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Weeds in Your Garden? Bite Back!

View your weeds as cultivated plants; give them the same care and you’ll reap a tremendous harvest. Harvest frequently, and do it when the weeds are young and tender. Thin your weeds and pinch back the annuals so your weeds become lushly leafy. Use weeds as rotation crops, interplant (by not weeding out) selected weeds, and most important, harvest your weeds frequently, regularly and generously.


  • Chickweed: Use young leaves and stalks— even flowers— in salads. Blend with virgin olive oil and organic garlic for an unforgettable pesto. Add the seeds to porridge.
  • Purslane: The fleshy leaves and stalks of this plant are incredibly delicious in salads and not bad at all preserved in vinegar for winter use.


  • Garlic Mustard: A year-round salad green. Leaves used in any season, even winter. Harvest the roots before the plant flowers. The seeds are a spicy condiment.
  • Queen Anne’s Lace: Chop the leaves finely and use in salads. Flowers are beautiful, edible decorations. Harvest and cook the roots of non- flowering plants in the fall.


  • Dandelion: The leaves can be eaten at any time, raw or cooked, but are especially tasty in the fall—not spring! Roots can be harvested any time; pickle them in apple cider vinegar for winter use. Dandelion flower wine is justly famous.
  • Stinging Nettle: These young leaves, cooked for 40–45 minutes and served in their broth, are delicious. The seeds can be used in baked goods and porridge.

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