I have trouble pulling weeds out of my lawn. The problem is that I feel the need to identify and learn about the plant before I pull it because, otherwise, who knows what glorious being I am killing off. It could be amazing! I could be losing out! And last year, my fears came to fruition when I pulled out a rogue peony plant, gifted to me by none other than St. Paul Free Compost Site. While I tried to save the peony, it has not made an appearance this year. Lesson learned.
One weed that grows like…well…a weed…in my garden beds is this little fella:
It took no time to identify as lambs quarters at all, because UMN Extension has this Weed Seedling Photo Collection that showed me exactly what it looks like. They looked so hardy and veggie-like that my first thought was that they were some of my seeds sprouting up. Little did I know that humans have a long history of eating that stuff. Not only the leaves have been eaten, but also its seeds are used like a grain and it is a pseudo-cereal like quinoa. This website talks about eating lambs quarters.
I cut them at ground level so as not to disturb the soil, washed them, pulled off the leaves, and sauteed them in olive oil with lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. Although I read that they would taste exactly like spinach, I didn’t believe it, but sure enough. It tasted like spinach. It also made a great side dish to grilled trout and french bread.
I struggle with this. Here I am, annoyed with my leafy greens for being slower than I would like, bolting too quickly, and not getting big enough, and this ridiculously healthy “weed” is coming up all around me. For free, and for no work at all. All food should be this easy.