The laws in Texas might change very soon when it comes to a certain edible plant, and I do mean marijuana. But right now there are six wild edible plants in Texas that are growing free, and you can eat them and enjoy them without thinking you’re going to die. Isn’t that fun?

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How many plants are growing in your yard right now that you could eat? Of course, you don't want to just plop anything on your plate. That's a good way to get a trip to the hospital or worse. Mark Vorderbruggen, the founder of the website Foraging Texas, offers hands-on foraging classes (which Cheatham likes to call a “speedy weed feed”), and these are the best way to get started. He recommends going with someone who has experience in edible plants (no, not THAT one!) or joining a class to learn how to identify safe ones.

With those words of warning in mind, here's a short list of Texas plants that you can add to your menu.

1) Chickweed

Range: Statewide

How to eat it: Blend into a pesto or add to smoothies

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The plant usually pops up in late winter and early spring and is like spinach. If you add it to a smoothie, it will make it slightly creamy. The Central Texas Gardener site recommends using it in a pesto recipe.

2) Chile pequin

Range: Central and South Texas

How to eat it: In a salsa or jelly

This is the official (and only) native state pepper in Texas. It grows well in both sun and shade. Most of the hot peppers sold in grocery stores are in the same family as the chile pequin, including jalapeño. You might have one in your yard right now.

3) Dewberry

Range: Central, East, and North Texas

How to eat it: Fresh off the vine, baked in a pie or cooked in a jam

It looks just like a blackberry because, under a microscope, it's the same thing. The wild dewberry shrubs grow everywhere in Texas, including by the side of the road. Watch out for thorns if you pick them!

4) Horehound
Range: Central and West Texas
How to eat it: Brewed in tea, or boiled down into a candy

Horehound is a member of the mint family and a great natural remedy for a sore throat or cough. You can brew the leaves to make tea with a flavor described as a cross between root beer and licorice.

5) Loquat

Range: Statewide, especially in South Texas

How to eat it: Fresh, in preserves, or as a liqueur

Loquats handle cold easily and grow throughout Texas in late spring and early summer. They taste similar to an apricot, and loquat liqueur has an amaretto flavor.

6) Yaupon holly

Range: East and Central Texas

How to eat it: Brewed in a tea

Yaupon can be made into a drink like green or black tea. During World War II rationing, the government promoted it as a substitute for coffee and tea. Yaupon holly grows best in sandy soil.

10 Easy Things to Grow In Your Texas Garden

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Top 20 Restaurants Central Texans Wish Would Come to Temple

A while back, I asked the good people of Temple if they could picture a good restaurant to fill the lot on North General Bruce Drive where the soon to be torn down Long John Silver's stood.

This was before it was announced that a Dutch Bros. Coffee location would open there (which was one of the places I predicted as a contender in our article).

So now Dutch Bros. is open in that spot, but the responses to my survey were interesting because they paint a picture of just how diverse Temple's population is. People recommended some familiar restaurants with locations in the surrounding area, but also a few I'd never even heard of.

Here are the top 20 results of the survey. Let's see what the good people of Temple are craving!

 

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