Weeds Anyone? Why Yes Please!

First, I’d like to apologize for the lack of posts this past week. I had my gall bladder removed and have been slowly doing more and more. I overdid it on Sunday and certainly paid for it. (But those black raspberries were going to go bad if they weren’t picked!) Today is the best day thus far, but I’m still keeping it close to home. However…there was something else that had to be used up or lost. Weeds!

When we first established our garden, we attempted to make it as pristine as possible. Not an easy task when your garden is 100 by 50 feet! We used the mesh weed covers, we mulched continuously and spent an insane number of hours plucking weeds by hand so that our garden looked good. We soon learned that a lot of our attempts were not just time consuming, but completely unnecessary. Our weed deterrent is now newspapers. Sometimes covered in mulch, sometimes not. The rows between our raised beds are now mowed instead of attempts at keeping it weed free. And as soon as we realized the gold mine in the weeds that loved our garden…a lot of our hand picking was over.

The weeds that love our garden bed most are Purslane and Lamb’s Quarters. They are both delightfully edible, quite delicious and extremely nutritious. Purslane is an excellent source of folates, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, Vitamin C and Vitamin A. It is also one of the very few plants that is a source of the omega-3 fatty acid. Lamb’s Quarters hosts Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Phosphorous, Calcium, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin and Iron. Both can be used in dishes similar to how you would use spinach. They can be eaten raw or cooked. Both plants also have medicinal purposes, which I won’t get into in this post, but are worth researching if you’d like to take the plunge yourself.

Caution: Please make sure you familiarize yourself with any plant you intend to ingest or use for medicinal purposes. Never eat anything if you are not 100% sure what it is and make sure your research is complete before you venture into consuming anything new.

Anyway, once we embraced our weeds, we started to treat them as their own crops. For instance, they are allowed to take over in between the melon plants. I will pull them if they get too close to the root of the vines, otherwise they live harmoniously with our cantaloupes and watermelons. We harvest them as we would spinach.

Today I decided to make a pesto sauce with some of the “weeds” I had in the fridge. It is a simple enough recipe and I used what I had on hand. I didn’t measure, but here’s the approximate ingredient list:

  • 1 cup Purslane and Lamb’s Quarters (cleaned thoroughly and stems removed from Lamb’s Quarters) I left about half of the stems of the Purslane.
  • 1/8 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil

Place all ingredients into food processor, except olive oil. Whir for a few seconds to chop the ingredients. Drizzle the olive oil through the chute on top as the processor is on. (You may have to scrape down the sides first). Add enough olive oil to make the mixture into a loose paste. (I like my pesto thick). Add more oil if you’d like it more “saucy”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can then add the pesto to almost anything. Pasta, cooked potatoes, as a binding ingredient to make burgers, pasta salad, as a spread for sandwiches…etc. I used mine as a dressing for halved grape tomatoes. Sprinkled a little extra cheese and a few sunflower seeds and I dubbed it lunch.

So when you’re working in your garden this summer, don’t forget about all of the free food that is literally being sprinkled into your world. Branch out and try something new. Who knows? Next year, you may have a weed garden. On purpose!

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About finefrugality

I am a wife, mother, business owner, farmer, foster parent, retired probation officer and so much more. :-) I love to save money any way I can. I just don’t see the sense in handing my cash over to someone else when I don’t have to. I coupon, I grow and can food, I reuse and repurpose items, I scour thrift stores and during the warmer months, my Saturday mornings consist of yard sales and our local farmer’s market with my husband. I have organized local meetings which include coupon swaps, barter clubs and swap meets. Here is where I begin to share this life with the rest of the world. This is Fine Frugality. Because being frugal is not only fine. It is FINE.
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12 Responses to Weeds Anyone? Why Yes Please!

  1. A Budding Chef says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your gall bladder being removed, that sounds painful! Glad to hear you’re on the mend, however!

    Your garden sounds very… fruity. You made mention of cantaloupe, watermelons and blackberries! I’ve never had “homegrown” fruits before, only vegetables. Regardless, either way I would love to get into gardening either fruits or vegetables, maybe both!

    Your “weed pesto” looks delicious and sounds good, especially atop a bed of cherry tomatoes! Those are delicious! I’m always looking for different sauces to make with pasta (it’s a staple around here) and that looks like it would be delicious tossed with angel hair pasta and served with chicken!

    • It is delicious on angel hair! We’ve had it that way often! Use spinach if you don’t have “weeds” and I’m sure you’ll love it.
      Our garden actually has veggies too! hahaha Onions, garlic, turnips, beets, beans, rutabaga, radishes, lettuces, zucchini, potatoes, sweet pepper, hot peppers and tomatoes. Not sure if I missed anything. :-/ We are trying to add fruits as we go along. We planted strawberries this year and blueberry bushes. We have an apple tree, a few elderberry bushes and wild black raspberry bushes. We also have black walnut trees and some newer chestnut trees that we’ll be able to harvest in the next year or two. And this is at our second home! Eeeeekk!!

      • A Budding Chef says:

        Wow, your garden sounds simply marvellous! I would love to do a pesto with spinach and have been giving it some thought for a while now. Recently- mum told me I need to lay off the “heavy” cream/roux based sauces, so now I’m looking for healthier alternatives and want to experiment with pestos/lighter more summer friendly red sauces!

        How long have you had the apple trees? We have a pear tree in our back yard as well as wine grape vines that are more towards the back of the property! Growing your own garlic, peppers and tomatoes sounds simply delicious! Next year, I’m thinking of home growing vegetables that I love eating (squash, bell peppers & the such)

      • Our apple tree has been there for about 15 years now. A cold wave hit it this year at the most critical time, which means no apples for us this year. 😦 You will love growing your own veggies. There’s seriously nothing more satisfying in my opinion. Good luck!

  2. I have yet to ever make pesto – not sure if the kidlets would eat green stuff on their pasta, but I do love it myself. I have a bumper crop of basil this year and I know it can be made with just about anything, so I hope to give it a try soon.

    Wishing you a quick recovery. I had mine out 2 years ago – and felt so much better afterwards.

  3. Not to ignore your post – but wishing you the best after your operation – good for you to be back to blogging.

  4. Little Sis says:

    So glad to hear you are well! And kudos on working the weeds in. I haven’t been lucky enough to find purslane as one of our culprits, but I’ve got some really intense prickly business that seems to be thistle…. Not sure what to do with that. I’ve also gotten a lot less aesthetically concerned about the garden and it really does make sense, doesn’t it – to focus your time on the care and cultivation rather than being sure the bed is neat as a pin? I also pull and drop weeds that aren’t obviously seeding so mine always looks a bit of a mess, but the soil has gotten steadily better since I took up this habit. Thanks for sharing the pesto – personally I think I would eat pesto made out of just about anything, so if I find some purslane, I’ll give it a go!

  5. Pingback: My $.83 Lunch | Fine Frugality

  6. oldentimes says:

    Thanks, I had to post a link for this on my blog! Good useful information

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