Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Edible eco-lawnscaping

The lawn meadowWho knew that by neglecting my lawn, all sorts of really pretty things would start to take over? And, who knew they were all edible? Now, I'm not saying that it looks like a complete weedfest out there, but I refuse to water my lawn and am really bad at dethatching and fertilizing and all that.

So, it got a little patchy and other things decided to take root. But I keep the dandelions under control otherwise they'll completely take over. I call it my "eco-lawn" but it looks more like a very trim meadow.

Mixed in with the grass are lots of interesting little flowering plants that I keep trim with a weekly mow job. As the kids and I were sitting out on the "lawn" last Sunday, we watched the huge amount of bug and critter activity going on. You see, since my lawn hasn't been sprayed and isn't just a vast expanse of grass, I've created quite a little habitat out there for spiders, ladybugs, bumblebees and all sorts of other things I'm sure I can't see.

The most exciting is watching all the bees. I figure I get some sort of karmic bee pollination action for giving them all those flowers. In fact, the local nurseries around here sell a mix of lawn seed that includes much of what I already have growing. So, I didn't really need to bother with reseeding the lawn this year with a purchased mix.*

What do I have growing, you ask? And how are they edible?

Well, after doing a bit of research online, the lawn is sporting the following:

SourgrassOxalis, aka sourgrass - All parts of this plants are edible and are sour due to high levels of oxalic acid (hence, the name, sourgrass). The leaves and flowers can be used in a salad or can be used as a garnish for any dish such as fish or fruit salads.

The leaves can be eaten year round and stay tender and tart when cooked. Just don't eat too much of this plant as it will give some people a stomach ache if eaten in large quantities.

White cloverWhite clover - Besides making an excellent forage crop for livestock, clovers are a valuable survival food since they are high in protein, widespread, and abundant. White clover is not easy to digest raw, but this can be easily fixed by boiling them for 5 - 10 minutes. Dried flowerheads and seedpods can also be ground up into a nutritious flour and mixed with other foods, or can be steeped in hot water for a healthy, tasty tea-like infusion.

Purple cloverPurple clover - Purple (or red) clover can be used in salads, soups, as a cooked green, ground to flour, or made into tea. This clover is also high in protein. The most common things to eat on the clover are the flowerheads and the leaves, but are easier to eat if soaked for about an hour or boiled. The sprouted seeds are edible in salads and have a crisp texture and robust flavor.

Common vetchCommon Vetch - This legume has pretty purple flowers and little pea-like pods that grow from its far reaching stems. The seeds from this plants are not very palatable nor very digestible but they are very nutritious. The seeds can be dried, ground into a powder and mixed with cereal flour to make bread, biscuits, and cakes. The beans compliment the protein in the cereal making it more complete.

The leaves, young shoots and young pods can be cooked and the leaves can be in used tea. There is some evidence that the seed may be toxic but this has only been shown under laboratory conditions, there are no recorded cases of poisoning by this plant.

Common Vetch has been part of the human diet, as attested by carbonised remains found at early Neolithic sites in Syria, Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia. It has also been reported from predynastic sites of ancient Egypt, and several Bronze age sites in Turkmenia and Slovakia

DandelionsDandelion - Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably already know by now that dandelions, in all their prolific glory, are edible. In fact, all parts of this plant are edible. Dandelions are high in vitamins A and C, iron and calcium.

You can eat the leaves raw or cooked. You can boil the roots as you would a vegetable or roast and grind them for use as a coffee substitute. The flowers can be used to make jam and if you want to go real crazy you can use the flowers to make dandelion wine!

As with all food plants make sure if you decide to go grazing, that your greens haven't been sprayed or sprinkled with something you would want to ingest.



Since I was doing all this reading on edible weeds I have a list of quite a few other ones that are found in my yard that I'll cover in another post.

Anyway, what do you all do with your lawns, if you have one? Do you maintain it with water during the summer and weed n' feed, or do you let it go a little more natural? If you keep it natural, would you or have you eaten the "weeds" that grow there?

