, and chicory were used for fresh salads and potherbs, and the roots of groundnuts and Jerusalem artichokes made a tasty potato substitute.
Among the offenders: English plantain, lamb's-quarter
is a common nuisance plant (to farmers, anyway) that is similar to spinach.
Used raw in salad or in juice mixes, 100 grams of lamb's-quarter
(about a cup) contains about 80 mg of vitamin C, 11,600 IU of vitamin A, 72 mg of phosphorus, 309 mg of calcium, and small amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and iron.
Find it: A prolific weed, lamb's-quarters
grows just about everywhere, including in sidewalk cracks and even factory yards.
By midsummer, my favorite weeds of all would emerge from plowed fields: a high-rising, spinach-related green called lamb's-quarters
, and a low-slung, creeping plant called purslane, with its succulent, lemony leaves.
Some of the plants to stay away from include bracken fern, dock, hemlock, locoweed, milkweed, mountain laurel, oak leaf, rhubarb, sorrel, wilted wild cherry, and under certain conditions (decreased light, fast growth after drought, heavy fertilizers) johnsongrass, pigweed, lamb's-quarters
, and alfalfa can accumulate toxic amounts of nitrates.
The seeds are actually the fruits of a leafy green plant in the Chenopodium family, closely related to wild greens such as lamb's-quarters
and pigweed, and in the same family as beets, chard and spinach.
Fertile soil: Pigweed, lamb's-quarters
, foxtails, common chickweed
tested vinegar on major weeds -- common lamb's-quarters
, giant foxtail, velvetleaf, smooth pigweed and Canada thistle -- in greenhouse and field studies.
I picked lamb's-quarters
and she ignored it," Duchon recalls.
Additionally, many "weeds," such as chickweed and lamb's-quarters
, are highly nutritious and good candidates for pesto.