In the garden, we know purslane as a weed, but it is completely edible and very nutritious, containing more Omega-3s than any leafy vegetable plant. It also contains vitamins A, C, E, and B, as well as dietary minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron. All parts of the plant are edible: leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds. To me, the flavor is relatively mild, with a bit of a lemony taste to the leaves. The stems are tender and have a more earthy flavor.
There’s a recipe for Purslane and Cucumber Salad in the new cookbook, Bianco, from Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix(if you have never been, their pizza is fantastic!), and I was inspired to finally try eating purslane. You’ll be happy to learn, it’s fabulous. Plus, harvesting and weeding in one fell swoop is really pretty handy.
To prepare the purslane, rinse thoroughly to remove any grit from the garden, then dry in a salad spinner. Pinch off large bunches of the leaves, no need to stem, and toss them in your salad bowl.
Since both purslane and cucumbers are readily available in the garden right now, this is a perfect salad to use as an introduction to this edible weed. A simple lemon dressing, some thinly sliced red onion, and you’re done. I didn’t grow cucumbers, but zucchini worked just as well, as would anything else you like to use in your salads. If you Google “purslane salad”, it’s amazing how many variations pop up.
To think we’ve all just been tossing it on the Bokashi pile. Maybe we should bundle it up and sell it at the Harvest Sale. Hmmmm….
FERMENTATION CLASS AND DEMONSTRATION
Join Milan Doshi on Saturday, August 5, from noon to 1:30 pm, as he provides an introduction into the wonderful world of fermentation. Participants will learn about the basic history and benefits of fermentation, and then will salt, mix and make their own batch of kraut to take home!
Milan is chef and founder of the Five Points fermentation company and a DUG board member.
Space is limited, sign up now! This class is free.
To sign up online:
- Sign in to the Hours site, https://www.trackitforward.com/site/rosedale-community-garden
- Click on the Events Sign Up tab in the top menu bar.
- Search the calendar for Saturday, August 5.
- Click the box for the Fermentation Class.
- Click on the orange Sign Up box on the right hand side; in the pop up window, click Sign Up.
- You’re done! See you there.
If you have any questions, contact Priscilla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many thanks to everyone who came out on this VERY hot day to help clean up the garden. Weeds, weeds, weeds! No one’s favorite chore, but all that weeding made a big difference in how the garden looks.
Sarah W. bushwhacking the grass:
Adam, Sidney, and Ana weeding the meeting area. Ugh! What a chore!
Sissy, Helen, Paula, and Paul harvesting garlic scapes and attacking the weeds. Double Ugh! But on the plus side, scapes. Yum!
Charlie R. and Kris battling the weeds on the north pathway. Triple Ugh!
Thanks to everyone!!
Bokashi in process is in the blue barrel(Do Not Open). Bokashi tea is in the green barrel. Use the tea as often as you like.
IMPORTANT BOKASHI NOTES
The bokashi barrel(s) is/are filled on a weekly basis with the weeds and plant material that have been placed in the pile in the back of the garden. The barrel(s) is/are emptied each week, the rain barrel is filled with the tea, and the solids are placed in the wooden compost bins.
The bokashi process takes 7 to 10 days to complete. We are currently operating on a weekly schedule, Saturday to Saturday.
- Please, under NO circumstances should the barrel be opened at any time other than during the Saturday bokashi session. Opening the barrel interrupts the bokashi fermentation process.
- Please, DO NOT attempt to tip the barrel at any time other than during the Saturday bokashi session. The filled barrel weighs over 300 pounds and could be dangerous if not handled properly.
If you have any questions, please contact Priscilla at email@example.com.
What are they?
These are Harlequin Bugs. They are not beetles actually, they are stinkbugs. Hence the smell. Its very important we get rid of these, they are relatively non-toxic, but many birds find them disgusting.
Which are their favorite plants?
Gardens with mustards, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, horseradish, turnips, or arugula will likely be affected.
How do we get rid of them?
If you see them, hand pick them and throw them into a bucket of soapy water, just like with Japanese Beetles. Alternately you can just tap the leaf to get them to fall into the water, they are not beetles and cannot fly!
If you find several bugs on one plant, spray the affected plant with a 1% insecticidal soap solution with some neem or pyrethrin. This will kill the ones left on the plant. Kaolin clay solutions/dusting will have similar results.
To make your own insecticidal soap solution, see these instructions.
The nymphs (below) have a striped pattern. Treat them the same way you do adults.
The most important thing however is the eggs (above). Very distinctive white barrel with black stripes. Check the bottoms of your leaves for these. Remove them, squash them, and spray the effected plant with the soap solution.
Chrysanthemum produces pyrethin and repels them. Chamomile, celery, basil, garlic, mint, rosemary, and sage also may help deter them from your cabbages.
They have several insect predators including the wheel bug, the sand wasp, and some parasitic wasps. Yarrow, caraway, and fennel can encourage the parasitic wasps.
If you have pet turtles, chickens, or guinea fowl, they are known to eat these up. If everyone agrees to it (chickens can scratch up some plants, guinea fowl are better) we can set up a day for them to free roam and pick out a bunch of bugs. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free-roam day.
At any rate, keep an eye out for the eggs!