This information goes along with my Radio Show aired on May 12th at 7 pm central time. Here is the link to the show, it will be available for download after it airs.

This is a long post with LOTS of information so feel free to copy and print any of this information for your personal use only.

The 21st Century Homekeeper on The Preparedness Network

DisclaimersThis information is to who you what I do and what my family eats and is for informational purposes only.

You must be sure you are choosing the correct plants. A mistake with wild edibles could be fatal, so please take the time to learn what these wild edibles look like and the correct way of preparing them.

The nutritive content information on these plants comes from various herbal and nutrition textbooks. All of the nutrition information can be found online.

Be sure if you gather plants to eat from your yard that you aren’t using pesticides or herbicides or any other chemical on your lawn.

Poke or Poke Salad

When choosing poke, make sure you only get new shoots or very young, tender leaves and shoots. Don’t use any part of the plant that has purple color on it.  Purple = Poison when it comes to poke.

Here are two photos of poke plants. As with any of these weeds, make sure you are choosing the correct plants! the best way to start gathering wild edibles is to have someone who is knowledgeable to guide you in person.

Recipes for Poke

Wash, then drop the poke into boiling water.  Allow to boil for three minutes, discard water,  boil again in new water. Some cautious people recommend boiling three times, changing water each time. After the poke is tender, serve hot with butter, salt and pepper or mix with scrambled eggs. You can also cook the poke, after the three boilings, with a piece of ham and eat it like you would turnip greens or spinach. You can also mix poke with other greens.

Poke contains calcium, phosphorus,  iron, vitamin A, Thiamine,  Riboflavin, Niacin and a lot of vitamin C .



Chickweed is mineral rich and is loved by birds, hence the name.
It is best to gather chickweed in early spring when the plant is pale green and tender. Chickweed is delicious raw in salads and good cooked just like you would other spring greens like turnips, spinach or poke.

Chickweed contains beta-carotene, calcium, essential fatty acids, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sulfur, zinc, B-vitamins and vitamins C and E.




Be sure you are collecting the correct plant,  there are several plants that resemble Lambsquarters. 

Lambsquarters is one of the few grain crops originating in North America.  Its found mostly on cultivated soil and is classified as a weed that follows cultivation.

Prepare Lambsquarters as you would other cooked greens by boiling or steaming, serving with butter, salt and pepper or combining them with other cooked greens.

Lambsquarters contain vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron



Be careful when picking nettles, they have little thorns that sting and sometimes hurt pretty bad. I have one child who is very allergic to the stingers but can eat the plant with no problem.

Pick in the spring, spring plants are more tender and taste better. Wash then drop into a pot of boiling water, this renders the stingers harmless. Drain when tender and serve hot with butter, salt and pepper.

Nettles contain vitamins A, C, D and K, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, iron and sulphur.



Both the new leaves and the yellow flowers of the dandelions are edible. Be sure to get leaves before the flower buds form. After buds form the leaves start to get bitter.

Cook the greens as your would other spring greens or eat them raw in salads.

You can eat the flowers, too. My favorite way to eat them is battered and fried. here’s my recipe:

Fried Dandelion Flowers

Pick the flowers very close to the flower, don’t get any of the green stem its bitter. Use a small knife to cut off any green that is still on the flower.

Soak the flowers in cold, salted water for about 5 minutes. This is to remove any little bugs.
Make your batter:
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

Beat the egg with a fork, add the milk and then whisk in the flour and seasonings. Put the batter in the frig and let it sit for about 30 minutes. This helps the batter stay on the flowers better.

Heat 1 inch of oil in a heavy skillet. You want the oil pretty hot, but not smoking.
Give the batter a stir, dip the flowers in the batter and then place them in the hot oil. klet them fry til they are golden brown.
Serve hot.

Dressing Recipe for Wild Greens1 part cider vinegar or herbal vinegar. or weedy vinegar
4 parts olive oil
1 crushed garlic clove
Seedy mustard to taste
A dash of tamari soy sauce or a spritz of Braggs

Shake or whisk well. Serve on the side or over fresh greens…. including lettuce!

Red Clover
Red Clover is not really a food but a food-like herb that is used in many herbal remedies and teas. harvest the bloom and the first set of three leaves. You can dry red clover, give it a night in the freezer to kill any bugs and then store it in paper bags.

Red Clover Vinegar
Collect flowers, freeze over night if desired, then fill a mason jar with the flowers. Gently press down the flowers to fill the jar.  Fill with apple cider vinegar.  Cover with a non-metal lid. Steep the flowers 4-6 weeks and then strain, bottle, and label.  Red Clover vinegar can be used in salad dressings and recipes calling for vinegar.

Dutch Oven Cooking

The Rule Of Two Rule for Dutch Oven Cooking:  Take the size of your oven, for example- 10 inches.  Place 10×2 or 20 briquettes under the oven, 10x 2 briquettes on the top of the oven and then take TWO briquettes from under the oven and place then on the top of the oven as well.

