Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Common Weeds

Many common weeds you find in the garden are edible for humans and it is likely that many will prove to be crab safe as well.

We plan to conduct food trials on these soon:
Purslane Portulaca oleracea (considered a vegetable, not a weed, in some countries)
Plantains Plantago (not the banana, the weed)
Lambsquarter Chenopodium album (sometimes called wild spinach) trial went well. The pre-screen process showed it to be like "spinach on steroids" so I mixed it into applesauce to make it appealing. Much of the mixture was eaten without ill affects, but alone it did not get much attention.
Shepherd's Purse Capsella bursa-pastoris (aka Chinese cress) is known to have tannins (good for crab coloring) and is considered non-toxic to livestock and humans. It grows well in Britain and the USA. One feeding got a lot of attention, pieces being dragged about, but I haven't witnessed any crab eating it yet. More info can be found here:
Prickly Lettuce Lactuca serriola (wild lettuce, similar to dandelion) trial went much like the lambsquarter experience related above. 6/5/07-We have formulated a new product that features prickly lettuce as the main ingredient called Salad Savvy.

Weeds already known to be safe for land hermit crabs are:
Dandelion Taraxacum--all parts: root, stem, flower, seed, leaf are safe and highly nutritious.
Amaranth Amaranthus retroflexus (aka Redroot) seeds and flower are safe, sprouts are safe. Hopefully we can test the leaves this summer.

No comments: