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June 21, 2011

Fodder food: alternative greens in the garden

I am trying to eat mostly organic, within budget, but in the summer having greens in the salads is always challenging. Yesterday, instead of rushing to Publix for a head of lettuce, I took a walk around the garden instead. Here's what I found:

Horseradish leaves:


 Sweet potato vines:

and Amaranth:

All these greens are edible. Sweet potato and amaranth leaves have food value of spinach, they can be consumed raw but I lightly blanch them before eating to soften them up. Purslane is a weed and will seed itself in containers and garden beds where there is no thick mulch. Horseradish leaves are edible raw and give tangy taste to the salad. Young horseradish leaves are tastier and more tender than older leaves, but you still have to cut the stem out and only use the greens part.

There are other fodder foods that can be used in the salad: mustard greens, swiss chard - both of these will "oversummer" in the garden if they were established in prior fall. Other non-traditional greens include green bean leaves, cowpea leaves and radish tops. On a broader scope, practically any green can be eaten, except for the nightshade family, such as tomato leaves, regular potato leaves and pepper leaves. Here's the recipe for the fodder food salad. Hope you like it.


  1. I found your blog through the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I moved from Florida (Tampa) over 30 years ago but I still have family there, and one of them is trying to become a first time gardener. I am definitely going to tell her about your blog. And, I love the idea of "alternate greens". Good luck!

  2. Thank you very much! I want "EVERYONE" to grow a garden, that would be awesome. I started the blog to help the beginners. Growing a garden is one of the most beautiful things.



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