*For those of you interested in a no-mow lawn or an eco-turf mix you can check into these different products: Nichols' Ecology Lawn Mix or Hobbs & Hopkins' Fleur de Lawn. Or you can just let nature take its course and come up with its own mix.

63 comments:

arduous said...

Oooh! Sour grass. That brings back so many fond memories from my childhood. We totally chewed that stuff until we got sick. And yet, for some reason we never learnt.

Brett said...

Great post, i've just come back from Slovenia, which had loads of untouched alpine meadows, more wild flowers than you have ever seen.

iMike said...

Awesome, I used to have all that in my backyard until I moved to the desert. Now if I tried to eat any of the stuff that grows in my backyard, I'd probably croak.

Keith said...

Very impressed with your site. I've been lurking in the background for a while, but not commenting.

Two thirds of my garden is for food production (purely organic), and a third is just a wilderness. See my post for 5 May, sorry I can't link you directly to it, scroll down.

Trouble is that the wee things that live in the wilderness migrate to my crops every night and steal some!

I've put a link to you on my blog, hope you don't mind.

Robj98168 said...

LOL finally a post I can sink my teeth into!Sounds like your yard spread its way down south. I am not one of those lawn nazi's that believe everyones yard should look like a putting green. I am trying hopefully soon to rid my front yard of grass and go all native on yer ass (sorry about the french)my back yard gets mowed if I am lucky. I have dandelion, clover and blackfuckinberry growing all over. And i don't think I am going to dig up dandelions to substitute for my morning starbucks.

work4pay said...

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Bobbi's Book Nook said...

Wonderful blog! I have been growing an edible lawn for over 10 years now. It's amazing what you can grown with very little maintenance. And I have made dandelion wine - great! You can also grind the dandelion roots to make a coffee equivalent - haven't done that because I don't like coffee.

I also have tons of wildlife in my yard - bees, butterflies, and birds galore; along with rabbits, squirrels, groundhogs and foxes. In the next few years, I want to establish a beehive on our property (one acre) for honey productions.

Keep up the good job! You're the place to go for the latest info.

Jane @ Kidzarama said...

Wow, looks like you've really got it going on at your place.
I remember a lot of those plants from our yard when I was growing up.

Sadly, where we are now is very boring, although we do get the odd lantern fungus which the kids get a kick out of.

DramaMama said...

We haven't been using fertilizer the past few years but have encountered an ant problem. It seems them are numerous around the foundation and are coming in by droves. It's annoying. I feel frustrated b/c I haven't found a natural way to get rid of them that actually works. So we stopped using chems on the lawn but now use them on the ants. Let me know if you or any readers have any ideas!

farmersdaughterct said...

We seeded our lawn last fall for the first time. It was a hay field before that, and a pumpkin patch and peach orchard earlier. Anyway, we have lots of "weeds" that have come back, but I think they're pretty and at least they're green, without the need to water. I pick and eat garlic mustard (an invasive) out of the woods behind our house, but I haven't tried the others you listed. Garlic mustard pesto is awesome, if you're trying to find a way to eat it.

farmersdaughterct said...

Oh I forgot to mention the wild wineberries (or wine raspberries) that grow in the woods around our lawn. They make a mean pie.

Tara said...

We just use a natural gluten fertilizer. Everyone else in our neighborhood has "chemlawns." We're the wackos with the rotary blade push mower and some weeds, but that's okay, we'll take it.

Tameson O'Brien said...

I graze sheep on my lawn.

d said...

I didn't know you could eat white clover! I thought it was just good for tying into necklaces at recess.

camp mom said...

We have alot of mowed area (along with almost equal amount of woods). We don't use chemicals since we honestly don't care if theres weeds or not. We don't mow often so we have loads of "pretty flowers" and numerous weeds....it's green who cares...the nieghbors all keep up their lawns....we've put in more veggie gardens so maybe eventually we'll have a few acres eventually of homegrown food. The only areas we water is where we have gardens....

BerryBird said...

