Sweet potato leaves and other odd edibles
April 9, 2020 12:42 PM   Subscribe

I am considering growing sunflower seed sprouts and also starting some sweet potatos in water for their leaves, which apparently are tasty and nutritious. There appear to be dandelions growing wild, as they do, close to my complex. What other edibles might be nutritious, tasty, and easy to grow and/or gather in or near my small home? Located in Stockholm, Sweden.
posted by Bella Donna to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
It should be nettle season soon (brännässlor).
posted by bluebird at 12:49 PM on April 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

Nettles! We have those in abundance in the UK, I'm guessing you probably do too?

Nettle soup is nice, nettle tea of course. But nettle PIE is where it's at. My mum made it with potato, boiled egg and cheese but there are tons of ways of doing good things with them.
posted by greenish at 12:50 PM on April 9, 2020 [3 favorites]

Alfalfa sprouts?

Wild sorrel varieties?

Broadleaf plantain.
posted by Grandysaur at 1:15 PM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Chickweed, miners lettuce, and nettles are my go to foraging greens in spring. Not sure if they grow around Stockholm, but worth investigating!

For growing, lettuces are quick and easy to grow, even indoors. Beans and peas of all sorts make good sprouts.
posted by ananci at 1:16 PM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

I love radish sprouts. They sprout and grow FAST and within a couple weeks you get nice little leaves with the bonus of a tasty root. I grow the with a grow light all winter.
posted by waving at 2:07 PM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm about to start a few batches of microgreens in a sunny window in my house. They're packed with nutrition and should be ready in 3-4 weeks.
posted by bluedaisy at 2:15 PM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm in North America, but I think you'll find all these in Europe:

Broad-leafed dock is one of those foraged foods that frankly looks revolting - slimy and a bit fibrous - but the flavor is surprisingly nice.

Lamb's quarter is delicious - mild-flavored and vaguely herbal.

Cattail shoots taste like cucumber.

Garlic mustard is nice. Oh, and there's this stuff, which I would call wild garlic (grows everywhere in the Eastern U.S.)

Just a note that many of these greens are high in oxalic acid, so don't feed them to anyone prone to kidney stones. Make sure the greens you're harvesting haven't been exposed to pesticides.

When I started foraging I bought a book; I'd say you're fairly unlikely to poison yourself, but it's nice to have an authoritative guide that will teach you what to avoid (don't eat anything that looks like a carrot, etc.)
posted by toastedcheese at 2:28 PM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also ramslök, another allium, I think different from the one toastedcheese linked to, you might find if you can get out in the woods.
posted by bluebird at 2:44 PM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

There's an app called Falling Fruit you might try. In many/most areas, branches that hang above public property, like streets and sidewalks, are fair game. This app maps them, mostly in urban areas. Also includes plant ID tools etc...
posted by sexyrobot at 6:43 PM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Thank you all for your kind responses. I just had breakfast, which included my first-ever harvest of wild dandelion greens. (I boiled them to reduce the oxalic acid; I do not know if I am prone to kidney stones and prefer not to find out if I am any time soon.) I have a grow light (for later) and, for now, sunflower seeds for micro greens. Thanks again!
posted by Bella Donna at 3:11 AM on April 11, 2020

i just wanted to add a neurotic safety note - it might be risky to eat food harvested from the complex - they could be drenched in lawn chemicals.

my other contribution: is it still fiddlehead season? those are super fun to gather
posted by megan_magnolia at 10:08 AM on April 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

Pea shoots are my favourite windowsill garden staple. Quick, easy, cheap (you can grow them from dried marrowfat peas in the supermarket, even if you can't get ahold of 'gardening' seeds). You see them at fancy restaurants all the time - they're great in salad, and they can also be cooked down like spinach. They have a delicious delicate pea flavour.
posted by Glier's Goetta at 5:59 AM on April 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

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