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Wicked Weeds or Nutritious Wild Edibles

It has always bothered me that only certain plants are seen as acceptable and others are weeds that must be pulled or poisoned out of our yards. When you consider that the so-called weeds require fewer resources like water because, if left alone, they grow like, well, weeds, it makes even less sense. Why remove a low maintenance plant and replace it with something high maintenance? This thinking got me researching the uncultivated plants that grow in my yard and in my neighborhood. To my surprise, many of the weeds are actually wild edibles that are often highly nutritious or medicinal. 

Even though we live in the city, our large lot provides plenty of variety of wild edible plants. I’ve found the Picture This app very helpful for identifying the plants in my yard. Here’s a few of the most common I’ve found.

A few notes on Safety with Wild Edibles

If you decide to look around your neighborhood, please, be sure you know for sure what plant you have before eating anything. I recommend checking multiple sources. Foraging for wild edibles is fun, as long as you use caution and only eat the plants you are 100% sure about. 

I’m finding that most wild greens are high in oxalic acid, so it’s important to not overdo it and be extra cautious if you have any medical concerns.

Henbit

Henbit, or Lamium amplexicaule is very common to see in early spring. It gets it’s name because chickens love it. As one of the first flowers of the year, it is an important food source for bees, so be mindful if you choose to harvest any.

Image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay

A member of the mint family, henbit is rich in vitamins and minerals. You can eat the leaves and flowers raw in salads or cooked. Tea made from henbit is also thought to reduce stress and anxiety.

Wood Sorrel

Wood sorrel is super easy to identify. It’s a little shamrock! The wood sorrel we have produces little yellow flowers and has a lemony taste. My favorite part are the little seed pods. They look like teeny tiny okra and taste like lemon candy.

Image by GK von Skoddeheimen from Pixabay

Wood sorrel is delicate, so it’s best to eat it fresh. Like many foraged plants, it’s high in oxalic acid, so don’t eat a lot and proceed with caution if you have any condition that would make oxalic acid especially dangerous.

Sunflowers

Did you know that you can eat more than just the sunflower seeds? The entire plant is edible! The leaves are eaten like spinach or brewed into tea. The petals and roots can be made into tea as well.

Dried sunflowers waiting to be made into tea, balms and soaps.

Flower buds can be cooked and eaten. I haven’t tried it yet, but I read they taste similar to artichokes. Apparently the stems taste like celery, and make a tasty snack. In addition to tea, the roots can be steamed, roasted or eaten raw.

Sunflowers are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Sunflower leaves are thought to help with inflammation when applied topically as a poultice or drank as a tea. The tea is also supposed to be good for sore throats.

Want to learn about more wild edibles?

I started with the most common and easily identifiable plants, but there’s so many more I can share just from my own yard. Let me know if you want to learn more or share your own experiences in the comments below.

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Shop Sale!

All items in my shop are 15% off until Friday, July 16, so please, check it out. Here’s just a few of the things you’ll find.

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T-Shirt to TV Pants

I went on a little Pinterest binge a couple days ago looking for ideas to help clear my refashion stash. Saturday night I decided to make a pair of yoga pants out of a t-shirt using this tutorial. I wear a size eight on average, and used an XL adult t-shirt.

I did make a few changes to the design. First, instead of cutting the shirt down the middle, I cut it down the sides from the middle of the underarm to the hem. This also means you’ll have an inseam and no side seams. That keeps any design on the front or back intact and moves them to the hips. For the waistband, I cut the underarm seam from the sleeves and squared them up to be two equal rectangles, leaving the hem intact. I sewed the short sides together making a big, short tube from the sleeves. I then put the tube inside the waist of the pants with the pants right side out and the right side of the tube facing the inside of the pants. The raw edge of the tube lines up with the raw edge of the pants. I serged the top together like that. This made it so when the tube is folded down to the outside, the seam is covered.

IMG_4449IMG_4452IMG_4459

Sorry for the awkward pictures. No one was around to take the pictures and Doctor Who was about to start.

I sewed it all on my serger and it took less than ten minutes. I probably should have added two minutes and switched from white to black thread. Or not.

They are a little loose at the waist. If I were planning to actually do yoga or wear them in public I should probably add some elastic at the seam. Since they will probably be used mainly for watching Doctor Who while sitting on the sofa, I probably won’t bother.

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

T-Shirt to TV Pants was originally published on SubEarthan Cottage

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Valentine’s Day baby

After seeing my doctors on Tuesday, we’ve decide to go ahead with an induction on Tuesday, February 14, so Mr. Beckett will be a little Valentine’s Day baby. 🙂

In the meantime I’m trying to get everything ready. I’m putting my Etsy shop on vacation beginning Saturday, Feb. 11 to have time for all the last minute preparations for Beckett, so if you want anything, get your orders in soon. 🙂 http://sophiecls.etsy.com