SEE ALSO: Bush Tucker Edible Weeds section with photos and descriptions of the edible weeds.
The plants I am referring to on this website as "weeds" are
the kinds of plants that you see growing, generally unwanted, in
your lawn, in your garden beds between the plants that you want,
on the sides of roads and railway tracks, in deserted or vacant
blocks of land in settled areas, and other such places. They are
mostly introduced plants, rather than natives of Australia. Most
of them are some kind of "herb",
a name given to plants not having a tough woody trunk as would a
shrub or tree. They are more likely to be edible, or to have
medicinal properties, than any other kind of plant.
WARNING: Never eat
plants that are growing in an area where they may have been sprayed
with pesticides or herbicides (weed killers), or where the water
supply to the area could be polluted, such as from urban or industrial
Some quotes from the book "Wild Herbs
of Australia and New Zealand"
by Tim Low:
Thanks to their unique ecology, weeds represent a
very palatable group of plants. Most species live rather transient
lives, and they
never develop the tough fibrous leaves found on long-lived herbs,
shrubs and trees. Furthermore, they expand most of their energy budget
on rapid growth, and very little on production of unpalatable plant
toxins. (Page 3).
Until recent times edible weeds were important foods in Europe.
In Australia and New Zealand the weedy ancestral forms
of many kinds of vegetables can be found growing wild. (Page 3).
The abundance of edible weeds provides an opportunity
for the city-dweller to relive, in small part, the hunter-gatherer
lifestyle of the past. The experienced eye of the forager can transform
traditional perceptions of the cityscape—weedy vacant allotments
and urban wastelands become storehouses of foods and medicine. Where
others feel repelled by scenes of urban decay, the forager can find
the needs of life. (Page 4).
Since finding this book at the library, and then purchasing my own
copy second-hand from www.biblioz.com.au,
I have learned to identify many of the edible weeds (and other weeds) that grow in my garden and
in my local area. As I get around to it, I will write some of these experiences
up on the website.
How can I be prepared with Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods, Isabell Shipard. I have not had this book very long but I am very impressed with it. It covers a great many of the topics discussed on survival.org.au and covers them quite well. There are 16 pages (large pages, with small writing) devoted to edible weeds, including colour photos of many of the weeds. Apart from edible weeds it also covers a few bush tucker (native) food plants, survival kits, storing food, permaculture, sprouting, herbs, and more. Her Course on DVD (PAL format, $35.00 AUD) looks like it would also be excellent, though I have not seen it yet.
Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond)
Click here to purchase from Isabell's Site (Australian) $37.00 AUD
Overview of plant foods
Edible Weeds (Bush Tucker) Index
Bush Tucker Plant Foods Index
Get started with learning plant foods
- make yourself a task list
List of Plants for the Blue Mountains
Family and Comunity Farming
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