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LAMBSQUARTER – WILD SPINACH

Edible wild plants used to be a subject I thought belonged to a far fringe of wilderness survival. There are a couple of wild edible plants that I think are important to urban emergency preparedness. The most important edible wild plant on my list as a sustainable food source is Lambsquarter (also known as Lamb’s Quarters, or Goosefoot).

 
To most people Lambsquarter is a weed that has a tendency to take over your garden and you pull and as soon as it shows itself. To farmers it is a weed that infests their fields and is hard to control.

 
To the prepper, it is a plant that is in the spinach family. Its leaves can be eaten like spinach. It grows on its own almost everywhere in the US, Asia and Europe. It is native to Asia where they cultivate it as a food source. Nutritionally it is superior to spinach and most people think that is taste better than spinach.

 
It is an annual plant, meaning that it has to reseed and grow itself from scratch each year but each mature plant produces and drops about 50,000 seeds. It is a rapid growing, drought tolerant plant that can grow up to 5 feet tall.

 

Here is a Wikipedia link and a link to a set of photos to help you identify the plant.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chenopodium_album
http://plantscience.psu.edu/research/centers/turf/extension/plant-id/broadleaf/lambsquarter-1

 

Here is a video from YouTube.

 

If you can’t find lambsquater in your yard naturally, seeds are available line for $2 a packet. Depending on the seller, the packet has anywhere from 50 – 300 seeds.

 

Another edible wild plant is Dandelion. Harvest the flower and leaves when young. Use in salads or sauté like greens.

 

Next time I will discuss my choices for sustainable food production in the event of an all out SHTF survival situation.

 

 

Ed Rogers
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