Aug 13th, 2011

Good Enough to Eat?

by Albert Brian Vick  Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Community Kitchen Garden Coordinator

At the Lewis Ginter Community Kitchen Garden we’ve produced several stellar specimens of “weeds” so far this season. That’s one of the challenges to keep up with when you’re blessed with the good size of our garden.

For example, one of our tomato plots uses six-foot tall tomato cages, and some of the cages are placed a little too close together – almost touching.  This makes it difficult to keep the paths between the rows clear. The result: At least one six-foot Lambsquarter specimen, impossible to yank from the ground by hand. A little online research indicates the maximum height for Lambsquarter is four feet. I guess we set a record.

The research also indicates the leaves and stems are edible, nutritious & delicious. (Do your own due diligence before ingesting any “weeds” as plants can often be confused with one another.) It leads me to wonder: Have you ever noticed that so many “weeds” are supposed to be edible & nutritious, and those same weeds absolutely thrive in poor conditions (poor soil quality, lack of water)? Maybe there’s a sustainable food market in the cultivation of “weeds”.


If we were really desperate, we could eat boiled lambsquarter greens for dinner. Well, it looks good enough to eat. Might be a little bitter... that's probably what the experts mean when they say it has a "distinctive" flavor.

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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