Wild, but worth cultivation

Chenopodium Album belongs to the Amaranthaceae family. It is an edible green also known as goosefoot, wild spinach, and lambs quarters. I first learned of this plant when it popped up in the garden in the spring of 2015 after we purchased a dump truck full of soil to fill our new raised beds in the garden. It was a welcome surprise. We quickly learned that this plant was not only edible, but as nutritious as spinach, hence one of its nicknames wild spinach.

Prompted by an Anthropology class on Native America and its inhabitants, I have learned more about goosefoot and the indigenous peoples who ate it.

Potawatomi and Miami peoples called it  “koko’cîbag” pronounced as “go kosh beg”. They would eat it raw and cooked. They used it to make bitter medicines taste better and to ward off and treat scurvy. Check out the nutritional information below; you’ll see that this plant offers up some serious vitamin A and C!



A surprise goosefoot growing in a raised bed


Chenpodium Nutrition

@015 to 2017 before and after raised beds.jpg

Raised bed installation picture 2015 (left) and the same area photographed again in spring 2017 (right)
Plants found in the shot include hops, elderberry, bee balm, tarragon, and salad burnet.  Notice how you can hardly see the fence in 2017 – the elderberry fedge (food-hedge) has settled in nicely.


About us

About us

Garden Guardian with Cardinal
Garden Guardian with Cardinal symbolizes the intersection between nature and art in the garden.

ORGANIC: relating to or derived from living matter

SAVAGE: of an animal or force of nature

Hi, I’m Katie, and this is the Muncie Permaculture Project. Here you’ll find pictures of plants, wildlife, Permaculture techniques, and art that promotes nature. I like to stay busy painting, reading sociology/anthropology/ethnobotany texts, hiking, mushroom hunting, and exploring my surroundings on bike. I’m currently a Sociology MA student at Ball State University where I’m being trained to collect data and study the social world. I hope to help people understand the importance of working with nature, rather than against it.


Katie Profile

“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive“. -Audre Lorde

Raised beds and elders 2016
Raised beds and Elderberry Fedge (Food Hedge) along the fence, hops growing above on line. 2016
hugelkultur 1 (before 2 and 3 were made) 2015.


evolve and revolve
Swale and Hugelkultur areas. 2017

My partner is artist Aaron Leif Nicholson, founder of Culture Maker Design Studio. He designed a lot of the garden infrastructure, including the hugelkultur systems we have in place. Visit Aaron’s art website: aaronleifnicholson.com

The picture below shows his 10 foot, 700 lb sculpture entitled Refuse or Refuge. It is installed at the Stevens Point Sculpture Park in Wisconsin.

“Without trees, we cannot inhabit the earth.”
― Bill Mollison

Refuse or Refuge by ALN
Refuse or Refuge Aaron Leif Nicholson Completed 2017


Beginning in June 2013, I stopped focusing on traditional annual gardening, and began creating a backyard habitat. Focusing mostly on native perennials, the grass in the yard has slowly gone away in favor of useful plants. We still plant annuals each year, like tomatoes, peppers, peas and beans, but from seeds we have saved, or plants started by local organic farmers.

Backyard 1
Spring 2017