Don’t let weeds get you down, find the good in them.


What is a weed?  A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don’t let weeds get you down this spring. Eat them! Common weeds found in your lawn and garden can be both nutritional and delicious. Knotweed and Chickweed are two such weeds you should look out for this spring.

Knotweed should be harvested in the early spring when the shoots are still under eight inches. You can still harvest knotweed in late spring if it is under a foot, but at this stage the shoots must be pealed before eating. Knotweed tastes very similar to rhubarb and like rhubarb, is edible raw, but will taste much better once cooked. You can actually use knotweed as a substitute for rhubarb in any dish! Knotweed has many nutritional benefits including vitamins A and C, resveratrol (reduces bad cholesterol) and can be used as an anti-inflammatory to help your body fight infections.

Chickweed is another common weed you might see around your lawn and garden this spring. Before you uproot your chickweed, think again! The presence of chickweed in will decrease insect damage to other plants. Besides protecting your garden, chickweed can also be a great addition to your diet! When eaten raw, chickweed is mild and has a similar taste to spinach or cornsilk. Its leaves and stems can be a great addition to a sandwich or fresh salad and can be used in soups and stews as well. Its long list of nutrients include beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

Rather than spraying your lawn and garden with chemicals this spring, take a closer look. These not so hidden treasures can be great for your garden and great for you! Weeder beware: be sure to correctly identify your weeds. Not all weeds can be eaten! Also, make sure that any weeds you plan to eat have not been sprayed with chemicals.

Happy weeding and eating!

-Joe Shafner