We don't use any chemicals and have many of the same plants you list and more. We also let the grass get pretty long between mowings, and have a patch in the back that we don't mow at all--we call it the tall grass. My husband fertilizes it with golden showers and the butterflies love it. I much prefer the look of a diverse assemblage of colorful flowers than a boring patch of grass anyway.

maryann said...

My lawn is a mix of mess, weeds, clover, crab grass and every once in a while a good patch of nice grass, all with an occasional thistle plant dropped in from the birds. We have an acre and have converted about half of it now to gardens, each year another large chunk gets converted. My favorite part is the creeping thyme growing between the 6 raised vegetable beds, it's all in bloom now and the bees are loving it. We do dethatch it every year, put down more grass seed (the grubs kill off good chunks), and use an organic fertilizer on it. Definitely not your 'chemlawn'. If I get my way eventually all but a small play area will be converted to shrub, perennials and wildflowers.

sueinithaca said...

We try to ignore our lawn as much as possible. We do mow it, but it's probably about 50% grass. Personally, I'd like to do away with it altogether and put in some permaculture landscaping or at least some groundcover that doesn't require mowing, but the mowed area is about 3/4 acre, and that's a lot of inertia. I love the weeds. We have instant flowers for my 3yo to pick, whenever she gets the urge. I've never watered the lawn. I kind of don't understand watering lawns.

Anna Banana said...

I'm slowly replacing my front lawn with daimondia, a drought-tolerant ground cover you can walk on. Little yellow flowers, never needs mowing. It's not edible, but needs much less water than grass.

Homebody said...

This is a nice site if you want some 'lawn' type lawn:

http://www.safelawns.org/

And wow, with all our vetch and clover, I guess most of my lawn *is* edible! I am slowly converting, I try to double the amount of food and non-lawn plants every year. I have to fly under the radar of the ever-meddling home owner's association. . .

Kelsie said...

For the person with the ant problem--if the problem is that they're coming into the house, just figure out where they're coming in at and dump some cheap, dollar store cinnamon there (and anywhere else you're having a problem). Ants HATE cinnamon and will avoid it at all costs. After coming back from a vacation to find my pantry filled with ants, I coated all the shelves in cinnamon. The ants disappeared overnight. :)

Onto the lawn question! I've always found the idea of a flawless expanse of emerald lawn to be silly. The small parts of my lawn not devoted to a garden space are a nice mixture of dandelion, wild strawberry, wild violet, bermuda grass, and my favorite--PLANTAIN!! Plantain (not the banana-type thing, but the "weed") is a dead useful plant. It's fantastic for soothing the lungs during bouts of bronchitis, staunching heavy bleeding in wounds, and as a soother for mosquito bites. It can be eaten fresh in salads, used as a poultice to draw out infection and heal all manner of injuries, and can be put up as a tincture (something I just did!) to be mixed into salves or applied directly to affected areas. You probably have some plantain in your yard, too. Everyone does!! Look it up and check it out.

As for watering...I don't do it. I can't do it. My garden already requires more water than I'm comfortable using (and that's with the rain barrels), and there's no point in watering the lawn/weeds. With that said, I think that my weed lawn has established itself with plants that can take the long, hot Kentucky summers. Between that and the occasional downpours, it seems to be doing fine.

And yes--push reel mower all the way. I love it, despite the fact that little old men drive by and heckle me and ask me if I've lost my mind. :)

Lynnet said...

We have about an acre, with three wild areas. Have never put a drop of herbicide anywhere. There are lots of dandelions and big patches of white clover. DH mows about every 2-3 weeks. We have grass around the house, which I plan to eliminate bit by bit; next plan is to take a big circle in the front yard and put in an herb garden.

I've also been setting up hedgerow-type thickets in various parts of the yard, with the native chokecherry, wild grape, wild plum, raspberry and Texas mulberry, all volunteers, and some purchased fruit-bearing shrubs such as Nanking cherry, gooseberry, saskatoon, and autumn olive.

