Purslane-deep in the heart of the Arizona desert, during August we have what we call monsoon season. One minute sunny skies that are hot enough to cook your very viscerals (fancy nurse word for inards), the next minute a torrential downpour that fills my 55 gallon water harvesting barrels. Then comes the Ha-boob (desert word for hide behind your camel) that covers all your wet areas with dirt. Thank you so much!
But when you wash the dirt out of your eyes, you see purslane growing everywhere. It seems that it was not even there yesterday and today it threatens to crawl into your house and choke you in your sleep.
But I am not afraid. I allow it to grow where it will because I know the wonderful secret of purslane.
It grows as a weed so therefore it is non gmo, it is a survivor and reseeds itself so therefore it I do not have to help it stay alive. It is nutritious full of omega 3s. It also contains vitamins (mainly vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), vitamin B, carotenoids), and dietary minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron. So not only do my goats, pig, chickens and sheep love it, but I have been known to put it in my morning smoothies. It can be eaten raw in salads, or cooked as well.
What I really appreciate is that it grows in my garden as a living mulch. It shades the soil and allows the moisture to hang out longer than normal. Then when it is time to replant the garden, I tear it out and put it in the compost pile to recycle those wonderful nutrients.
I do not eat a lot of purslane, but I am happy to have it here. I have this weird little belief that all of this wonderful new life on the property is cleansing and healing this little piece of land that we are calling home.