Another weed that isn’t a weed!
Purslane, (Portulaca oleracea) is an annual originally from India but long grown as a vegetable in China, England, and even in Australia by the Aborigines. It thrives in full sun, poor soil and drought. No known insect or disease problems. Garden purslane is upright, a cleaner harvest, not the little mat plant. In good conditions, it grows over a foot tall! Pinch off tops to get it to ‘bush.’ Once started, let it self sow. The ground cover type is also edible though not as convenient.
Purslane Power! Purslane contains one of the highest known concentrations of Omega-3 fatty acids — five times the concentration in spinach. Chickens grazing on purslane produce high omega-3 eggs. In Mexico, called verdolaga, it is eaten in omelets, as a side dish, rolled in tortillas, or dropped by handfuls into soups and stews. I simply add it raw to salads. Precaution: Individuals with a history of kidney stones should use purslane with caution as it may increase kidney filtration, urine production, and possibly cause a stone to move. Purslane injection induces powerful contractions of the uterus, but oral purslane is said to weaken uterine contractions. Avoid use during pregnancy.
Mary Lynn Schlomkowitz, Plot 42, Pilgrim Terrace Community Garden, says: Enjoy your fresh herbs – OREGANO is a favorite of her family!
Harvest long stems of it (full length and this will vary depending on plant size.) Rinse off dust, strip the leaves off the bottom of the stems for about 4 inches and place them in water. You will have fresh oregano for several days. Chop the stripped leaves for cooking or to add to the top of a salad. If you picked a lot of stems, you may want to dry some leaves and store them in a tight jar in a dark cupboard. Set them to dry between paper towels in a sunny indoors spot. The top paper towel keeps the leaves from turning black as they dry. Fresh herbs are delicious and now I understand why people in northern climes in earlier times eagerly awaited spring so they could resume eating fresh herbs. They are also nutritious. We are so spoiled in the Santa Barbara area that we can enjoy fresh herbs year round.
Enjoy great health and tasty feasting!