I do pull or cut the Canada thistles, especially before they go to seed. Our big weeds are motherwort, catnip, and wild aster. Two of those are useful herbs.

It's interesting to watch the yard take shape, just adding and subtracting a few things, and letting it do the rest.

Beth said...

We try and collect edible plants here and there, but the difficulty is that if you aren't sure whether or not they've ever been sprayed with herbicide, then they have the possibility of being toxic. Herbicides (and pesticides) can survive up to 20 years on a lawn!! Yuck. I wanted to eat the dandelions in our yard, but when I read that, I didn't.

BUT...you can grow your own fresh batch! :)

Rosa said...

We don't water, except my front flower bed sometimes. The lawn parts have to be mowed every week in spring, every two weeks once the rain slows down, or the reel mower can't hack it.

I eat a lot of the edibles that grow, but I didn't know white clover was one! Maybe I'll let some of the clover get tall and try it in my midwestern nori experiments, since you're supposed to boil it so long.

Humble wife said...

Great post. I often wonder when we became such an anal society on perfect lawns. I love clover and dandelion.

Sadly I live in the heart of the desert and we do not have a lawn or any grass. We ration water and use greywater for the watering we do of potatoes, beans, herbs, and even the animals.

Lori said...

We do mow our lawn, though probably not as often as many of our neighbors would prefer. We have officially stopped all chemical fertilizing and I think the one good thing that's come from all this rain in the Midwest is that everything has stayed green without a single watering.

I recently noticed that our next door neighbors have primarily wild violets and clover in their back yard and only mow the back about once every three times they work on the front. Seems like a good deal to me, as does the possibility of actually eating "weeds" from the lawn.

So thanks for making me think about our lawn in a different way. I'm already checking out the sources you included for seed mixes for a less intensive and lower growing lawn. We just might try that in our back yard this fall...

Rachel Lynn said...

I love your blog!
I made Garlic Mustard Pesto Pasta one night, it was delicious!
I've also tried dandelions in salad and purslane in potato salad.
I don't spray anything at my house, I like seeing the different textures and flowers in my lawn. Legumes like clover are good for the soil too.

Green Bean said...

Ahh, sounds like my lawn. We've let the clover take over in the back yard and haven't mowed it in ages. The bees couldn't be happy and I think it looks pretty even though people are often surprised when they see all the white and purple flowers. I had no idea clover was edible though. Sweet!

I did plant vetch and other legumes as cover crop on my sidewalk strip last fall. It was beautiful, harbored a toad at their fullest and we ate some of the peas and beans before cutting everything back to make way for pumpkins. I loved it and plan to do it again this fall.

Our front lawn - what's left of it - I keep a little long because it uses less water. It has a small patch of clover that I'm ignoring. I do keep this patch fairly presentable in non-eco-nut fashion. I have to have something to balance out the butterfly garden, beans and pumpkins in my front yard. ;-)

Sarah said...

huh. my grandpa always told me that dandelions are poisonous. guess he was lying through his gums :)

hoorayparade said...

Ah, Crunchy. This is probably one of my favorite posts.
I think if people aren't going to use their lawns for food, herbs, and the like then they need to at least be doing this.
Why people water grass, i'll never understand.

Wendy said...

Wow! Thanks for the great information. As it turns out, many of those plants have volunteered to grow in my yard, too - probably for the same reasons as you mention they grow in your yard ;). I didn't realize many of them could be human food, too.

I only mow about once a month, and I keep looking at the lawn portions and thinking that a couple of dwarf dairy goats might be a good investment. They would LOVE most of those edibles and make the processing of the plants into food much easier for me ;).

I don't water the "lawn." Most of my 1/4 acre is raised garden beds, and those do get water, but only rarely, because we, mostly, get enough rain that I don't have to worry about it.

RC said...

