Over the last several posts, I’ve shared some common herbs you can wildcraft/forage in the spring. I’m going to wrap up the series by sharing a couple of plants you can grab for quick snack or seasoning!
Yarrow, Achillea millefolium
Yarrow is an amazing plant (if you’re enrolled in the Annual Herb-A-Month course you got a good overview of yarrow this month) and the early leaves make a great substitute for parsley in any of your dishes. In the early stage, yarrow leaves are very mild tasting. The leaves will be very close to the ground so you need to be looking for them. They resemble feathers and will have the telltale “thousand leaves” hinted at in their botanical name, Achillea millefolium (mille = thousand).
Honestly, yarrow makes a really lovely lawn replacement. It mows beautifully and feels super soft to walk on. It also does great without water. Just imagine if everyone switched from grass to yarrow! 🙂
BTW, yarrow is super useful, but is most medicinal after it flowers. In the early spring you’ll only see the small bundle of leaves close to the ground, and they do have some medicinal benefits such as supporting the circulatory system and detoxification.
Additional reading about yarrow:
- Identifying & Growing Yarrow (+ a couple of uses!)
- Roast Carrot & Parsnip Soup with Yarrow & Lemon Ginger Cream
- Yarrow Bath
- More on Yarrow
Lambsquarters (aka Goosefoot), Chenopodium album
The last two years we’ve been fortunate to have a plethora of lambsquarters growing around our home, making it so easy to forage and eat. Lambsquarters are a mild green, and taste a bit like spinach whether you eat them raw or cooked. I like to add them to anything I would normally put spinach in or use as a quick and easy snack as I work in my herb garden. One word of warning, they are quite high in oxalates (as are many other plants), so don’t eat these in massive quantities. Use lambsquarters as an augment rather than a primary green when making salad, etc. I usually throw a handful or two into a salad so it is dispersed throughout.
They are distinguishable by their leaves, which are partially covered in a powdery white substance.