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Permaculture and “Weed-Eating”

don't buy it—forage it!

This post from the NYTs about purslane, an easy to find weed and superfood, brings me back to some of the discussions we’ve had at Grown in Westhampton.

Permaculture means “permanent culture,” and is a concept more or less allied with the concepts of “sustainable economy” and “support your local farmer.” In its most authentic form, permaculture means getting your food, shelter and clothing from local sources. If you try to achieve this goal, foraging becomes a part of your way of life.

In other words, you have to learn to eat “weeds.” :)

So, why not use this NYTs blog as a prompt, and go out and forage some purslane in the next couple of days. It grows basically wherever someone has disturbed soil—if you have a garden you know what I mean.

2 admonitions: Be careful to forage from uncontaminated soil: roadsides etc. are no good! Do your best to identify the right wild edible—use the pic in the NYT blog or find a better one in a plant guide; and take a tiny taste first; if it tastes “off” don’t eat it.

Keep your eye out for free wildfood-walks; in the Valley, there are always a few being offered every month in the summer and fall.

Comments (4)

  1. I’d love to forage for purslane but in LA we face a coupla challenges: Rattlesnakes and a scarcity of uncontaminated soil. And knowing me, I’d pick some poisonous herb, hurl it into my salad and kill my family. BUT i am NOT discouraged! I will pursue the purslane! And I’m going to stay tuned to your site…

  2. susan rees says:

    Yum, but check out the price. That’s a lot of money for weeds…

  3. Kurt Heidinger says:

    They’re free, though, Susan. Come on over and I’ll show you!

  4. Kurt Heidinger says:

    Rattlesnakes! Yipes! Bring a dog with you? The contaminated soil is a real issue, but if you grow a garden (even a small one) you’ll probably find purslane popping up; or you can find some in a friend’s garden, wait until they seed and then plant the “weeds” yourself! Study after study support the superfood status of this edible. What I’d love to find are more recipes, ones that go beyond fresh salads.

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