Three more popular edible weeds are Chickweed, Lambs’ Quarters and Watercress, all of which I grow and use. Lambs’ Quarters is in my herb garden and the other two grow wild on the property.
Chickweed is also known as Starweed. It is a shallow rooted plant and has small, oval-shaped leaves. It grows in thick masses that cover large areas of the ground. The chickweed plant has a delicate look but it can often survive in very cold conditions – even under a light blanket of snow. It is a very popular roadside plant in my area.
Chickweed is a good source of vitamin C. It also contains small amounts of vitamins B6, B12, and D.
Both the stem and the leaves of the chickweed are edible, and it can be eaten either cooked or raw. It has a spinach-like flavor and crunch lends itself to a summer salad.
Lambs’ Quarters also called Pigweed is a name this weed shares with a few other common edibles. It is also known as both goosefoot (because of its webbed-foot-shaped leaves) and wild spinach.
Lambs’ quarters tastes best when harvested from young plant less than a foot tall. Both the leaf clusters and the stems of this weed are edible until the seed is set in late summer. It has a flavor that is mild and pleasant.
Watercress is probably best known for watercress sandwiches, which are very popular, served with tea. I had my first watercress sandwich while staying in England.
Watercress is a member of the mustard family and can be found growing on the surface of streams, brooks and on nearby banks. It is a spicy, even bitter, succulent perennial that tastes best and is most tender in the spring.
Watercress contains several important minerals, including calcium, iron and potassium. Watercress is a great garnish in salads, soups on bread with cream cheese for a delicate summer sandwich. These sandwiches are usually served with the crust removed.
Watercress grows wild on my land near a small stream.
It’s fun and relaxing to go foarging for wild edible on the property.