Some years, gardening around north Texas is pretty rough. Late or early freezes, drought, extreme heat, pest insects or disease can all hinder our best efforts at cultivating fruits and vegetables. I am, however, fascinated by finding solutions to those challenges. Fortunately, there are many ways we can try to overcome the formidable growing seasons: improve soil, select better adapted plants, use more efficient irrigation systems. But there’s another solution: Eat the yard.
Not everything, mind you, and certainly not anything that you can’t 100 percent identify. But if you look in your landscape, you’ll likely find plants that have been eaten for thousands of years. Nature was once mankind’s grocery store, offering a variety of foods and provisions. Some of those plants also happened to look pretty. The nursery industry took those plants, improved their ornamental value, and sold them for their aesthetics alone. Now it seems like most of our culture has forgotten about the edible value of these plants.
But you can still find common landscape plants that grow in and around our subdivisions that are pretty delicious in addition to looking good and growing with little care. Here are some of my favorites: