Please see our update regarding re-identifying these plants as prickly lettuce. While curly dock is close, it appears what we are showing below is much closer to being prickly lettuce.

Since we desire to live more under God’s direct provision for food, it’s important to us to see if there are any things growing here on the land natively that are humanly edible.

Well, at the beginning of Spring, I was in the garden and noticed something that to me looked an awful lot like lettuce. With land perennials on the mind, I thought that I should really try to discover if this was something we could eat.

After going through our Texas weed book and not finding anything obvious, I started searching the internet looking for perennial lettuces or something like that, and then looked at images in the search. Eventually I came across a web page from Foraging Texas that had a picture that looked very much like our plants — curly dock!

And with some further study, I’ve come to believe that indeed what we have is curly dock or some other very close relative of it!

How wonderfully great is that?! Free, native lettuce growing!

Apparently it has vitamins A & C, and the roots can be medicinal too! And the seeds can be eaten! The only thing is the leaves are apparently much like spinach with oxalic acid, which is especially of concern to those who get kidney stones.

Here are some pictures of the plants:

Perennial Prickly Lettuce of 2017
Another Perennial Prickly Lettuce of 2017

And just how much is growing in our gardens:

Garden 1 Full of Prickly Lettuce Plants
Garden 2 Full of Prickly Lettuce Plants

And these are a couple of other links to some information about docks, eating them, and their nutrition:

How exciting! At least to me. 🙂 They don’t taste too badly raw, but go very nicely in a salad! We plan to see if we can lacto-ferment some as well, for longer-term storage.

We are very grateful to the Lord in His mercies and graces for granting this perennial provision, and we pray He might continue to show us other things available on the land that He has graciously provided!

— David