3 Common Backyard "Weeds" You Can Eat (No, we're not talking about Marijuana.)
Updated: Apr 8
Photography & Article by Joy Jones 4/4/2021
It's no secret the sudden emergence of COVID-19 revealed how truly fragile economies across the world can be. A leading concern of many in this global crisis has been food shortages – evident in the thousands of empty shelves at grocery stores across the United States and around the world amid preliminary "lockdowns".
These fears are valid, but there's more food around you than you think. In this article we'll take a closer look at three very common edible "weeds" that can be found in your backyard. The featured superfood salad includes yellow dock greens, shining crane's bill clovers, and dandelion flowers and leaves – all of which are completely edible and safe to eat: *Disclaimer: These wild greens are considered generally safe to eat; however, individuals should screen for allergies before consumption or consult with a licensed health professional. See bottom of page for self allergy screening method. Not all plants considered weeds are safe to eat.*
1. Yellow Dock
Yellow dock shares many similarities to Swiss Chard or spinach, which can be found in most grocery stores. When unripe Yellow dock has a delicious and distinct citrus flavor.
Dandelion can be eaten root to tip: those common 1 inch yellow flowers and all. Dandelion leaves visually favor arugula.
3. Shining Crane's Bill
Shining cranesbill is easy to spot, because it looks a little like parsley; although, it pales in comparison to parsley's flavor.
How to Cook Wild Greens?
All these greens and many wild greens are admittedly bitter raw, but that can easily be remedied by cooking 5-20 minutes and adding seasonings based on your desired taste in the same fashion you would cook any store bought greens.
So, instead of grabbing a bottle of roundup this spring or summer, grab a plate and round up those greens for a nutritious, healthy meal. Wild greens available for foraging in your local wooded area or backyard may vary.
Self Screening Allergies:
To self screen for allergies relating to these wild greens first take a small portion of the plant and firmly rub several times on inner wrist and wait 5-10 minutes. If no signs of allergic reaction are present (no fever, rash, itching, etc.) eat micro portion of plant and wait 10 minutes. If no signs of allergic reaction are present (no fever, rash, itching, etc.) you are likely not allergic to the plant. (This method for self screen is not recommended for wild mushrooms.)