Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Street-smart weeds

A funny side of effect of getting more into foraging has been that when I'm out and about, everywhere I look I see FOOD.

I imagine that if I lived in unspoilt wilderness, this would be a good feeling. But I live in a busy suburb close to the city, and my 'everywhere' is grubby footpaths, crowded roads, and the odd well-used sports field. There's a certain pain that comes with seeing masses of edible weeds sprouting up through the concrete or ashphalt of untouchable places. It's like seeing a crate-load of broccoli rolling away down a gutter.

Wild Turnip is a brassica with delicious, mustardy-tasting leaves, which thrives in our suburb.

It grows here ...

and here ...

and here.

In fact any spot that gets trampled on, peed on, and coated in car exhaust fumes is prime real estate for Wild Turnip.

I like to think that Wild Turnip might have evolved to grow so well in these places as a strategy against being eaten by humans. (Clever plant.)

Still, there may just be enough of it on our slightly-less-toxic back lawn for a stir-fry tomorrow.


Nikki said...

Ahhh, interesting. Never heard of it before - but weirdly...Danielle picked some of the flowers off a random weed yesterday and I was wondering what it was that she was holding lol, and it was this plant! A shame it wasn't in my neighbourhood, but I will be on the look out from now on.

Lynda Eichler said...

Thanks Johanna - That's great to know. Must check that one out. Must also borrow that edible weeds book from the library and get 'training' Or do you still have it Nikki? LOL.

Edible weeds on the Kapiti Coast may be safer Johanna - dig, dig, nudge, nudge. :-)