online permaculture course at the moment and I'm reading Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway as part of that. Both highly recommended and free. If you want to try the course, just click on the link above and ignore the FBI copyright notice, it will go after a minute or so.
Anyway, the first rule of permaculture is to observe. Observe nature and see how it works, so you can copy it and observe your plot of land to see what wants to grow there, what are your general conditions. So, the other day I took a leisurely stroll through my terraces on a sunny spring-like day, taking note of what I saw.
I have already identified many edible and medicinal species on our land before and, as our land is to 50% vertical, I let most weeds grow on those parts. I really only use half my land for planting, i.e. the horizontal parts. Species of 'weeds' I picked up on this at this time of year included: dandelion, primroses, sorrel (loads and loads), borage, wild parsley, wild leek, goosegrass, oregano, yarrow, wood sorrrel, wild strawberries, mallow, corn cockle, fennel, wild beet to name but a few.
But then there was this pretty yellow flower pictured above (in flower now!) which I couldn't immediately identify. Always the intrepid explorer I picked some leaves and a flower, rubbed them together and had a sniff... Not much smell to it. So I popped a flower in my mouth and boy(!) it was delicious. It has a really nice sweet flavour to it. I thought to myself something so tasty couldn't be poisonous, so I ate some more. Back home I checked out my herb books and identified it as common toadflax. It's nowhere described as an edible, but it does have medicinal properties aiding in bladder problems and also liver complaints. Although I have seen it described as mildly toxic (hey so is Tequila!), I have not noticed any ill effects on me. I shall sprinkle a few onto future salads I reckon. Hurray for edible weeds.