Mallow, plantain, wild cabbage.
All weeds in our yard.
If you're really into the frugal lifestyle and making the most of what you've got, The Weed Forager's Handbook may be of interest to you. I can't remember where we first heard about it, but the idea of finding free food in our yard really appealed to us! Food we hadn't even had to try to grow. And food that tends to be nutritionally superior to cultivated greens anyway!
This cute little reference book covers the top 20 Australian 'weeds' with medicinal and culinary value. It also gives some hints on when to harvest and some warning about the weeds that are NOT edible.
Pliny the Elder claimed that "whosoever shall take a spoonful of the mallows shall that day be free from all maladies"
The children have loved using this book, full of illustrations, to identify food in our yard. Actually, they're far more knowledgeable about it than I am! We'll often be driving and they'll identify edible weeds we drive past on the side of the road!
Recipes are also included...where else would you find directions for an egg and nasturtium sandwich? Or a prickly pear pizza?
Plantain (pictured above), also known as ribwort. Studies have supported that traditional uses of plantain, such as treatment of diarrhea, giardia, ulcers and cancerous tumours are actually effective.
Plantain also does a wonderful job stopping the bleeding of wounds. Earlier this year my son and his friend were playing by a dam and his friend gashed his foot on a stick. My son quickly found some plantain and used it as a compress and yes, the bleeding stopped quickly.
There's much more detailed info in the book of course, but you get the idea. Free food, free medicine...right in your backyard. I think this little book is a great reference book to have on the shelf if you're wanting to expand your culinary horizons :-) It's available both online and in bookstores, for about $20