Why Do I Let Lambs Quarters Grow in My Garden?
I’m sure that you are quite shocked that there are weeds, such as lambs quarters, in my garden! Okay, maybe not shocked, but at least a little surprised? No? Oh well. I guess you’ve been looking at my photos of the garden, so you can see for yourself!
It might sound crazy to purposely let some weeds grow in my garden among all my vegetables and herbs. But there is a method to my madness. I like to eat some of these weeds and they tend to grow best in disturbed soil. One of my favorites is lamb’s quarters or wild spinach. It has a very mild flavor (similar to spinach) that goes well as a salad green, plus it’s tender when young. It doesn’t compete well with other weeds in a field. So my garden seems to be the best place to find lamb’s quarters.
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Why Eat Lamb’s Quarters?
Lamb’s quarters are very low in calories, but 1 oz of raw leaves contains 65% of our recommended allowance of Vitamin A, and 37% of our needed Vitamin C. Cooked lamb’s quarters contain the following percentages of our recommend daily nutritional values in 1 cup of greens…15% dietary fiber, 281% Vit A, 111% Vit C, 1112% Vt K, 28% Riboflavin, 16% Vit B6, 46% Calcium, and 15% Potassium.* Who knew weeds could be so good for you?! (If you are taking medications, check with your doctor. High doses of vitamin K are dangerous.)
If you don’t catch them while the leaves are young and tender, you can cook them like spinach and drizzle a little olive oil over them, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and maybe a smidgeon of garlic powder. Yum!
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These nutritious plants grow for free in the garden or other disturbed soil. They are easy to recognize, and it doesn’t take long to pick enough for a salad to go along with dinner. It’s nice to know that there are plants out there that you can identify and eat in emergency situations, or to help keep your grocery bill down. Why not go foraging, then whip up a batch of your favorite salad dressing from scratch, chop up a boiled egg, and chow down a healthy lunch of weeds?
Have you ever eaten lamb’s quarters? What is your favorite wild edible plant?