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[Feb. 8th, 2015|07:36 am]

I am struck by how many of the Eurasian "weeds" are edible as spring greens -- and then i'm not. We've preserved our folk knowledge of survival skills in herbals over the past five hundred years. The pre-refrigeration, pre-canning desperation for fresh food after a long winter must have meant that there were hundreds of years of experimentation available for reference. "Yeah, we ate that last year and no one died." After reading up on henbit yesterday, i now have four rules for foraging unidentified plants.

1. If it's in the Mustard family, edible.
2. If it's in the Mint family and smells minty, edible. (My new rule)
3. If it's a seaweed, edible.
4. If it's in the Lettuce tribe (dandelion-like flower with all rays with five "teeth")

Henbit is an edible mint that doesn't smell minty, by the way.

All the plants i found yesterday were Eurasian, and so far only one, groundsel, is not edible.

I leave you with yesterday's oxalis:

Oxalis pes-capraeOxalis pes-caprae SS morph


[User Picture]From: gurdonark
2015-02-08 04:21 pm (UTC)
I never knew henbit was edible. Lovely inage!
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2015-02-11 03:29 am (UTC)
Apparently! Although, i find myself wondering about the soils in the vacant lot across the street. Silicon Valley has MANY superfund sites, many within a mile or so of where i live.
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[User Picture]From: hasfartogo
2015-02-11 03:02 am (UTC)

I always wondered ...

.. what brave souls taste tested plants to see if they were edible but it would be probably been helped along by watching other omnivores eat plants around them.
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2015-02-11 03:27 am (UTC)

Re: I always wondered ...

Common names point to some of that help: henbit is edible, henbane is not!
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