Food Found In Your Backyard

Homesteading and foraging are very popular sustainable trends these days. Ideal for those that live in rural areas and the time to dedicate to growing their own food. The idea is wonderful but not realistic for everyone’s living situation. So how do those that live in more urban areas with only a backyard available to them have the opportunity to live off the land? The answer could be as simple as what naturally grows in your backyard. Here is a list of edible plants that most people have easy access too!

  1. Violets- This lovely purple flower often grows wild and most consider it a weed. However, the leaves and blooms are actually edible! They contain vitamins A and C. They can be used in salads or cooked as greens. The flowers can be made into jellies, candied, or tossed into a salad.
  2. Evening Primrose- Native Americans have been using this plant as food and medicine for thousands of years. The entire plant is edible. The seeds are used to make an oil that have medicinal properties. The blossoms are sweet and can be mixed in salads or as garnish for desserts. The roots and seedpods can be cooked. This plant is a great source of gamma-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that is not found in many plant sources.
  3. Creeping Charlie- Known as an invasive weed to most, the Creeping Charlie is very edible. Young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The leaves have a mild bitter flavour and can be tossed into salads to add a slight aromatic tang. They can also be cooked like spinach, added to soups, stews, or omelet. Tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves. It is often used mixed with verbena leaves or lovage. This wild edible has been added to beer in much the same way as hops in order to clear it and also to improve its flavor and keeping qualities.
  4. Goldenrod- Often blamed for allergies in most, this low pollen plant is a plentiful source of nutrition and medicinal benefits. Research has shown that Goldenrod reduces inflammation, lowers blood pressure, and helps with muscle spasm and infections. All aerial parts of the plant can be used. The flowers are edible and make attractive garnishes on salads. Flowers and leaves (fresh or dried) are used to make tea. Leaves can be cooked like spinach or added to soups, stews or casseroles. Leaves can be blanched and frozen for later use in soups, stews, or stir fry throughout the winter or spring.
  5. Dandelion- Probably one of the most common weeds, Dandelions are completely edible.  Leaves, root, and flower can all be eaten. Dandelion leaves can be added to a salad or cooked. They can also be dried and stored for the winter or blanched and frozen. Flowers can be made into juice, or added into many recipes. The root can be made into a coffee substitute. The root and leaves can be dried, stored and made into tea. Dandelions are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and it even has antioxidants. For example, one cup of raw dandelion greens contains 112% of your daily required intake of vitamin A and 535% of vitamin K.