What is a Weed?
A weed is simply a plant that is growing “out of place”.
This could be in your garden, or in natural bush or forest areas. Wherever a particular plant is considered to be unwanted or unwelcome, it’s labeled a weed, either fairly or unfairly!
Where you live will determine what plants are labeled as weeds from an environmental standpoint. However, there are certainly plants that are universally known around the world as common weeds, and these are the ones that will be the focus of this article.
So many of the common “weeds” that pop up in our gardens regularly are not only edible, but extremely nutritious! That goes for both parrots and their humans as well.
People have been eating what are often called weed species for centuries thanks to their powerful health properties, good taste, and ease of growth. Compared with starting a vegetable garden, starting your own weed garden is usually a piece of cake.
That’s because weeds become weeds in certain places precisely because they grow so readily from the seeds that are spread through the wind or by animals.
The fact that many common weeds grow without fuss just about anywhere and in non-specific conditions, means that even if you consider yourself to have a brown thumb in the garden you’re probably not going to have much trouble with dandelions and other nutritious goodies!
Of course, not every weed is edible, and some are downright toxic. Which is why being able to confidently identify any weed you pick for your birds is essential. Thankfully, many of the most common and useful weeds are easy to identify once you know what to look for.
Never ever pick weeds or any plants from areas that are sprayed, or even suspected to be sprayed, with pesticides, herbicides (weed killers) or other chemicals. This includes sporting fields, public parks and gardens, road side and median strip areas, bushland regeneration sites, and people’s front lawns in suburbia; just to name some high risk locations. It’s not only sprayed chemicals you need to think about either. Other hazards can include traffic fumes near roads, stormwater run-off and other pollution. It’s always better to be safe than sorry so simply avoid picking any vegetation from potentially dangerous spots. There are plenty of other options.