Edible weeds- Purslane


If you are serious about eating cheap and healthy then it is time to learn about the food that is all around you and will not cost you a single penny.

You will need to invest some time in harvesting it and before you harvest you will need to educate yourself about what you are planning to eat.

After all it is not wise to step out into your backyard or an abandoned lot and simply pick yourself a salad or something for a stir fry unless you know what you are picking.

Some of the plants we call weeds provide a cornucopia of nutrition and flavour and for the most part they are out there waiting to be harvested.

Plant identification is vital here, you really must know what you are about to put in your mouth. A good field guide that details edible wild plants is important. Do your homework before eating anything.

The second thing is know the site where you are about to harvest. If it is your yard and you do not use any chemicals on the site then pick and wash, unless you live in a heavily industrial area or have next door neighbours who spray.

Abandoned lots are often full of weeds and some will be edible but what was there before the lot was abandoned?

One of the more common edible plants that is likely to be in your lawn is Purslane (Portulaca oleracea). Purslane likes to pop up in cultivated fields in cultivated soils throughout Canada and the United States.

In the summer you will have little difficulty in finding a steady supply, if your urban hunting grounds are gardens, flower beds and even planters.

Or if you are venturing out in the country for a walk then keep your eyes open.

Purslane will stand out as its thick red stalks will be laying on the ground; the noticeable stalks and the fleshy, small leaves will remind you of a succulent but Purslane is a hardy annual that produces seeds prolifically.

The tender tips are what you are after, harvest them, They can measure anywhere from one to eight inches.

Purslane can be sautéed in butter with mushrooms, for example or you can add it to salads or soups.

Purslane is a great place to begin your wild food adventure or if you are already on that path and are familiar with other readily available foods such as lambs quarters and dandelions, purslane will make an excellent addition to your menu.

purslane salad

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Comments 8 comments

Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 7 years ago from West Virginia

Nice! Hey can you do a hub on Mushrooms with pictures. I have many mushrooms of about 3 varieties here. They grow in my gardens, around them and in the flower pots! Never have I seen so many like this here!

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

I'll see what I can do, thanks for dropping by.

C.Ferreira profile image

C.Ferreira 7 years ago from Rutland, VT

Thanks for the tips...I recently was introduced to fiddle heads as a source of free food! I tried them out, and they aren't bad at all. Kind of like asparagus.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

This is fiddlehead season here - they are good in a stir fry, thanks for dropping by.

William H Dorrington 6 years ago

I need info on lambs quarters are there more than one edible species

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

This is a good source on lambs quarters. http://www.susunweed.com/herbal_ezine/September09/...

Pedro 21 months ago

hello,I just wished to write to say how much I've enjeyod reading your site. I am part cherokee on my mother's side and my sister is half blackfoot on her father's side. we are half sisters actually as you can see. but anyways I love anything and everything to do with the Native American culture. I also have a friend who is always looking for new info on this as well and I am having a problem with finding information about her birth totem. Her birthday is September 13 If you could help me I'd be grateful as I say she loves Native American stuff as I do. Also I noticed you do crafts. I do too and am looking for a crochet pattern for a native american girl dress to do for a project I'm working on. If you may have any ideas or could help in any way I'd be grateful. Sorry if I've rambled I take medication due to a serious ailment which has left me bedbound. Thanks again for any and all help!!!!

Terri 21 months ago

Hi AndrewI haven't created any hub pages yet but can see why it could be wohirwhtle. Too much else to do at the present time but this could come in handy in the new year.Have already set goals and this may have to be added. Will I even have time to sleep in 2011 lolThanks for all your encouragement since I began my journey this year Andrew. Much appreciated.Have a wonderful Christmas and may 2011 be all you hope for.Patricia Perth Australia Patricia recently posted..

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