New Mexico Goosefoot is uncommon as wild edibles go, it is only native to New Mexico, Arizona, and west Texas. It is similar to its cousin Lambs Quarters (C. album) and I use it the same. Chenopodiums are all edible plants. I have not seen New Mexico Goosefoot in the mountains around my area, but a friend got a start from another friend who identified them as Lamb’s Quarters. She then gave me a couple small plants and later some seed. Mine have naturalized and I have eaten them for the past two years. I have not collected seeds for winter sprouts yet, restraint! This year they are coming up in potted plants, flower beds, and uphill!
This photo shows a small New Mexico Goosefoot seedling uphill about 50 feet from where I started the first one in a pot. A rabbit came up and sheared that first one off (panic) but it leafed back out and set seed. The following year I got a little packet of seeds and put them out. Between the two I now feel comfortable with having enough for greens from late spring through first frost.
Of all food types that I eat, greens are the ones I look to native plants to provide. Living in Texas and trying to grow leaf lettuce was a study in frustration, and even less suited to New Mexico mountains. I started looking for alternatives and discovered native plants were easy and generally better tasting than anything provided by the Market Economy. I assign my native New Mexico Goosefoot to that category. It will provide greens all summer with no supplemental water or care. More free to me greens!
As for winter storage, my preference is to store them as seeds, and use in baked goods and for sprouting them as microgreens in my greenroom. If they are comparable to their cousins, they are high in protein, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, iron, Vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. I imagine they can be canned or frozen like any green, but I don’t like canned greens. I prefer them briefly sautéed, quickly stir fried, chopped and dropped in soups at serving. I think New Mexico Goosefoot makes a delicious “pesto” sauce, it doesn’t taste like basil, but it is good. At the end of the season, I suggest you run the last of them through the blender, and freeze them in small freezer bags or in ice cube trays then transferred to bags. A flavorful and nutritious winter addition to slaw, rice or potato dishes, soups, etc.
Although New Mexico Goosefoot is one of my native edibles, much more is known about Lamb’s Quarters (Chenopodium album) and that it has naturalized in the eastern US and other countries. I grew it in Texas and it naturalized in my garden. Seattle? For sure. T
his wild New Mexico Goosefoot addition to my vegetable garden, summer and winter, is perfect for me, my chickens, and the rabbits in my food forest.