Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Incredible Edible YARD

There are tons of options in our own backyards that could help feed us or provide medicinal help if SHTF! 
One doesn't have to wait till then - there are lots of FREE food options in nature.  There are some that I have used already, and others that I will be trying this year.  I will be keeping this info in my "practical ideas" notebook.  Yes, I have one of those. 
Do you keep a notebook of ideas of 'off the wall' things that can be used?

First and most obvious items, are fruit and nut trees, berry vines and bushes, and your garden.  Fruits and nuts can also be foraged - but one needs to be mindful of the area where foraging.  NEVER forage on private property without permission,  and it's probably a good idea to NEVER forage off the side of the road (good bet things have been sprayed with chemicals.)  National parks and forests are often protected, and it is illegal to remove items.  BUT, if you have your own woods or know someone that has one and allows you to wonder it - go for it!!

DANDELIONS - all parts are edible.  There is tons of vitamins A, B, C, and D, iron, potassium and Zink in this plant.  Young leaves can be cooked as greens or eaten fresh in salads or on sandwiches.  These leaves have more beta-carotene than carrots. 
The roots can be made into herbal teas that are medicinal.
The flowers can be made into jelly, syrup, and wine.  **I have made jelly before (Yum), and my daddy used to make wine.

PURSLANE - contains Omega 3 fats.  Lots of vitamin A, C, E, calcium and iron.
The are best when young - the older the leaves and stems are the more peppery it tastes.  great for adding in soups and stews, and good in salads.  **I have done this too. 

PLANTAIN - young leaves are tasty raw or cooked.  Great in treating sore throat and cold symptoms (made in a tea)

RED CLOVER - bees love it and so should we!  It is anti-inflammatory.  Use in small amounts in salads, sautéed or roasted

CHICORY - used a lot in Europe.  Can be bitter.  Boil leaves and drain, before adding to other dishes.  The roots can be baked, ground or added to coffee or used as a coffee substitute.  Can stimulate the appetite and help with upset tummy and relieve constipation.

CHICKWEED - great source of vitamins A, D, C, as well as iron, calcium, potassium and Zinc.  Delicate flavor like spinach.  Ad to salads and sandwiches or put in soups.  Can also be used as a topical treatment for minor cuts or burns.

STINGING NETTLE - helps fight allergies and hay fever.  High in vitamins A, B2, C, D and K.  Anti-oxidant.  Boiled it makes a great side dish or can be added to egg dishes or soups.

WILD GARLIC OR ONIONS - use in place of green onions or cultivated garlic or chives.  It is anti-septic, anti-bacterial, antibiotic, and anti-fungal!!!!!  Helps lower blood pressure.

WILD VIOLETS - leaves and stems can be eaten raw or cooked.  Leaves can be dried for a tea which is a mild laxative.  Flowers can be added to salads or made into jelly.   ***I will be making this year

LAMB'S EAR -or wooly woundwort - depending on where you live.
This is fantastic to use as a bandage - it is super soft and absorbs blood.  Juice from leaves seeps into wound and is healing.  Helps blood clot.  It is very anti-bacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory.  This has been used for hundreds of years as bandages.
Bruised leaves in a pot of simmering water - cooled - can be used as an eyewash for sties and pinkeye.
Young tender leaves can be steamed and eaten.
Make a tea from young leaves to help lower fever and relieve a sore mouth and throat.
Bruise a leaf and place on a bee sting to reduce swelling.  Also good for HEMORROIDS.
**Could be used as TP in pinch (it is soft and natural)

This is by NO MEANS the end of items that can be used from your yard.  I could go on for hours.  Here is a list of other edible plants that you can Google on how to use!
  • Daisies
  • lamb's quarter
  • mallow
  • curly dock
  • wood sorrel and sheep sorrel
  • elderflowers
  • yarrow
  • cone flowers (Echinacea)
  • all mints
  • lavender
  • roses
  • nasturtiums
  • marigold
  • sunflowers
  • geranium
  • pansy
  • bee balm
  • mums
  • hibiscus
  • hollyhocks
  • lemon verbena
  • peony flowers (I will be making jelly with these this year)
  • pine needles (into tea)
  • honeysuckle flowers ONLY - not berries
  • Cactus
  • wild strawberries - not sweet - but can be made into jelly
Gee whiz - it is  incredible to me that there are so many natural things that could keep us alive.  It is said that God put everything on this earth that we need to survive.  He is good!

Find a flower or weed in your yard and do some research.  You will be absolutely amazed at the grocery store and pharmacy you have right outside your door and all for FREE!!
Our ancestors used nature as medicine and food for centuries.  Why shouldn't we?



  1. I made some lavender flower and lemon peel cookies last Easter, they were delicately flavored and sweet and delicious.

    I wonder about rose water flavoring too. Perhaps some of these could be made as flavorings (steeped in vodka, boiled and strained).

    1. Oh I bet those cookies were wonderful.

      I would think most any floral or mint could be used as flavoring with vodka. There are so many types of flavoring available just out the door!

      You could also use some in vinegar to make flavored vinegars for dressing.

      Lot's of flowers can be sugared and used for edible decorations on cakes and such.

      Me thinks the possibilities are endless!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I once bought my mother some sugared violets to put on a cake, but she never did! I think she was afraid to eat them. But I know they are good as I had them later. Nasturtiums are also good in a salad, and pretty too!