Your blog gets better and better. I also am a big fan of purslane {also called portulaca} and I just wanted to mention that dandelion greens are best picked and eaten when new and small as the larger they get, the more stringy and bitter they are. I am going to get the cinnamon for the ants, I learned that here. I have had to do all kinds of things with them since they thrive in the tree nursery pots. Ants and thrips and mealybug I am always soaping. I can't wait to see what the cinnamon does, but I am afraid I have to do more than just deflect them. They are growing pot enemy #1.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

What a great post Crunchy. I never knew that some many things we consider 'weeds' are actually edible, nutritious food! Sadly, I live in an apartment and thus do not have a lawn, and the complex sprays chemicals, so I wouldn't trust eating even the dandelions.

Kate said...

Vetch make a delicious light honey. The bees love it.

Anita (Prairie Dreams) said...

I love this post!
Dandelions make a good jelly, too... it's beautiful!

Kristijoy said...

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http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-9780878423590-0

widdawootie said...

We have about a quarter acre of lawn that we mow every 2 weeks or so. No herbicides. The robins get really fat on all the worms. They are always there and it is fun to watch them. The dandelions I could do without and I use a picker for them as much as possible, but I don't mind the clover, plantain, and moss that intersperses the grass. We are slowing installing more garden beds and mulched areas so there is less to mow.

mudnessa said...

no lawn here in my hotbox of an apartment. when i do have the ability to have a "lawn" i plan on making it edible. mostly because i have an iguana and she LOVES dandelion and im sure she is going to love all the other things too.

too bad i couldnt just let her live on the lawn. maybe i could set her up with an electric collar like dogs (totally joking, dont wanna get jumped on although from what i can tell you are all way too smart and very nice people so i doubt i would)

love the site but it makes me long for my own place so i can actually take a hold of all these things and make changes.

Anonymous said...

I love this post! Thank you for telling me the names of all those plants growing out on my lawn!

I don't do anything to our grass, except mow it. We get plenty of rain. I did give it an application of Cockadoodle Doo in the spring.

It looks fine, has all the plants you mentioned. No, it's not perfect, freaky green and uniform like all my neighbor's lawns.

It's amazing, we don't even know what non-freaky lawn looks like anymore in some neighborhoods.

jennconspiracy said...

No purslane? Yum!

We're in drought mode - but landlord and I do nothing to improve the lawnliness of the lawn in the front or the back.

Let's see - the back yard consists mostly of green onions gone amuck which don't actually get big enough to become anything edible but are a pain to mow in March or February. There's scarlet pimpernel, foxtails, crabgrass and some other taller weeds that make good cat toys. Of course, about 300 sq' of the yard is my garden, and about 16 sq' is this giant bush that I just hacked away, leaving about 700 sq' of "lawn."

The front is mostly foxtails and crabgrass. No nice dandelions, unfortunately.

I look forward to the month of June when the lawn, like the rest of the wild grasses, goes fallow. Yellow, brittle and crunchy.

Hey - CRUNCHY! That's what I have in my front yard. Ya know, I just got a reel mower for $10 at Urban Ore and it does a good job on those little crunchy fox tails. I don't think we'll be mowing again until December. Thank goodness!

Come to think of it, I don't think I have ever lived in a place where we actively seeded or fed a lawn. Before living here, I lived in places with backyard gardens (drought resistant, mostly, or pavement).

In college, I lived in a house that was up from a park with a river, had good partial shade and just strong, old, soft grass - it grew to about 6" deep and was soft. I think we just cut it like once a month and did nothing else to it - no watering, no feeding, no seeding.

In high school/jr high, in a west side suburb of Cleveland that shall remain nameless, we had a front and back lawn. We just cut it and waited for it to die in summer. One year there was a drought and my mom refused to water, so the neighbors called her into the city and they came out to write a ticket for not keeping up the lawn! She gave them hell and after that, the city would come out and water our lawn with grey water.

Hate the suburbs. Ugh.

At my child hood home in Napa, we just have a dirt field. Sometimes there are weeds in it. And robins. No lawn.

homebrewlibrarian said...

