5 Responses to Labor Day

  1. Delle September 2, 2008 at 9:21 am #

    Thanks for introducing me to this plant.

    I am always interested in finding food that is healthful and also different from the same old, same old.

    Now my chore will be to find a food store that sells purslanes.

    I assume it will be quite a task.  grin

  2. Melanie Bettinelli September 2, 2008 at 9:22 am #

    No, I’ve never grown them. Never even heard of them until a few weeks ago. But since I’m very hard on houseplants, it sounds like one I should try my hand at.

    I really, really want to have a garden next year. Or at least a bunch of edible things in pots on the porch if that’s all we can manage. Hopefully we’ll be in our own place and settled by the time winter rolls around and I can start planning to plant lots of goodies in the spring.

  3. Literacy-chic September 1, 2008 at 11:07 am #

    When my husband & I (and son) were living in our first apartment, we had a flower box FULL of purslanes.  It’s just about the only plant I can’t kill.  Very, very hearty plants.  I can’t imagine buying the leaves at a vegetable market!!  smile  (Or eating them!—how interesting!)  Have you ever grown them?

  4. Melanie Bettinelli September 6, 2008 at 8:54 am #

    Susan,

    Thanks for all the great information and tips. All the articles I read about purslane did say it grew invasively in most gardens; but not having a garden, that doesn’t help much.

    I’m not a very green-thumb kind of person and I fear I might be a bust as a gardener. My only experience was growing some pumpkins and other squash when I was about ten. Nevertheless, it does irritate me a little to spend so much on things that I’m pretty sure I could grow myself with a little discipline. If our situation had been different and we weren’t planning to move, I might have invested a little in doing some container gardening. But as we knew we’d be moving and moving potted plants is such a pain, I decided to hold off.

    Having a nice sunny spot for a garden isn’t going to be the primary factor in house buying, but it is something I keep my eye out for.

  5. susan Peterson September 5, 2008 at 11:30 am #

    Purslane is something that just appears in gardens.  I have been letting a few plants of it stay and harvesting it bit by bit for my daily salad. I didn’t know it was so nutritious. I keep thinking it looks as if it would be good to stir fry,but haven’t tried it. 
    Other edible weeds are lambs quarters and wild amaranth (pig weed.)  Also all the parts of a day lily plant are edible…but the only ones I have eaten are the flower buds.  Sometimes you find a large enough stand of old fashioned orange day lilies that you don’t mind sacrificing a few flowers.  The buds are great in a stir fry. 
    Oriental people eat the tender ends of sweet potato vines, about the last six inches of the vine, and I have done this also, but don’t have any in my garden this year.  I never get much in the way of sweet potatoes…little finger sized things.  Do you know about Jerusalem Artichoke, or Girasol? It is a perennial sunflower that makes a nutritious tuber.  They grow wild in most of the country but grow bigger more tender tubers in better soil.  When fresh they are crisp like water chestnuts, with a mildly nutty taste. 

    I hope you find a house with a nice yard and a suitable garden spot.  It is best to see the yard in the summer so you can tell if you have a sunny enough spot.  You can improve the worse soil, but you often can’t do anything about too much shade.  If you are going to garden, Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Albion, Maine, is a company that has developed varieties for Northeastern gardeners.  They give a lot of growing information with each variety in their catalog.  They carry a lot of less well known vegetables, also herbs,flowers, and gardening supplies.
    Susan Peterson

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