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Some time ago, my husband and I bought a home in a cookie-cutter neighborhood. We are what you would call, “project people” and were excited to make the place our own.

One of the first areas we decided to improve was the landscaping.

I remember being pregnant and spraying Roundup all over our yard to kill the existing grass (what was I thinking?!).

We went all in and installed a sprinkler system, airated the yard, and spread premium dollar topsoil so we could plant that lucious, monochromatic tall fescue seed.

I faithfully watered that grass for months using my handy dandy in-ground sprinkler system, anticipating the picture-perfect green lawn.

Sadly what I ended up with was a really high water bill, a half-killed patch of tall fescue, and lots of weeds.

As it turns out, the perfect uniform lawn isn’t worth spending a bunch of money on for multiple reasons…

backyard medicinal herbs
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You Can Find Joy and Healing in Your Own Backyard

I’ve made my fair share of mistakes but this is one lesson that I actually get to laugh about instead of cry.

God had a plan for me and He must have known I needed to get over my “perfect lawn phase” to prepare me for what He had in store for me later in life.

The past 5 years have been a journey for me battling one health crisis after the next. I am always trying to find simple improvements I can make to my day to day life so I can one day get back to being the healthy vibrant person I was before I had kids.

Most days I still believe that is possible.

I recently met a new friend who has a lot of knowledge about wild medicinal and edible plants.

We have been spending time together taking our children on adventure hikes through the woods and foraging for different plants.

I can’t believe how many useful things we have found just a few mile from our homes. It got me wondering what useful things were in my own backyard.

 

crimson clover

I downloaded an app called Seek which helps you identify plants by just taking a picture of them.

I went around my yard looking at interesting plants that have popped up this Spring. Turns out I have a massive gold mine of medicinal and edible plants around my home.

I had no idea that I could be adding to my daily nutritional intake for free by simply by walking out and picking a few weeds.

Take this plant for example…

broadleaf dock

It’s called Broadleaf Dock and can be used in salads and when it goes to seed you can harvest them and grind them to use for baking breads.

You would obviously have to harvest an impossble amount of those seeds for one loaf but they can be added into your other flour to make a multigrain loaf.

The juice from the leaves can be applied directly on the skin for soothing bug bites and eczema. Consuming the leaves is thought to help with liver congestion.

This amazing plant is all over my yard.

Last weekend I harvested Purple Dead Nettle. I dried it so it could be saved for a tea during winter time for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

cleaver spring herbs

Another plant in the picture above is called a Cleaver. Cleavers assist and improve lymphatic function.

I mean how perfectly designed is our planet?

After we have been spending months cooped up indoors with lack of sunlight and fresh air, some of the first plants to arrive in Spring are those that help our body get rid of all that built up gunk!

plaintain spring herbs

This beauty is a Ribwort plantain and they grow all over my yard.

All Plantain plants are packed full of vitamins and have medicinal uses such as helping the respiratory tract clear mucus, cleansing the blood, and helping the kidneys excrete extra fluid.

There are so many more beautiful plants I found that it made me not want to mow my grass.

We live in a neighborhood and it wouldn’t really be appropriate for me to have a forest growing in my yard, but I did leave a little patch untouched for the bees and the birds to enjoy.

A Simple Path to a Better Future

For a long time I have struggled with the way things seem to be going in the world. But somehow God keeps leading me down paths to find the beauty in all the chaos.

I have been really enjoying learning about useful plants that grow in our area. It brings a lot of peace knowing that no matter how hard we are on our planet, it continues to give back life.

I hope this posts inspires someone to stop spraying their yard with chemicals and let nature heal you.