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Edible yard: organic veggies & foraging for palatable weeds

You may not have enough land to urban homestead (“a household that produces a significant part of the food, including produce and livestock, consumed by its residents”), but even with a small patch of earth it’s possible to create an edible yard.

To maximize square footage, backyard gardeners usually begin with certain vegetables that are highly productive with little care (e.g. tomatoes, zucchini), but often overlooked are the edible weeds that are usually not only extremely productive, but generally require little care (they “grow like weeds” and all that).

In this video, we visit a backyard gardener in Cloverdale, California who lists her reasons for having an edible yard as: “because I’m poor”; it’s an affordable way to have organic produce; and because she was raised with in the 1950s when self-sufficiency was a priority for her parents. “I’m 57 so back when I was growing up there was the A-bomb threat and they were always making us dive under tables and chairs at school so we were really a fear-based society. So if that happened my parents wanted to make sure we knew how to hunt and gather.”

Today, her yard is filled with not only traditional veggies like heirloom Brandywine tomatoes, bell peppers, fingerling eggplant and zucchini, but edible weeds like Amaranth and edible flowers like Chrysanthemums, violas and Geraniums.