One of the “5 most nutritious plants in the U.S” is a tasty weed! Oh, delicious Lamb’s Quarters!
(from those amazing folks at the Permaculture Project!)
Two things happened:
I read this article:
by Natalie Jones at grist.org about the dwindling nutritional value of our selectively bred and cultivated (for quantity) produce,
I went foraging with Russ Cohen again and learned that the “weed” versions of our cultivated plants — wild beets (aka wild amaranth and sometimes callaloo in the farmer’s market) and wild spinach (also goose foot or lamb’s quarters) are delicious and have a ton more nutritional value than the garden varieties, AND the fruit of the autumn olive (an invasive species) has 18 times the lycopene of a tomato. And, as I’ve mentioned in the previous foraging post, you can make CANDY from the fruit of the autumn olive.
So heirloom vegetable varieties are best for growing, but mix some local weeds into your salad for healthy eating!
This foraging trip was at the lovely Allandale Farm, a very old, thriving, and wonderful farm in Brookline:
And Russ leads several more trips in the late summer and fall in New England, New York and Canada — check out his schedule:
Oh, and those are elderberries up top…no autumn olives until September…