The only lawn here is in the front and as we continue to plant fruiting trees and shrubs, that will diminish considerably. But in the meantime it's mostly dandelions. HOWEVER, in all the garden beds where I mixed ground soil with compost I have a lovely crop of chickweed and lambs quarter (and a few dandelions mixed in). It's about time to harvest that crop (weeding just sounds so, well, boring) and add it to salads made from local CSA greens. I WISH I had plantain and clover but I've only seen one or two very small plantains that get trampled and no clover whatsoever. Might have to collect wild plants and transplant them around. I'm even considering collecting up local stinging nettle to put in a perennial garden! Craziness!

Kerri in AK

Hausfrau said...

We call ours a "Darwin garden". It has to be tough to survive. I actually seeded our back lawn with white clover since it is a nitrogen fixer and good for bees. Thinking about doing that for the front lawn too - if I don't wipe it all out for veggies and perennials first! We do have some interesting weeds though...

Maddie Can Fly said...

This was my first year for a garden so I have left big circles of clover growing to get the bees into my yard and to the garden. It's working great and I love the look of the clover in the yard -- much better then a boring sea of green manicured grass.

Heather @ SGF said...

My husband say that if you leave it longer, it stays greener without watering it. I'm ok with that (I'm the one that mows the lawn)! So we just let it go as long as we can (especially now that we're not getting ANY rain. I'm sure the neighbors just love us, but it keeps our water bill down and, well, I don't have to mow :)

Patti said...

Wow! You really have inspired me to think outside the box! I live in a subdivision, where there are neighborhood covenenants and such, and I admit to conforming to the plush green lawn club.

In fact, I've worked at trying to ELMINATE the clover!

But I've been interested in the rotary mower for a while, especially with gas prices, and now I'm thinking of other eco-friendly ideas.

I remember harvesting dandelion in the spring with my dad and siblings. I never quite understood what the fascination was, but I remember that you had to pick it before it flowered (for the bitterness factor) and then my mom would prepare it with warm bacon dressing. I never was brave enough to eat it, but my dad thought it was the bomb!

Kathryn B. said...

Wild edible plants are a big pastime of mine. Two of my favorite regional books on the topic are Edible and Useful Plants of California and The Flavors of Home: A Guide to Wild Edible Plants of the San Francisco Bay Area.

A couple words of caution about eating wild edible plants: start with small quantities (in case you discover you have an allergic reaction) and check with multiple sources before you try eating something. I've seen different sources make contradicting claims about the edibility of the same plant!

Village Green said...

I just blogged about a turtle who lives in my urban jungle plot. I'm pleased to say that my goal is to have as little "yard" as possible. The more planted things, the better. I don't have to mow regularly, just get out the battery charged week whacker to trim things down when they get too tall. Especially important to get to tall weeds before they begin to seed. Naturally, all the trimmings go into the compost bin.

Molly said...

I never water so most summers it gets pretty brown. I dry the red clover blossoms for tea. I also have chamomile growing in my lawn which I clip and dry for tea. Chickweed in the early spring. Dandelions if I remember to get to them before they form flower buds. This year I let my little goats wander around the yard and they picked out all the dandelions to eat first.

ehmeelu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sara said...

Hey Crunchy!

I thought of you today. I took my kids to see Wall E. I was actually pretty amazed that it was a Disney movie, considering they are one of the worst environmental offenders with all the crap they produce.

In the movie, humans had destroyed the Earth, with help from a company called Buy N Large (which I think was supposed to be like Wal-Mart. They had to leave Earth and all that was left was one of the robots created to clean up and a cockroach.

It was really... thought-provoking.

Adam said...

That's cool that you just let your lawn sit and do its thing. Mine was just recently sodded--kind of boring if you ask me. If I had my own place, I would have only native grasses and a huge garden. For now, we keep a decent-sized garden that we try to keep organic. We're working on a compost pile which is almost ready for use.

Beth said...

Thank you for this post! I've been spending the weekend barefoot in my dandelions and clover, thinking that they were nice but also thinking they annoyed the Roundup-ready neighbors; weed and feed be damned, I'm keepin' it real.

indosungod said...