A 12 inch oven would need 12 x 2 or 24 briquettes on the and under, then take two briquettes from under the oven and place them on top.  So you’d have 22 under and 26 on top.

This rule will provide 325-350* temperature depending on the kind of briquettes you are using. I recommend Kingsford because they seem to give you the most reliable and consistent heat.

It is possible to make your own briquettes of course and you can also use wood to cook over. Cooking with wood rather than briquettes takes a bit more practice because the coals that you make when you burn wood are not always uniform in size and density, they may burn at different rates and temperatures. I almost always use wood to cook over outside and I’ve learned how to judge how many wood coals I need ot get the temperature right.

To begin cooking in a dutch oven, be sure your cast iron has been seasoned correctly.  Dutch Oven seasoning should be done outside.  You’re going to be greasing up the entire pan, inside and out.  And, after a pan has been used in a fire it gets soot and burned on charcoal or wood on it. Seasoning it inside will really smoke up your house.

Peanut oil is recommended for seasoning Dutch Ovens that will be used outdoors over a fire because the smoking point of peanut oil is higher than other oils and because it gives a hard coat after its baked.

To season Dutch Ovens (DO) outside, over a fire:
1. Rub a thin layer of peanut oil over ALL surfaces of the DO, inside and out, lid included.

2. Turn the DO upside down, so oil will not pool inside, and place the lid on the upturned legs. Place the oven over enough coals to bring the DO to ab out 375*F; For a 10 inch DO, that is 21 coals.

3. Allow it to bake for 1 hour, exchanging hot coals for cooler, spent coals frequently.

4. Take the DO off the heat and allow it to cool enough to handle it. Rub more oil inside and out and bake the same way for another hour.

5. Repeat once more for a total of three hours over the coals.

This seasoning should never have to be done again unless your DO rusts or is damaged in some way.
You can clean your DO with water and dry it well over heat, rubbing a little oil in the cooled pan before storing.  Its generally not recommended to use soap in DO’s because the soap will get into the pores. However, I do use soap on mine after they’ve been used a few times and have a really nice, thick seasoning on them. If you use soap, be sure to rinse well. Scrape bits of food out of the pan first, rinse with water and then scrub using a Scotch Brite or other scrubby.

You can find instructions for seasoning cast iron on my site.  For any information you’ve heard on my radio show  you can search this site for Radio Show and find all that info.

A Few Tips For Dutch Oven Cooking:

1. Keep checking your food. Yes, opening the oven does reduce the temperature temporarily. But its better to know what’s going on in there than to burn or  under cook your food. You can check the food quickly with practice.

2. Get your fire going at least 1 hour before you need the coals if you’re using wood. You can start your fire about 20 minutes ahead of cooking time if you are using charcoal briquettes.

3. For easier clean-up, fill the DO with water after you’ve removed the food, but do not use cool water in a hot oven it will crack the oven!

4. Practice makes perfect so use your DO frequently and learn!

5. To make the oven easier to clean you can line it with foil or use a foil or tin pie plate in the bottom of the pan. Grease the oil or pan just like you would the Dutch Oven before using.

Dutch Oven Recipes

Baked Beef in the Dutch Oven
3 Tablespoons Vegetable oil
2 large onions, sliced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper or Cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 Tablespoon flour
2 1/2 lb Round steak
1 c Beef broth
2 Tomatoes,  sliced thinly

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a Dutch oven and saute 1 of the sliced onions and the garlic until the onion is soft. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sauteed mixture to a small bowl and set aside.

Mix the salt, black pepper, cayenne, and 2 tablespoons of the flour together. Dredge the meat in this mixture.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the casserole and brown the steak on both sides. Cover the steak with the  remaining sliced onions and 1/4 cup of the broth and cover tightly. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 1 hour, or until the meat is tender.

Layer the tomatoes on top of the onions and bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer.

Remove the meat to a heated platter and allow it to sit, covered with foil or a lid for 10 minutes. Slice thinly and keep warm.

Bring the juices in the casserole dish to a slow boil.  Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour and the remaining 3/4 cup of broth into a jar and shake well. Slowly add this mixture into the simmering juices. Whisk until the juices are thickened and cooked.  Pour this sauce over the sliced meat and serve.

Dutch Oven Peach Cake
12 inch Dutch Oven, butter
1 yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup cooking oil
1 – 30 ounce can sliced peaches with juice

Butter a 12 inch Dutch Oven.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil and syrup from peaches. Stir til smooth.
Pour batter into a buttered 12″ Dutch oven. Arrange peach slices over top of batter.
Cover oven and bake using 8-10 briquettes under the DO and 14-16 briquettes top for 1 hour or until top center of cake springs back when touched.

Delicious with whipped cream!

More delicious recipes can be found HERE