Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Edible Weeds: lots to love about Purslane

I was poking around on mother earth news and was reading an interesting article on how healthy purslane is and I had to feel a bit guilty- I spent a couple of hours today pulling weeds and purslane is the most common weed I have. I don't aim to keep my garden perfectly weed free but even with landscape fabric, cornmeal, and mulch its a never ending battle against spurge, burmuda grass and purslane for precious water and space. I remember reading about edible weeds in "Stalking the Wild Asparagus" years ago so I reasoned it was safe to add to my compost bin unlike most other weeds. For some reason I havent been able to bring myself to eat 'weeds'- yet.
I guess its because I'm not much of a salad fan so as tasty as dandelions, sheperds purse and purslane may be I have the excuse of not being a salad person to avoid eating them. But in the name of good gardening as well as being more open minded I will probably nibble on some purslane and see how it is. I mean really, if its thriving in your garden,its plentiful, and its FREE and its healthy why not eh? Talk about the ultimate freebie!

If I can be 'brave' enought to forego the traditional lawn and water greedy landscape plants for edibles I may as well try the stuff I didnt plan on planting but showed up anyway. How about you guys?

Do you go as far as to cultivate what others consider weeds ( dandelion, chicweed, dock, purslane, miners lettuce, etc) or just joyfully pick whats edible as you pull other less wanted pests? Just poking on Mother Earth news I found 2 articles of interest, of course theres good ole google if you're looking for more :)

WILD FOODS IN YOUR GARDEN
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/1992-06-01/Wild-Foods-in-Your-Garden.aspx
Power-Packed Purslane
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/2005-04-01/Power-packed-Purslane.aspx



I posted this on the Freedom Gardener forums and I wasnt the only one suprised that this 'weed' is so awesome! I also found a few more links via other posters. This site here deals with edible/medicinal wild plants groups by month, heres the link to their July page with many useful facts on purslane, some recipes, and more links to other sites mentioning purslane.
http://www.prodigalgardens.info/july%20weblog.htm#Purslane


Last but not least one of my favorite blogers SonomaMom had this wonderful looking recipe for a Turkish Purslane Stew

So next time I go on a weeding frenzy I'm going to finally put that weed to good use and try eating it.

2 comments:

asonomagarden said...

Thanks for the link! Eating something that you formerly thought of as a weed is a jump, isn't it? I knew for a while how good dandelions are for you, but the thought of digging them out of my lawn was a little strange. Now I just consider myself like an old Italian grandma who roams the countryside looking for fresh greens for her salad.

Robj98168 said...

good for you! I have never tried pruslane, in fact I couldn't identify it. But I have discovered Borage- a lot of folks around here consider that a weed. And I eat dandelion greens. And wild blackberries! And Plums that grow on trees at work! I will try anything once as long as I know what it is!