Mine looks exactly the same and am delighted for the company but I am afraid I can't catalog all of them growing merrily. Clover and Dandelion are all I recogonize. The kids play there without fear of touching unsavory chemicals. Occasionally they frighten or get frightened by a bumble bee but we are all aware how important they are for the vegetable plants :)

kat said...

Great post Crunchy lady!

I love this kind of thing, transforming one thing into another (with multiple uses/purposes), sort of permacultural!

One thing I'd like to raise is about local flora/fauna sensitivity. For example, in Australia, Oxalis is considered a bad weed that is taking over our native wilderness.

http://www.weeds.org.au/cgi-bin/weedident.cgi?tpl=plant.tpl&ibra=all&card=E36
"This weed has been included in the 'Jumping the Garden Fence' report (WWF-Australia PDF - 1.19mb) which examines the impact of invasive garden plants on Australian agricultural land and natural ecosystems"

I'm definitely all for growing things in your own backyard that benefit you in more ways than one, and I really really really really do encourage people to do a bit of research, to learn about the spreading habits & noxious-ness of plants, before going ahead. :)

Crunchy Chicken said...

Hey Kat - Good point! If you liked this one, you'll love my next post on releasing wild, pregnant rabbits to help keep the Oxalis under control. I think it will really catch on down there!

pnwmom said...

Hey Crunchy- My front yard is shrinking as it gets swallowed by garden. :) Still some running space in the backyard for kids, but we don't water or used pesticides there.

As for "weeds"-- I spent most of the weekend at Dash Point SP with my copy of "Plants of the Pacifc Northwest Coast" by Pojar. It is the book I used with the Forest Service to identify herbs and shrubs. I liked reading about the native american uses for the many plants I was seeing!! Additionally, the May/June issue of BackHome magazine had 2 articles on using weeds. There was a bit on making a healing salve with Plantain-- another weed that most of us have in our yards.

anonymous jones said...

I actually grew a clover lawn without any grass at all - looked great!

Mark Weaver said...

The real triumph of spreading this mentality is to ween people of pesticides and the obsession of a (sterile in my mind) uniform green lawn. Good for you crunchy, keep spreading the word.

I do urban pest control and I don't think I could ever allow myself to "spray lawns".

Mark Weaver, BCE
Entomologist

Mark Weaver

Allie said...

I seem to remember eating sour grass as a kid too.

I can totally remember the taste vividly. I forgot about that.

We don't water or put chemicals on our lawn. My husband was a little upset that there are things other than grass growing in our front yard, but that's grass as I know it. We didn't have a perfectly manicured lawn as a kid and I loved picking all the little flowers and playing in the mossy sections. I think it's so much prettier than just plain grass.

Super! said...

I just creeped out from under my rock to find out about edible dandilions on your blog. That's amazing. I honestly had no idea. I am going to try out the wine recipe soon. Your blog is very entertaining and informative!

Kat said...

Crunchy, that's a great idea! We can't get enough of those rabbits down this way.. Looking forward to your rabbit-release post.. I shall even refrain from myxomatosis-ing it; the true Aussie tradition. ;)

Valerina said...

Several years ago I pulled up all the grass in my front lawn, called a company that delivers compost (much much much cheaper than buying it at the nursery)...they brought it in their dump truck, then I spread it all over...then I planted wildflower seeds all over (very very economical), watered...then flowers grew all over; bees, butterflies, and all kinds of cute birds came...and stayed...and now I just turn the sprinklers on, pull a few weeds every once in a while (when the flowers start growing they take off like crazy and soon fill up your whole yard so there's little room for weeds to grow unless you want them, which I don't). My neighbors, who all have chemlawns, hate it. They even called the city to try to make me grow a lawn again. Too bad, it's here to stay. The city likes it as long as I keep the weeds out. Very conservative people here otherwise, hardly anyone but me likes it...how can they hate flowers and birds that much...well, toooooooo bad.

Anonymous said...

The goat, ducks, and geese love my "lawn." :)

Becca

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