The Wizard of Weeds
with Peter Gail

Would you like to double your garden crop, or eliminate half your weeding, without any investment on your part? Nothing could be simpler. You can do it by calling certain weeds vegetables and adding them to your harvest!

Nettle soup

Emerson defines a weed as "a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." Others define a weed as a plant growing where you don't want it. But Howard Baker, the famous botanist who specialized in plants growing in waste places, describes them as "general purpose genotypes" - which, interpreted for the layman, means that they are plants which have the ability to survive anywhere, and draw what they need for growth from the most hostile landscape. They have small, eminently mobile seeds, root systems which search every crack for nutrients and efficient leaf systems which can produce food under almost every conceivable circumstance.

Most of today's "weeds" - the dandelions, nettles, purslane, lambsquarters, sorrels, burdock and their colleagues - are actually real vegetables and a significant part of the diet for people all over the world. These "vegetables" should also be ending up in your cooking pot and freezer, instead of the compost pile.

Dr. Peter Gail, the Wizard of Weeds, takes you on a tour of his backyard. He'll show you how to harvest the bounty of your backyard for your culinary pleasure and health. Discover the bounty of wildcrafting. A good family herbalist needs to know how to use the wild foods and medicinal herbs that grow in your herb garden, backyard and neighborhood.

Herbs and wild foods discussed include crab apples, sorrel (sour grass), dandelion, plantain, lambs quarters and more.

Take advantage of Peter's vast knowledge of wild foods. Listen in while he introduces his garden and the herb sorrel:

Time: 63min

Cost: $20

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Who is Peter Gail?

Dr. Peter Gail has a Ph.D. in botany from Rutgers University and was a professor at Cleveland State University, in Cleveland Ohio, for 16 years. His primary research focus was on how various cultures used backyard weeds for food and medicine, during which he amassed one of the largest collections of recipes and folklore for wild edible plants in the United States. He left the university to follow his dreams of helping others learn the uses of plants for food and medicine..

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