Skip to comments.Early Farming Communities Often Ate Weeds, Other Wild Plants, UCLA Archaeologist Finds
Posted on 03/31/2006 8:40:59 AM PST by SunkenCiv
Thousands of years after the advent of agriculture, ancient farmers in India routinely foraged for wild plants -- even weeds -- when times got tough, a UCLA archaeologist has found. In fact, they may have eaten a flower now used today in Hawaii for leis, a weed considered invasive in the American West and a relative of the acacia plant that now grows beside Southern California freeways, said Monica L. Smith, the article's author and an assistant professor in the UCLA Department of Anthropology and who also heads the South Asian archaeology laboratory at UCLA's Cotsen Institute of Archaeology.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsroom.ucla.edu ...
Tossing a bit of trivia into the salad, the gunnysacks often used to collect wild greens were often referred to as 'pokes'.
In the days before our sophisticated (refrigerated) food distribution system, a lot of wild greems were popular because they emerged very early in the spring--before anything in the garden was producing and folks were plain hungry for something 'green'. The other plus is that it's 'found food'--the labor being only in the finding as opposed to the planting & tending...and collection is something that kids could be tasked to do.
My mom grew up in the Ozarks--they kept hogs, chickens and a garden. But they also foraged for food--from early greens to summer berries to nuts in the fall. And they ate a lot of small game, too.
wonder if they ever smoked any "weed"?
I've been a forager since I was a child. Where I live now, in Soutnern Maryland, pawpaws and serviceberries are particularly abundant.
My Grampa's definition of weed may apply. He used to say that a weed is "A plant growing in a place other than where you want it."
Makes sense to me!
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