Free Health-Food Pantry Right On My Block (and Probably Yours Too!)

Postcard from my neighborhood today:

There is a vacant lot near me where, at this time of year, I routinely find delicious & nutritious edible wild greens. At this time of year there are so many free wild vegetables growing that I could live off that lot for 100% of my greens if I had to. While still leaving the majority for the pollinators & other species.

The lot is pretty, like a meadow. The plants never get very tall, as the lot gets mowed periodically.

Whenever it gets mowed and edged (the latter a murderous noise as loud as a chainsaw), the scalped lot looks so sad. And it feels almost like watching a free health-food pantry get doused with gasoline!!

There is nothing INHERENTLY “nicer” about a buzzcut lawn than a wildflower meadow lawn. It’s all in our cultural definition. And given the amount of food & medicine, and pollinator bonanza, that gets shaved away with each mowing, it seems all the more warped! Plus, wildflowers are pretty — when did such a large swathe of the population stop noticing that?

Of course we live in a country where, despite reports of food shortages and more to come, homeowners are still cutting down fruit trees “because they’re messy,” so I guess it’s to be expected.

For the antidote, join forces with your local foragers and food-gardeners and native-plant advocates! We are numerous, and we are everywhere!! Don’t let the ubiquitous soul-sucking vacuum-cleaner whine of leafblowers trying to “clean up” the great outdoors lead you to believe you are alone. We who love nature, and love fresh wild edible & medicinal plants, are numerous! Reach out!!

Things to google: foraging; weed walks; wild edible plants; native plant society; permaculture guild; (+ name of your city/region)