Harvesting Edible Weeds from the Backyard

comments (1) April 19th, 2012

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cookinwithherbs susan belsinger, contributor
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Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) are contained within an old tire, making them easy to harvest. One should wear gloves when harvesting nettles.
If you look closely, you can see the prickly hairs along the stem and on the leaves, which cause the sting from nettles. Wear gloves when handling them as the sting can last a day or two.
Nettle leaves have a serrated border and little hairs which cause the sting when the leaves are fresh; once dried, the hairs do not sting. I dry these leaves for a tasty mineral-rich tea.
Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) are contained within an old tire, making them easy to harvest. One should wear gloves when harvesting nettles.Click To Enlarge

Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) are contained within an old tire, making them easy to harvest. One should wear gloves when harvesting nettles.

Photo: Susan Belsinger

At this time of year, the garden is bursting with new green growth and amongst this burgeoning life are some wonderful wild edibles. Three of my favorite wild edibles are stinging nettles, dandelion, and chickweed. Please check out the videos of harvesting these nutritious and delicious greens. All of them are high in minerals and vitamins, and I consider them spring tonics.

• Video: How to Harvest Stinging Nettles

• Video: How to Harvest Dandelion

• Video: How to Harvest Chickweed

• Video: Prepping Edible Weeds in the Kitchen

• Video: Green Goodness Soup from Edible Weeds

Not all wild plants are edible
Many seasonal weeds are edible, but some are poisonous, so it's critical to identify the plants first before harvesting them and using them in your cooking. Get a good plant-identification guide; here are three of my favorites:

Edible Wild Plants Eastern/Central North America by Lee Allen Peterson

Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants by Steven Foster and James A. Duke

A Digger's Guide to Medicinal Plants by Allen Lockard and Alice Q. Swanson


posted in: nettles, chickweed, dandelion, wild edibles, edible weeds

Comments (1)

mickysingh writes: nice
Posted: 3:17 am on May 24th
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