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Crazy ManMan

Garden weeds, eating seeds, and microgreens

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When you get hungry (or if you just like to snack, like me when I am gardening) weeds are not off the table. Long before the first seeds are planted there is the early spring weed veggie harvest that continues through most of the year into late fall (and even through winter if you do not mind digging up roots in the frozen earth). In fact there is quite a large variety of common garden weeds that are not only safe to eat, they are delicious and packed with nutrients. Some, like the most common species of north american wood sorrel (a delicious lemony flavor, one of my favorite garden weeds) or bitter dock, you can not eat too much at once due to the oxalic acid risking kidney stones, though you can eat more bitter dock if it is boiled and rinsed a few times to remove most of the oxalic acid, but others like purslane or dandelions you can eat as much as you want straight from the garden as long as they are clean. Perhaps after a certain skill level, or if one has read the foraging magazine, then they can find these plants randomly while checking the garden status. The specific plants depend on your area and there are litterally hundreds to pick from, but here are some of the common ones:
 



Additionally many plant seeds are edible, many common garden plant seeds are perfectly safe to eat (though if you bought them from the store please do not eat them! The seeds are often coated in poison to keep mice out). There have been cases during starvation periods that seeds became the primary food source. On top of this many flowers and sometimes even the stems, roots, and other "waste" from the garden that is usually thrown in the composter or ignored is actually edible, though some things require cooking to prep. Squash flowers are a great example, some people will pollinate the female flower and then eat the male flowers afterwords, for a bonus snack since the male flowers will grow no fruit anyway.

Then come microgreens. If you have plenty of extra seeds, microgreens are an easy and fast food source that takes but days to get ready, but produce no seeds in return.
 

 

Some common garden pests like certain species of beetles are also edible if one can get over the ultimately purely learned stigma, they should be cooked first though (the same as with any meat, though bug meat is actually safer than most other meats, due to how distantly related they are making most diseases non-communicable to us, and significantly easier and cheaper to farm than other meats). Some of the most hated pests can be a valuable source or protein even, and since one already has to pick them off their plants, it can pay to have a bucket. Though at least in real life one should quarantine anything they plant to eat for 24 hours to ensure it has not been exposed to anything toxic. If it dies or starts acting strangely within 24 hours it should be discarded, and the remainder placed in the freezer to kill as humanely as possible. Some bugs like isopods and cockroaches are also technically edible, but should be avoided as they tend to be immune to toxins that would kill a human and there is no way to know if they have been eating those toxins or not unless they are raised in a controlled environment. Much like wild berries, one should also never eat a bug they do not know by heart very well and just like foraging, one should be wary of any heavy metals or sprays that have been used on or around them. When in doubt, throw it out.

Edited by Crazy ManMan

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