Â Â Purslane up close under the microscope by AquarianBath
It takes a lot of discipline to keep up with weed control in the garden from growing season to growing season. Â Even if your garden isÂ a bit neglected, you still might be able to reap rewards in the form of edible weeds.
My most recent batch of overgrown garden weeds was Purslane (Portulaca oleracea). Â Below is just one purslane plant that I neglected to pull. It was`about the size of my green pepper plant that is was growing next to by the end of our August rainy season. Oops! What a shame it would be to just compost it. Purslane is a tasty weed to eat when it is young with tender leaves, or when it is older with stems pickled. Â Not only is it tasty, it is also exceptionally high in Omega-3 essential fatty acid.
If you have a lot of purslane that is mostly stem, try this pickling recipe by Pamela Jones.
Pickled Purslane Recipe from the book Just Weeds:
Purslane stems: enough to stuff 2 pint jarsApple Cider Vinegar 1.5 cups
Water 1.5 cups
Peppercorns 1/4 teaspoon
Garlic 1 crushed clove
Sea Salt 4 Tablespoons
Celery seed 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard seed 1/2 teaspoon
Fill 2 pint jars with washed and drained Purslane stems. Boil together all ingredients for one minute. Leave 1/4 inch of head space and store in the fridge.
I’m glad to know I’m not the only EcoEtsy team member who enjoys eating weeds.
- Pickled Purslane
Here is what the rest of the team had to say about eating garden weeds:
I use purslane in salads. ~Judith Bunn, Knox Farm Fiber
I grow my ownÂ purslane. Put also put it in salads and sometimes cook like spinach, with sea salt and butter. Â I buy dandelions and put the young leaves in salads. Older leaves I blanch. Â I cook diced bacon and oil, then add leaves to wilt. ~Bee, The Wooden Bee
“Cleavers (Galium aparine) is good for sore throats.” Annabel, Tinkan Designs
I love the dandelion greens in a salad in the Spring. We live in a rural area where access to fresh greens isn’t always possible during the winter months. Dandelion greens are a spring tonic that purifies the blood, helps to restore the system after winter colds and is loaded with minerals and vitamins A, C, D and B. The other herbs I value are more for my chickens than for me, although I also keep them for their medicinal uses: comfrey, chickweed, lambs quarters, shepherd’s purse and many more. I pick them every day for my chickens who live in a coop because we are in a village and have limited grazing space. We have a mother hen sitting on eggs now and they will be hatching in a few days. I am letting the chickweed grow everywhere because it is the favourite fresh and tender green for new chicks. Â ~Morgen, Kootsac
I love dandelion greens. ~Linda, Linda Eve
I have lambs quarters that come up. I like to dry and powder them to add to my morning smoothies as a healthy addition. ~Kendra, Girl On Bike
I love using weeds in cooking and for medicinal purposes. I use dandelion greens in salads and teas. I also dig up the dandelion roots, dry them, and grind them up for teas. They’re high in potassium and are a natural diuretic and liver tonic. Plantain and mullein are both great for colds, respiratory problems and there is a ton of it around here. I dry those by hanging them in my closet for a few days then, then I chop them up and save them for teas. ~Desiree, We Grow Roots
Wood sorrel was a pleasant lemony surprise. Chickweed is super yummy and easy to work with. I toss it in everything. ~Cindi Brooks, Brass Paper Clip
I love April when the dandelions bloom. This recipe is from Susun Weed’s Healing Wise Dandelion Aperitif: Add 2-3 cups blossoms to a jar.Â Add 2/3 cup sugar, rind of 1/2 a lemon and a quart of vodka. Cap, shake daily for at least 2 weeks. Strain. For hot tea add 1 tbsp per cup of hot water, add honey to taste. Great for your kidneys and at least for me if taken at night really helps me sleep. ~Stacy Ann Whalen of Meadow Muffin
Do you have a favorite edible garden weed? Â How do you like to prepare it?