No, not the illegal type, but literally, those delightful omnipresent so called bad guys of our gardens. Strolling through the neighbourhood the other day I was struck by a long time vacant block. Over run and somewhat haggard to the naked eye, a closer investigation unveiled a myriad of edibles, beneficials and too, the remnants of what I’m sure must have been a great productive garden. thats a story for another day though. with the notion of the edible weed gaining more and more popularity and notoriety, I was thrilled to find a wonderful cluster of readily identifiable and edible weeds growing in abundance right before me!
thankfully I do have a copy of 'the weed foragers handbook' by Adam Grubb and Annie Raser Rowland which I would highly recommend having a browse of if you do fancy having a go at weed foraging as it can be pretty easy to wrongly identify a poisonous plant as an edible. yikeessss. books like this are also fantastic as its great to realise that these some of these small leafy green weeds are not as offensive as general consensus would suggest, and it also allows us to hone in on the really truly bad guys of the weed world that overtake native ecosystems etc. the banana passionfruit vine I took a picture of for this post is actually pretty bad in these terms, but man oh man, its still pretty. Being essentially pioneer plants for bad and disturbed soil, they're incredibly helpful in the first steps of bringing these disturbed soils back into productivity; they add oxygen to the soil, provide green cover, encourage beneficial insects back to the area- the list goes on.
anyway, the next step is to add these delightful guys to my diet as not only do they actually taste pretty delish but a lot of them also have a really high nutritional content- even higher than our usual everyday leafy greens used.
here are just a few...
(thistle, dock, oxalis, purslane, banana passionfruit vine, mallow, nasturtiums etc)