Edible Weeds

Appears in

Honey from a Weed

By Patience Gray

Published 1986

Edwardian Englishmen laughed at French governesses for picking wild chervil, dandelions and sorrel in spring for salads, for cutting nettle-heads for soup. The governesses ridiculed the Englishmen for their addiction to stewed rhubarb. Each person, through instinct, habit or prejudice, likes to pursue his or her own way to health.

I became interested in weeds on Naxos: everyone in Apollona, but more especially women and children, wandered about in February and March, before the spring declared itself, in search of weeds, picked before their flower-heads appeared. They called them by the portmanteau name radíkia, meaning plants with beneficial roots and leaves, but also specifically dandelions.