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Backyard Bounty: How to eat the wild plants in your yard

All parts of a cattail are edible, but don't mistake them for the poisonous iris.
352 400 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

Ever look at the weeds in your yard and wonder if you could eat them?
Me either. Not until now. Most of us don’t have a clue.

by Leon Pantenburg

I always associated foraging for wild plants with wild places, or at least, weedy overgrown areas. Many people know that cattails are edible, but don’t know much about other wild plants.The weeds in my yard are a nuisance, and I didn’t give much thought, other than getting rid of them.

But maybe we should start learning about edible wild plants. After all, knowledge is key in surviving anything. There is no better place to start learning about edible plants than in your backyard, under a controlled situation.

Learning about edible wild plants (or any survival skill for that matter) should be done in a controlled environment, not after the disaster occurs!

This guest post by Abby Quillen describes and illustrates some common plants that might turn out to be really important!

All parts of a cattail are edible, but don't mistake them for the poisonous iris.

All parts of a cattail are edible, but don’t mistake them for the poisonous iris.

So much of what we used to know about living day to day has been lost. How many of us, in a pinch, could make up a shelter or go without a visit to the grocery store for a few days? These are all lost talents—but you can get some of that knowledge back. A good place to start is foraging for things to eat in your own back yard.

What you might call a week may be a plant with enviable nutritional properties. Plantain and broadleaf, for example, are all the target of chemical extermination, but they can be eaten and supply various vitamins. The same goes for the bane of the lawn lovers—dandelions.

We lost our need to eat plants like these when we domesticated plants and animals. That’s led to a lot less species variety in our diets. However, before you dive in with a clippers to what’s growing out back, familiarize yourself with some of the poisonous counterparts, too.

This graphic is a good place to start your journey to more backyard eating. Check out eat the weeds. And always remember – don’t eat ANYTHING unless you can positively identify the plant, and are sure it is safe. When in doubt – don’t eat it.

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