it's no secret that the lawn is an American obsession everywhere you go whether it's someone's home a supermarket or a median in a road you'll find a field of highly manual non native grass it's sort of this pastoral or prairie landscape that we idolize that sort of is reminiscent of British aristocracy but I'm here to argue that we shouldn't take such good care of our lawns every year millions of people dump fertilizer herbicides and pesticides all over their lawn which results in runoff in the waterways and pollutes the natural environment not to mention there's a great deal of fossil fuels and energy going into lawn care with motorized lawn mowers and equipment lawn care can also be extremely wasteful where water is concerned especially out west or in the southwest where things are naturally arid but people still pine for this nice bright green yard if you think about it what you're doing when you're growing a lawn is you're growing a farm of just a single species that isn't particularly useful to humans today I'm gonna walk you through a bunch of what we would often consider weeds that are actually really beautiful wildflowers that have medicinal and edible purposes and the best part is they require almost no maintenance to grow so let's go walk around in this lawn and see what we can find so one of the most common weeds and lawns is a dandelion it always pops up because it's a perennial which means it keeps growing back unless you remove the taproot I don't understand why people remove these because they're a really beautiful golden flower and in fact the entire plant is edible the flower of the stem the leaves and the taproot and they're also full of nutrition the leaves and much of the plant can be pretty bitter so if you want you can blanch them or boil them but I also like to just throw them in a salad and put dressing on top of it that's sort of mask the bitterness you get all the nutrition and it's really quite tasty the flowers are a little bit sweeter they still have a hint of bitterness but compared to the leaves they have this floral sweetness to them quite good another wonderful plant that's pretty common in lawns is the wild violet and you'll also actually find this growing in forests throughout the eastern US it is a native plant so unlike the dandelion it's actually not even a weed it's just a native flower that grows here these are especially wonderful because of their beautiful vibrant color the purple one is the most common but if you're lucky like we are today you can get a whole variety of other ones there's white ones yellow you can eat the leaves as well as the flower you can candied the flowers you can use them to flavor desserts I've seen people who infuse honey with purple violets to give it a purple color and a faint sort of floral flavor pretty good it's got this like hint of a flowery sweetness and the leaves are a very unoffensive sort of leafy plant you can also cook them sort of eat them like a pot herb and on top of all that it's just such a beautiful flower I don't see any reason why you would ever want to get rid of these from your lawn wonderful so over here we've got two plants they're both Sorel's one is a wood sorrel which looks a lot like a clover got kind of three heart-shaped leaves and we also have something that's a little less common in lawns but we're lucky enough to find it here which is the sheep head sorrel even though these plants both look different they both taste really really delicious they have a tart lemony sort of sweet flavor I've heard it compared to an apple peel I think that's a pretty great comparison this is something you could snack on all day just as it is or you could cook it into a dessert make a tart out of it add a new nose salad it's so good so this is another pretty common lawn plant this is called purple dead nettle named such because it resembles a stinging nettle but it's dead in the sense that it doesn't sting you but actually it's not in the nettle genus at all this is actually in the mint family it's very distinctive it's got beautifully growing leaves and this distinctive cross shaped pattern beautiful little purple flowers and leaves at the top as well as a square shaped stem which is really common in the mint family you know if you break the leaf apart it doesn't quite smell minty but it definitely has sort of this floral or fragrant essence to it and you can gonna use this and smoothies salads you can cook it or just eat it raw leaves are a bit fuzzy it has a slight bitterness to it but still very good purple tops are a bit sweeter and again great one to throw in a salad and put some dressing over to and also like every wildflower it's beautiful now one plant that is pretty similar to purple dead nettle in terms of how it looks and also in the family that it's in is the henbit it has a square stem kind of a similar growing leaf pattern that's a very indicative of the mint family and it's got these long slender sort of purple flowers coming out at the top and again this is edible it's got kind of a chewy sort of fuzzy texture it might not be people's favorites but again you can use it like you use any other herb as a flavoring put it in a salad in a smoothie or you can cook it up even if you don't want to eat it it is such a beautiful flower it adds color to your lawn why bother getting rid of it now one plant you'll find a lot in lawns is common plantain the name is confusing but it has nothing to do with the fruit that's in the banana family but this plant grows all over lawns and in places where the dirts been compacted even though it is a non-native weed it still is a plant that is both edible and medicinal it's got these really distinct parallel veins and if you eat it it's got a fairly non offensive taste it's mildly bitter but a fairly pleasant it'd be great in a salad but on top of that it's also no stringent and what that means is that if you have bug bites or a rash from poison ivy you can crush this up or chew it up put it on your skin and it'll sort of act innocent stringent which will both heal and sooth your skin using those same properties you can make a tea out of it to help with ailments like diarrhea or any sort of internal problem like that and this is less common than the common plant anise they might imply that this is a Riblet plantain you can see it's got these same distinctive parallel veins on the back there's very defined ridges this is less of an edible the common plantain you could actually eat and it tastes pretty decent but this one you know extremely bitter but you can crush it up just like the common plantain apply it to a cut a bug bite a rash and it's got compounds in it that will really soothe the pain or the itchiness of any of those sort of skin ailments not an edible but it is a medicinal plant that grows in your lawn it's very common it changes up the texture and the look of your lawn and I don't really see the reason why people like to weed these things so another