answers



on July 19, 2012
at 03:37 AM

Yes! Eat your dandelions! Pick the leaves in the spring and early summer and enjoy them in a salad or sauteed up with some garlic, or anything. Later pick the flowers and make a vinegar with them: macerate them by stuffing a jar full of flowers and then pour vinegar (unpasteurized apple cider is great) in until full, then cover and let sit for a week or two. Finally, pull up the roots and either throw them in with a stir fry, roast them up with salt and oil, or roast them dry and make a tea or coffee with them.

The roots are very cleansing for your blood and liver. The leaves are extremely nutritious.

Just don't use gross fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides.

Dandelions are probably one of the most ubiquitous, detested, yet tasty, nutritious and versatile plants out there.

I can only imagine how much healthier north americans would be if they simply ate some of the weeds on their lawn instead of smothering them with deadly chemicals.

Their are so many other great edible plants too, dandelions just happen to be the most accessible and easiest to identify.



on July 19, 2012
at 04:15 PM

Props to your neighbor for the approach. Whether the stuff is actually doing any benefit is another story but the mindset of thinking "what can I use this for other than just killing and removing it" is admirable.



on July 19, 2012
at 01:51 PM

Edible weeds I've eaten: purslane, lamb's quarter, nettles, and wild parsnip roots. We also gather red clover tops for making herbal tea.



on July 19, 2012
at 01:14 PM

My garden was taken over by common mallow. The leaves are similar in shape to geranium leaves, but completely edible. I send the young one out every night to pick it and we include it in our nightly salad.

The dandelions that grow in my yard have VERY bitter leaves. I assume there are different varieties with varying flavors, but can't eat what grows in my lawn very often. We also have lamb's lettuce that crops up occasionally, but I haven't seen it in a while.

Yes, eat your lawn, but be careful. I've found information by simply putting in the color of the leaves and flowers to figure out what a weed was. I had a beautiful plant coming up all over the place, only to find out it was nightshade. Beautiful plant that would have looked good in a salad, at least until it poisoned everyone.



on July 19, 2012
at 01:37 PM

From what I have heard, pokeweed is toxic raw and even when cooked still has some toxic properties. I think it's traditionally boiled in several changes of water to overcome this, so I don't know if you can cook it just like spinach. Then again, if your friend has been eating it without much ill effect, who knows.

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