Would you add garden weeds to your cooking?

NZ 01/07/2022

Article sourced via Today FM

With rising prices in the supermarkets, it's time we look to our backyards to help top up the pantry. We're all familiar with the standard kiwi veggie garden... but have you ever thought about utilising the garden weeds from out the back too? 

Today FM's Mel Homer headed to Tauranga where Julia Sich is helping locals turn weeds into delicious, nutritious food.

Sich holds workshops in her garden, letting people know what you can forage and what you shouldn't.

She said it all started when she fell ill and began making smoothies for herself. 

"I started making smoothies and wondering what I can put in them, and it just expanded from there," she said.

"I got a book on how to identify them and found out that there are tonnes in the garden!"

She said nature doesn't discriminate between a good plant and a bad plant, and that most weeds in our gardens are not harmful. 

"At the moment, there's lots of chickweeds, wintercress and other cresses," she said.

"Even onion weed - that's like your free spring onions, onion weed, and everybody's very disdainful of it because it can form a big patch, but it's wonderful."

Sich said you learn with time which weeds are unsafe to eat.

"The worst one is milkweed," she said.

"It's a little plant that likes to grow with chickweed and it's got one stem and when you break it, you'll see this milk oozing out. If you eat that, you'll get a burning mouth for two days. 

"It's just common sense, a lot of it."

This article was originally posted by Today FM by Zarina Hewlett
Listen to the interview between Julia Sich and Mel Homer below.