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 :)

Power-Packed Purslane

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.

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.


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!