Speaking of local food, foraging in your backyard is the ultimate in local food.
I feel slightly embarrassed, because I have no idea what this plant is. I suspect it is edible but I am not going to try to eat it.
It's the first wildflower of spring in my upstate New York back yard.
I thought these plants were "henbit" but I looked in Google images, and I don't think this is henbit.
Spring greens are an old tradition in the United States and all over the world. When I lived in Arkansas, they would sell something called "poke sallet" in local markets. The people who were raised in traditional ways would gather these greens, which are the early leaves of the pokeweed plant. We have pokeweed even here in upstate New York; I've found it growing in my front yard more than once. Here, it grows several feet high. In Arkansas, it can grow the size of a large bush. When older, it is poisonous.
The "sallet" indicates the green needs to be cooked. This particular green was boiled, in three changes of water, to get the bitterness out. Some would then add salt pork to the final boiling. I tried cooking it once (that huge bag shrunk down to almost nothing, too) and it was OK, but I didn't think it was worth the work (and I didn't even have to forage for it.) But many of the natives were fond of it first thing in the spring. A nearby canning company, Allen Canning, used to pay gatherers to bring in the poke leaves and then they canned and sold it commercially. I was saddened to discover they discontinued the canning of poke in 2000.
Although I have done some wild food gathering in my life (wild strawberries and blueberries, wild amaranth, lamb's quarters, elderberries, black walnuts, wild persimmons) I've never really gotten into the greens.
So, I do not intend to eat my little wildflower, but would still be curious to know if it is edible.
Anyone know what it is?