common plant you'll find in lawns like this growing amid the grass and also the long hair sounds chickweed you'll often find fields of this growing in the grass they might look to the average person like an unhealthy patch where the lawn is not doing so well but to the botanist they recognize it as an edible plant it's got these distincts little dainty little flowers sometimes you'll see the unopened flowers on the plant really small dainty leaves growing in pairs of two it's almost got a taste and a texture similar to sprouts that you might put it on a sandwich or a salad it's quite good now one real treat that you'll find in a lawn is wild chives if you don't know any better it might just look like another weird type of grass but it's very distinct from grass because instead of having a flat blade like the Rastas got a round hollow sort of tube this grows everywhere both in lawns and in force I was very tasty this was like a wonderful green onion flavor you need a straight like I am you can dig the bulb up I bet you can cut it up and put it in a meal use it to flavor soups cheese's whatever you want very tasty so one more plant bet you know maybe isn't a very common weed but it's definitely been spotted in many lawns before the spring beauty and this is one of those plants that again is a native plant rather than invasive so it's really not even a weed at all it's just a beautiful wildflower from the forest that happened to volunteer to grow in your garden for you it's got these beautiful 5 petaled white and pink flowers there's other species that look slightly different they might have broader leaves smaller leaves the tuber at the bottom of this plant is edible and the rest of the plant is edible as well you can just pop it in your mouth it's got a very slight floral sweetness to it a hint of bitterness but very good it it's a great way to add some color and some beauty to the top of your salad super beautiful wonderful flower no reason to cut it from your lawn so here we also have bitter cress it can look different throughout the years right now I know it's bit of crest because it has these little seed pods on it and this is a plant in the mustard family now you can really tell that when you eat it it has this slight mustard flavor kind of a pungent to it it's not nearly as bitter as some of the other plants it would be a great addition to a salad to give it some sort of like a slight zing to it or a zest it's almost like a super mild wasabi for horseradish it's growing everywhere I see this in lawns all the time and it's delicious and also in general plants that are bitter like the dandelion and like this that tends to be a sign that it's a very medicinal healthy plant now obviously bitterness can also be a sign of toxicity but if you know that it's edible ahead of time that's usually a good sign that it's good for your body now this is a plant that grows both in lawns and in forests it's a highly invasive plants but it is thankfully quite edible this is called garlic mustard it's got some distinctly shaped leaves little stalks near the flowers that are indicative of the mustard family the best part to eat is the tender top of it and it's got a very bitter and clearly garlic mustard Eve taste bitterness might be a little bit too much for some people to just eat it raw but I do love it cooked and I also like it to add some zing to my salad even though it is bitter this is actually one of the better tasting wild edibles now because it is invasive it is actually best to remove the entire plant just uproot it so that it doesn't keep growing and actually you want to make sure that you get rid of the flowers and the seed pods if you're just mowing your lawn and these have already gone to seed all you're doing is spreading and plant everywhere else but it's quite tasty and because it is invasive its plentiful so you can just pick it constantly and add it to your salads it's a great one this little guy right here is called burdock the leaves right now are really small but these can actually get bigger than both your hands bigger than your head in the middle of the summer and this is a biennial plant which means that it lasts two years the first year it'll just be a rosette of leaves all coming out from the same base so basically you'll see a bunch of these leaves coming from the ground the second year it'll produce a stalk with more leaves branching off of that the leaves are technically edible but they're incredibly bitter yeah even on the small one they're really bitter I've heard people wrap their food with the leaves to cook them but the bitterness just got infused into my food when I tried that now the part that you do want is the root underneath you won't be able to harvest this root until fall at least not if you want something tasty but this is a really good edible and in fact there's a root called a gobo that's served in Japanese restaurants and supermarkets and that's actually this plant you can slice it up stir-fry it or you can roast it like a sweet potato it's a bit of effort to get the root out but it's no effort at all just let it keep growing and to let it be I think one of the reasons lawn care bothers me so much is because people waste so much time energy money and resources trying to take care of their lawns there's nothing inherently beautiful about the plain lawn with no weeds in it if we put a lot less effort into it our lawns could actually look a lot more beautiful and on top of that we could actually use some of these wild plants in our cooking in our salads or in our medicine imagine if instead of spending all these resources mowing down fields of grass we spent it growing vegetable gardens or planting trees to reforest habitats people will argue that they like having a big empty lawn to raise their kids in or to have their pets playing but imagine how much happier your pets would be and how much more your kids can learn if there were wild flowers growing or if they were in a natural environment from my perspective the more you learn about nature about the plants that grow in it and how the environment as a system works together the more you realize that lawns are just a pointless part of our society and it just be much better if we had multiple plants growing together beautiful flowers that could support animals and natural habitat in the place of barren lawns so this spring in this summer my challenge to you is to go out and your lawn look at the wild flowers you have use them in a salad or in some cooking and just learn to appreciate the weeds and wild flowers that grow in your lawn anyway I hope this video has been educational for you if you like the video please give it a thumbs up don't forget to subscribe and if you want to support the channel and get access to more bonus content sign up on patreon.com slash adventure anyway thanks so much for watching and get out the spring or summer and enjoy all the weeds and wild flowers that are popping up in your yard

