Lambs Quarters

I can’t say what it is about weeds that l have always loved? Perhaps it is quite simply because they are misunderstood like some animal species. Whatever your opinion or view is on weeds, they are everywhere, and they are here to stay.

Twenty-five years ago, l used to forage for weeds to feed the enormous number of rabbits l had in my commercial breeding operation. Knowing about them made everything easier because it meant that l wouldn’t accidentally kill an animal by feeding the wrong weed.

Most weeds are harmless, not all. Of course, some are and can be deadly. The fact is that people don’t like weeds because they don’t belong where they usually appear or are out of place. Many a time, gardeners especially don’t want them because weeds tend to grow quicker and easier than many ornamental flowers.

Weeds have a way of surviving. They are ONLY considered weeds on the domestic level because, let’s be honest, when we are out walking in the countryside, how many people are bothered by the presence of weeds then?

There are advantages and disadvantages to having weeds in your gardens and yards. They do have a lot of benefits that many people tend to ignore, and this series will highlight that.
The Beauty of Weeds

Companion Plantings
Encouraging wildlife
Fertilising and enriching the soils
Providing and active Mulch/Soil protection
Attracting pollinators and good insects
Repelling pests
Food source for animals and humans
Serves as decoy crops
Great for wildlifing the garden
Soil conditioning

Lambs Quarters

Chenopodium album

There’s nothing like the peace of the countryside, the quiet and the lack of distraction. It helps you to focus your mind.

Jenny Nimmo

Lambs Quarters is a common weed, but it is also foraged as wild food.

It grows from June to October and produces small off white flowers.

They can make for an excellent spinach substitute like dandelions without the added bitterness in the leaves. Caution should be exercised for consumption as large quantities can cause health problems.

In ancient times, this was a crop plant, and it is also from the spinach family.

Chickens love this weed, especially the seeds. Mind you; chickens love most weeds!

There is also a medicinal tea that can be made from this weed, and if you were to take a bath of the tea, it is reputed to be excellent for skin health. The plant’s seeds can also be used to make flour, which can make loaves of bread and cakes.

It grows wild in waste and disturbed grounds and set aside farmer fields, alongside roadside verges, woodlands, and gardens where gardeners deliberately plant it as a helpful weed. This particular weed is valuable as a cover crop against leaf miners to protect the likes of spinach, beets and chard.

Lambs Quarters is also known as Fat Hen and White Goosefoot.

It is adaptable to most soil conditions and will also act as a form of soil improvement enriching the grounds with much-needed nutrients.

Many bird species enjoy eating the seeds like the Yellowhammers and Finches from the plant, and also both moth and butterfly species are known to use it as a larvae plant.

I hope you enjoyed L for Lambs Quarters and I’ll see you again soon!

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Published by The Autistic Composter

Howdy Folks, Earthly Comforts is a broad niche wildlife journaling scrapbook focusing on the countryside, wildlife biodiversity and environmental conservation, flora and fauna volunteering projects, gardening, composting and vermiculture, also known as ‘worm farming and photography too.

13 thoughts on “Lambs Quarters

      1. I don’t think people forage like they used to, do they, Rory?
        Another green I really enjoyed was Dock. (I forget if you have addressed this one yet.) It has a nice broad leaf and a delicious flavor. It didn’t cook down like other ones did it and made a satisfying meal along with corn pone or corn muffins.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am still yet to address Dock Betty, but you are quite right. What l have noticed between the Dock as a child growing up to the Dock of today much older is that when young Dock appeared close by to Nettle and yet now, we don’t really see broad leafed dock next to nettle but mostly sorrel dock.

        Is that climate change you wonder.

        When dock leaf was tender from the young leaves that was much tastier than older leaves.

        You are right, very few people forage anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I didn’t remember that dock was best in springtime, Rory.

        I’ve never noticed the connection with Nettle, having never considered Nettle as a food source. I guess the stinging part dissuaded me. 😊

        To me, foraging was an important part of providing food for my children, but they remember our foraging days as fun. I’m so glad of that. 😊

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