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feeling abundant

One of my delights at the farmers market is checking out the prices for things that are growing well at our own farm. Seeing that raspberries—which we have so many of that they're a chore to pick—are going for $4 for a half-pint eases the pain of having to buy kale, because I didn't plant nearly enough. Seriously, I think we've brought in four or five quarts of raspberries so far; say $64 worth, at the low end. Not counting my labor, of course, but any real work (besides the trouble of picking) was so long ago I hardly remember it anyway.

some raspberries

two minutes' work

I've always felt that way about crops that do well here—in this culture even we anti-capitalists like to reference market economies to help us feel our efforts are worthwhile—but this year there's a new extreme: purslane for sale, at $4 a bundle!

purslane for sale at the farmers market, on a table next to some basil and mint

can you believe it?

Now, we've been eating the stuff every now and again for a while, so I won't argue that it doesn't belong on that table next to the basil. Lijah wouldn't either; he's a big fan. As we were picking some the other day—and I was trying to pick faster than he could eat—he exclaimed unprompted: "I like purslane... ice cream and purslane!" (I assume he didn't mean together).

But if you want to count dollar values, we've probably eaten about $8 dollars worth, fed $20 to the chickens, and thrown $60 or $70 on the compost pile. Probably because I always let it grow a bit here and there, purslane is a serious weed on our farm. I wonder if there's any chance we could get in on the market! Actually, as I think about it I assume it's pretty win-win for the farmers: they can set aside a few bundles of the stuff each market day and if it doesn't sell, it's no loss. If I had more space in the garden I'd have at least one dedicated purslane bed and would be willing to sell to all comers.

As it is, I'll pull out most of it and rest happy in the knowledge that, whatever else happens, our garden will always be full of something that somebody, at least, thinks is valuable. And we also have lots of zucchinis.


I do the same thing! Although we don't really have farmer's markets here. Those raspberries look wonderful! It is a bit too warm here for most varieties of raspberries (I haven't found a variety that will do well) but I've put in quite a few blackberry starts and am hoping that it'll amount to something. We're growing a lot of spekboom on our farm, which is a relative of purslane or at least tastes the same— but we're doing it on purpose because it seems to be a good buddy to the trees.

Eli, who doesn't tend to eat anything we cook for him unless it's bread or meat, really likes to sit outside and eat random weeds (well, the ones I tell him are edible).

Have you ever visited Eat the Weeds? It's a bit addictive— I think I've watched about 100 of his Youtube videos.

Thanks for the tip! (that's and a youtube page). Youtube doesn't actually work on my computer right now, but I just spent half an hour reading about various weeds on the site. Harvey is interested with plant identification these days, so I look forward to sharing some of the info with him later!

Are your blackberries real blackberries? I just discovered that what I've been calling blackberries my whole life—me and everyone else I know—are really black raspberries. At least I think so... too much staring at pictures of barely distinguishable weeds has left me questions everything I once thought I know.

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