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Sustainable Living With Guest Sally Rees EDIBLE WEEDS - INTRODUCTION What is a weed? The online dictionary states: “a wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants.” “In competition with” is something I would question as once we know more about a weed and it’s potential health benefits there should be no competition with other green plants like kale, rocket, lettuce, etc. Leave them to grow and eat them if they are the edible kind ! Edible weeds grow all around us and can be collected and consumed regularly by everyone to add to our supply and variety of nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals which can be deficient in other vegetables. There are certain things you need to know to a) keep yourself from being poisoned, and b) to ensure you keep the practice of harvesting them sustainable. So here are a few rules to keep in mind when foraging for edible weeds: 1. Identify it correctly before eating Common sense to most of course ... If you are even slightly hesitant about whether it’s edible, double–check before you take a bite. Take the plant, or a picture of it home for further investigation; refer to a book or a reputable website, or inquire with a local expert. It’s wise to check with at least 2 different sources. 2. Look at your surroundings Has the area been sprayed with noxious sprays. If you’re unsure look elsewhere.

5. Listen Become still and try to hear the plants talking to you. The locals may think you’re a bit crazy, however a plant like curly dock has seeds that are encased in a loosely fitting husk that rattles in the wind. Listen also for other potential sources of contamination. 6. Taste Take a tiny bite when you eat for the first time or rub a little piece on your lip or under your tongue first. These areas are extremely sensitive and will alarm you if the plant is toxic. Allow 15 - 20 minutes to elapse from the moment you taste a new plant. Be aware of possible allergic reactions. 7. Don’t Mix Weeds Slowly include new edibles into your diet one by one rather than mixing several up. 8. Educate Yourself - knowledge is power! The best way to stay safe is by educating yourself. There are some good books available on the subject now. Attend a hands–on edible weeds workshop to start your journey off. 9. Follow the Baby Greens Rule All greens taste best when they are young so new leaves are usually more tender and contain higher concentrations of protein and sugar so they taste better than the older parts. 10. Roots Many edible plants have roots that are delicious but harvesting them often ends a plant’s life and prevents other creatures from enjoying its bounty. Stick to the leaves and flowers above the ground.

3. Touch Use your sense of touch as a second pair of eyes to back up your assumptions. 4. Smell Crush the leaves or stem to smell the odour. This is a very important step, because a smell often indicates toxicity. Some plants smell good and may cause you to salivate. Take extra precautions to determine the edibility of a bad smelling plant.

REMEMBER: SAFETY FIRST WHEN FORAGING OR USING EDIBLE WEEDS.

Issue #8 | The Inspired Guide | February 1st 2020

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The Inspired Guide - Issue #8  

Read Issue #8 of The Inspired Guide - FREE Conscious Living and Holistic Wellbeing eMagazine! Filled with inspiring and informative article...

The Inspired Guide - Issue #8  

Read Issue #8 of The Inspired Guide - FREE Conscious Living and Holistic Wellbeing eMagazine! Filled with inspiring and informative article...

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