Archive for the ‘Wild Edible Plants’ Category


Since a deer (probably) entered and ate in our garden night before last, we have put up some quick defenses in our garden until we can get something better.

For noise, we have tied aluminum pie pans to a few t-posts. When the wind blows, the aluminum pie pans blow around a hit the metal stakes, making a loud racket. We also tied Bounce sheets to other metal stakes. These sheets are supposed to throw off a deer’s sense of smell. We’ll see how these work. Finally, our dad attached a motion sensor light to our swing set . This will light up a portion of our garden. While none of these methods will keep any deer away for any length of time, we are hoping that they will work until we can get something else rigged up.

I also wanted to mention a plant which has been growing in one of our side gardens. This plant is very large; it had huge leaves! I didn’t measure the largest leaf, but I estimate that it was over a yard long and almost as wide. I did include a picture of a smaller leaf with my hand for reference. I believe this plant is common burdock, but I’m not positive. I wanted to wait a little longer to see if I could eat the stalk, but my dad said it had to go since we have to get our watermelons in.

Anyway, it’s gone now. That is a little bit unfortunate since burdock is edible in certain stages, but I know what it looks like now, so hopefully I can find some more!

The Monster Dandelion

Posted: May 16, 2016 in Wild Edible Plants

Yesterday, I discovered a very large dandelion growing beside a raised bed. I suspect it is because the soil in the raised bed was good that the dandelion is so healthy. Although you can’t really tell how large the plant is from my picture, the longest leaf on the plant is about 15 inches long. Who needs to cultivate dandelions when this grows on its own?

In addition, we saw on Johnny’s Selected Seeds website (one of the seed companies from which we buy seeds), seeds for dandelions. They are actually selling dandelion seeds with which to start plants which most people have growing in their yards. Perhaps it is a special kind of dandelion, who knows. Oh well, to each his own.

While on the subject of dandelions, I found an article on the secret to eating dandelions without the bitterness. Apparently, you have to get the greens before the plants go to seed, which makes sense, because you have to do that with lettuce and other greens as well.

One other thing about dandelions. A few days ago I dug up dandelion roots and cleaned them. I’m now drying them, and in a couple of weeks, I’ll be roasting and grinding them to make coffee with! We’ll see how that goes.

Today was a really beautiful day and also the perfect temperature. I don’t know what it was, but it was perfect; not too hot, not too cold, and not too windy.

Here’s all the stuff we got done today (well, some of the stuff we got done today):

Cabbages and collards were planted in the bed next to the kale which was planted last week (cabbages on the right).


Most of the remaining seedlings in cups and otherwise were moved into the new greenhouse, which our dad just fitted with some great shelves. Our mother really loves it and also our sister wants another one built so she can live in it 🙂

Here are some pictures of a few herbs coming up (oregano, thyme, spearmint). And a 3+” hollowed-out stem of last year’s chard!

I found what I think is burdock right in our backyard next to the watermelon bed and baby pokeweed coming up in the next bed. We’re excited to try some burdock stems. We have already eaten pokeweed, but if we run out of greens, we can keep it in mind.

The best find of all were some May apples which I spotted on a drive back home today. After checking up on whose property it was on, I dug up a couple of plants and will put them in the same area as our ostrich fern and woodland poppies. They should do well there as it is shady and moist. The plants don’t fruit in May, as the name might imply, but hopefully we’ll get some mayapples sometime this summer. Even if we don’t get any from these, I can just walk down the road and get them. I’ll update you at that time about how they taste and what I think of them.

As I mentioned yesterday, I was planning on eating some of the Solomon’s seal and ostrich fern in our yard, and today I did (and I shared a taste with others at the dinner table).

I made sure today that the ferns were indeed what I thought they were (ostrich) and verified again that both types of plants are edible. I didn’t want to kill the fern, so I was only able to pick one little shoot, but I noticed other ferns were coming up and am hoping that I can harvest a few more.

I also picked four Solomon’s seal shoots, but I think I was a little too late, because when we boiled and ate them they were very bitter. It was odd, though, because when I tried a piece raw, it didn’t taste bitter at all to me.

Anyway, the raw ostrich fern fiddlehead seemed just a little bit slimy in the middle to my parents, sort of a mild okra sliminess. I had some just after I picked it and it was not slimy so maybe it was because I put it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. I think this is best when eaten just after it’s picked.

Anyway, I thought both of the vegetables tasted slightly sweet and mild when raw, and the ostrich fern had the tiniest hint of an apple flavor.

These are both quite enjoyable vegetables, and I think I might try to start some more Solomon’s seal in random places. It’s good to know that you can eat this stuff!

Cultivating Dandelions

Posted: April 12, 2016 in Wild Edible Plants

Has anyone else out there noticed an obsession with dandelions recently? Well we have. Apparently the dandelion greens craze is going around, though last year I ate some and it tasted very bitter to me. I didn’t like it, but maybe I ate them at the wrong time of year. Now, people have been taking their dandelion eating to the next level; they are digging up dandelion plants, putting them in pots, and cultivating them.

I guess I don’t get it because the one time I had the greens they were very unpleasant, and the only thing that I’d ever use dandelions for would be their roots, roasted, ground, and made into coffee. Some people must like the greens a lot more than me in order to cultivate the weed. Certain individuals are also cultivating wild parsnip and burdock. These plants might actually be worth cultivating in my opinion.

What I’m wondering is, what does cultivation do for a dandelion? We have tons right in our yard, and while I guess it would grow bigger in a pot with no weeds and healthy dirt, there are so many in the wild that it seems like you could have all the dandelion greens you wanted. Oh well. To each their own.

By the way, I cannot believe these pictures are of our grass. It actually looks pretty decent 🙂