Eat Your Lawn | Identifying Edible and Medicinal Weeds in your Yard
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20 thoughts on “Eat Your Lawn | Identifying Edible and Medicinal Weeds in your Yard

  • July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    Thank You, I know it is a little mean, yet sometimes men need to follow this advice….

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  • July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    I'm hoping to learn more about wild plants and fungi to enjoy backpacking even more. How did you become an expert?

    Reply
  • July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    Absolutely LOVE your channel. I’m taking a mushroom & wild edibles class this summer. Amazed by your knowledge of plants.πŸ‘πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜

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  • July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    This is a very good video.

    I agree, btw; so many people hate those flowers 🌸, but they’re beautiful.

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  • July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    Great job! I am a huge plant lover and have been collecting small samples of herbs/weeds, and any new plant or flower I find on my walks, to bring home. I add them to my growing collection of specimens that I replant, learn more about each type, and hopefully grow more of. This video is very helpful for me. I'm trying to learn as much as I can. Thank you! From one Nature lover to another! πŸŒΏπŸ’šπŸ€

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  • July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    That flavor might have been from my dog urinating on thoes after he ate my pizza.

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  • July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    Andrew always blows my mind with his knowledge πŸ™ŒπŸΌ

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  • July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    I thought this was Try Guys hahahah

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  • July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    Ocean dead zones if you don't want to breath oxygen but you can do whatever the hell the you wan abd and we later deal with the consequences in the future which will none catastrophic to say the least.

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  • July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    Well sasi, nature is more beautiful than dead empty lawn

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  • July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    Very well done, thank you, I learned a lot

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  • July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    good job. Maybe make a video about edible cactus

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  • July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    Thanks a lot handsome man! You are so wonderful

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  • July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    As a Pagan I'm constantly striving to learn new things and this video is so awesome!!

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  • July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    Great educational video. But I was wondering aren't you afraid that these lawns are sprayed with pesticides or a dog maybe peed on that part? Because to be honest I would be a bit scared eating this stuff without washing it with water before πŸ˜€

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  • July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    Learning never stops,,Thank You!……….With all that grazing ..how do you stay so thin ??……..lol

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  • July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    Very informative video and he obviously likes salads haha.

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  • July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    Hi guys, love your videos. If you're ever around the Louisville, Kentucky area I'd love to show you around a great mushroom, edible/medicinal plants and assorted oddities place. Here are some photos. https://youtu.be/uCyoErMOBBE

    Reply
  • July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    I'm so glad you agree with my haphazard and unmanicured lawn. Looks like you enjoyed eating my lawn. I feel inspired to go outside and also eat my lawn.

    Reply

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