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Eating weeds

I have a patch of Gaultheria shallon which is horribly invasive and to me a weed. However it does have interesting blue-blackberries which apparently are edible. So I harvested these yesterday and made some jelly from them. From 700g of berries (about two pints) I got about 400g of juice which I added to 250g sugar to get about 500g of jelly. The jelly is very sweet and intensely flavoured (in a good way!).

Apparently the berries are high in pectin so I could probably have used less sugar. I have also read that the berries and jam/jelly made from them are efficient appetite suppresors. Now who would have imagined jam being part of a diet image.

Anyone else make culinary use of their weeds?


  • How cool is that, jam as part of a diet?! I think I need to investigate jams more intensely lol Haven't made any substance of any sort from my weeds, mine, alas are exactly that, weeds! Enjoy your jam image

  • Hi steephil, I have never heard of Gaultheria and am always on thye lookout for unusual fruit. As for eating weeds ...  

    I will sometimes eat young Ground Elder leaves, they taste a bit nutty and a little like celery. They must be young though, coppery-coloured or bright green, when they turn dull green they are too old. You can chew mature thick leaf stems though, they are very juicy and taste like perfumed celery. It sounds odd but... try it.

    I'll eat Fat Hen boiled like spinach, but it doesn't grow much in my garden, and Hairy Bittercress with its peppery greens taste.

    There was a time when I would gather young Shaggy Ink-cap mushrooms which taste divine, can't really be mistaken for anything else and which cannot be eaten with beer or wine because they react with alcohol and cause some sort of adverse reaction.

    Evening primrose leave and flowers leave a metallic aftertaste. Dandelions taste bitter like chicory but who in their right mind would cultivate a vegetable that tastes like a dandelion? There are PLENTY dandies growing wild so don't waste space. Am I joking or am I for real? It's your shout.


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