Anyone Can Farm weeds!
I’ll show you how today. Beyond a doubt you can procure something for yourself to eat. You are a natural farmer, you just don’t know it yet. And this farming probably won’t cost you anything. It’s the ultimate free lunch. Salad, at any rate. And, this free food has all sorts of healthy benefits.
Truth be told, nature does the “farming,” all you have to do is harvest the bounty.
How can this be??
Here’s your free lunch:
This is nature’s superfood. One of them, anyway. All parts of the dandelion are good to eat and have benefits for your health. The leaves are probably the easiest to do, though, since we’re used to working with dark greens. The flowers are sweet and tasty, too, so give them a try! Small leaves are less bitter, and once you get your palate adjusted to the more natural tastes, the larger leaves are more efficient to work with. You can always give the leaves a taste to see if they might be too bitter. If so, keep hunting. Here’s why you want to eat dandelions:
- They help cleanse your blood as they are super high in cholophyll, as well as calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C.
- They help tone your internal organs so they are stronger to do the work of digestion, making you more resilient.
- They contain pectin and encourage beneficial flora in the gut and inhibit unfriendly bacteria. Their bitter taste stimulates digestive enzymes and bile so you can breakdown proteins and fats better.
- They contain a host of vitamins and minerals in massive quantities compared to conventional greens.
- They contain levulin, which allows the liver to bypass insulin in converting fructose to glucose. A nice bonus for those with blood sugar issues.
This little volunteer can be found almost everywhere the ground has been disturbed. It loves to sprout right up in the spring and stay to the bitter end in the fall. It has hardiness and love of life to share with you! It’s taste is more like spinach, though as the leaves mature they can become untasty due to oxalic acid and it’s best to skip them then. The leaves are an easy addition to any dish you’d put greens in. I just learned that the seeds are great used like quinoa! I’ll be trying that out this year as the seeds really are the power pack of the plant and have so much magnified goodness in them. Here’s why you want to eat lambsquarter:
- 1 cup of greens packs a whopping 73% of the USRDA for vitamin A and 96% for vitamin C. It also has lots of the B vitamin complex. Also very high in calcium, chlorophyll, trace minerals and vital enzymes.
- The dark greens are rich in iron and help to increase the red blood count and stimulate overall vitality in the circulatory system.
- They help decrease inflammation by acting as a purifier for the body due to the high amount of chlorophyll.
- It helps tone internal organs, and can help tone the skin as well!
This “thorn in the side” plant loves to grow in untended areas. As a deep rooted, tenacious plant of beauty, it brings the qualities of deep nourishment and health to you. This plant is such a wealth of free nourishment, it deserves it’s own article. The flowers and roots have tremendous value, and you’ll have to learn about them on your own (I highly recommend the book The Wild Wisdom of Weeds by Katrina Blair). Right now I can speak to the ease of using the leaves and how beneficial they are. Here’s why you want to eat thistle:
- It has, like all the wild plants, a host of vitamins and minerals to hand deliver to you.
- Thistle in particular is very alkalizing without the rebound effect of some other alkalizing herbs. Increased alkalinity in the body supports good oxygenation of body tissues, good circulation, good elimination of toxins. All of these strengthen your immune and endocrine systems.
Thistle is a little different to deal with. The little leaves can be chopped into green salads. When they get bigger and a little more spiny, both the leaves and stalks can be ground in a blender with water and then strained through a cloth to remove the spines. The resulting green juice can be drunk as is, made into an excellent lemonade, used to make a green smoothie with other greens and fruits. And use your imagination!
Nature’s greens are surprisingly easy to use. You can throw them in with a lettuce salad, add them to any dish you’d use spinach in like eggs, stirfry, or spaghetti. They make a rich addition to a smoothie. I make a chia egg nog smoothie with them (different, but good).
This is only the tip of the iceberg. This doesn’t count purslane (good ground cover and salad green), mustard, clover, and plain old grass. I used the book The Wild Wisdom of Weeds by Katrina Blair as a reference and share with you my own experience. This is totally free farming that anyone can do. Just look around you and harvest nature’s free bounty.
Anyone Can Farm!