Edible Lawn Weeds

As a follow up to my talk on RNZ this morning I thought I'd post up a visual guide for foraging for Edible Lawn Weeds at your place. If you are lucky enough to have a lawn or access to a park within a walk away from your place to forage from during the Covid 19 lockdown there really is some wonderful benefits to eating the weeds!

You do not need to have a heap of these weeds, rather look at them as a nutritious herb to add to dishes, smoothies and juices. Otherwise cooking these greens will remove some of the bitterness so cook as you would silverbeet or spinach, and this is the best choice to have larger quantities and you can use them in similar ways like as a filling for pies, pinwheels, pasta or soups.

I haven't let Mr Veggie Tree mow the lawns for almost a year now and I pick greens (and flowers in the spring and summer) everyday to feed my family. I have them chopped on my toast every morning and add them to all sorts of dishes as a herb substitute or in place of leafy greens in a salad or in a pesto. These are just a collection from my garden, there are many more edible lawn weeds including chickweed, wild mustard, dock, oxalis and comfrey, caution is advised for the latter two however.

Nasturtium

Nasturtium leaves and flowers are great chopped up into salads for a peppery note similar to cress or wild rocket or used as a parcel wrap in place of cabbage or vine leaves. Tasting peppery, like watercress, these make a lovely salad addition. I have them on my peanut butter toast most mornings.

Medicinal and health benefits:

They are high in Vitamin C and a natural antibiotic, immune boosting, antibacterial, anti-fungal and antibacterial. High in minerals and a tea made from nasturtium can be used as a skin toner, eating a couple of the leaves at the beginning of a cold can stop it in its tracks but avoid if pregnant.

Garden notes:

Nasturtiums planted near broccoli will keep the aphids away and benefit radish and potatoes when planted with them. Nasturtium makes an excellent herb tea both for spraying and watering onto plants.

Onion weed

A pest and invasive weed to many this is my favourite edible ‘weed’. Its juicy stalks and pretty little white flowers are a perfect alternative to chives and spring onions with its delicate onion flavour. The entire plant is edible including the bulbs that can be harvested in late summer. Use the flowers to garnish salads, egg dishes, soups, dips, they pretty much make anything look impressive!

Medicinal and health benefits:

Helps reduce blood cholesterol levels, stimulates the circulatory blood system, it is antimicrobial and acts as a digestive system tonic plus it contains chlorophyll, fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Plantain

Grassy with a slightly nutty, slightly bitter taste the older leaves can be ‘stringy’. The young leaves are great for a wild salad and as they get older are better cooked and could be used with other wilted greens in pie fillings, soups, cannelloni or ravioli filling.

Medicinal and health benefits:

Plantain possesses many qualities which make it ideal for use in a skin healing poultice. It is a natural pain killer and anti-inflammatory. It is also naturally antiseptic and anti-viral, as well as an anti-histamine. As such, you can use plantain to heal just about any kind of skin malady including (but not limited to) mozzie bites bee stings, poison ivy rash, infections, hemorrhoids, splinters, glass shards, boils, blisters, small cuts and scrapes, and even eczema.