A goosefoot is actually a plant—of the genus Chenopodium. There are 150 varieties, many whom have leaves resembling the foot of a goose. Quinoa, the garden beet, swiss chard, spinach, and lambsquarter are all edible members of the goosefoot family.
The founders wanted a name that wouldn’t commit their new organization to a specific purpose, so they looked to the plant kingdom. The name has served us well as Goosefoot’s projects have shifted over the years depending on the needs of the South Whidbey community.
Lambsquarter—a tasty and nutrient rich weed— is a goosefoot plant that Goosefoot the organization has a particular affinity with. It grows well in all soil conditions and is adept at revitalizing the nutrients in poor soils. It tends to pop up on its own in gardens and in other unexpected areas such as beside roads or paths. It is easily identifiable, highly nutritious, and available for free to many. And, of course, its leaves resemble the foot of a Goose.
What about Goosefoot the organization? For over 21 years, Goosefoot has played a major role in the life of the South Whidbey community known as Bayview, located on either side of a pretty busy road—Highway 525. We popped up at Bayview Corner in 1999, where we renovated the Historic Cash Store, relocated and renovated the Sears Kit House from Greenbank, among many other improvements.
In 2005, we dropped in across the highway at Bayview Center, purchased acreage and took over ownership of an ailing grocery store, gutted it, and reopened it in 2009 as The Goose Community Grocer.
Goosefoot’s community grant program, started in 2014, allows us to pop up throughout South Whidbey to help non-profits. And we like to think our free business workshops and community events add educational and social nutrients into our community. So join us in celebrating the proud, prolific, and nutritious weed that Chenopodium—aka Goosefoot—is. We hope to keep popping up all over for a long time to come!