The Weed That Might Save the World: Purslane

Droughts and Dinner, Weeds and Gardens

There’s this dire news about global drought which seems hard to believe when one is in Boston (days and days of rain). Good for my garden and me (I like rain.)

Elsewhere, unfortunately, drought prevails. It seems the most populous and fastest growing nations are the ones with the worst drought conditions. Water is scarce and growing more so. Countries are looking to outsource their farming, in weird ways. Like buying or leasing land where there’s more water to grow crops. Here’s the Food Chain article, that got me thinking. (Take a look at the map feature, it’s wild!)

Enter Purslane

  • What if a weed could be farmed that were easy to grow in poor conditions?
  • What if that plant were a succulent and also prolific?
  • What if it were tasty?

Okay, so it may not save the world. But, what if it helps stop the poor distribution of water and resources in drought-stricken areas? What if it helps feed more hungry people? That’s good enough for me.

Today’s Gourmet food column is about “Purslane – The Best Vegetable You’ve Never Had.” Purslane is nutritious, delicious, and it’s in the farmers’ markets now.

And here’s more good news:

City gardeners reclaiming wasted land, and building healthy gardens to feed themselves and their neighbors. As post-apocalyptic nightmares begin to creep in, a little dose of good news goes a long way.

I like those city gardeners tons more than the ones who pay someone to come plant and tend garden in their yard. I guess it’s really no different than hiring a housecleaner, but it strikes me as using a machine to bake bread. (With no disrespect to the actual gardeners!)

The joy of even my little fire escape garden is something I wouldn’t want to be without. Geranium, pansies, nasturtium, morning glories, mints, basil, parsley, thyme, chives, peppers, hibiscus, and more I’ve forgotten the names of.

Now for some real green

Check out my new website. That’s where I’ve gathered most of my Alaska photos, including this one, a new favorite:

and this one:

◊ And speaking of green, referrals are always welcome! Send my article along to someone who might enjoy it. Tell a friend who hires freelancers that you know just the girl for the job. Thanks and happy eating!

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A window into what I’m thinking and writing about.

Whether it's Food & Cooking, Sports, Film, Travel or the Business of Writing can find it all through this page. Use this sidebar and the links below to go directly to whatever strikes your fancy. Jacqueline Church's Facebook profile

Where I’ve been seen, published, cited, syndicated…

  • - Tuesday November 11 @6 PM Povo Blogging Panel. Come to 660 Washington Street in Chinatown at the Archstone Building to see what a panel of bloggers have to say about the state of blogging.
  • - Interviewed by Sarah Turner of Suite101 about Using Blogs to Raise Social Awareness
  • - Reuters, Chicago Sun-Times, Austin American Statesman, BBQ Report, Computer Shopper. See clips here.

For Real on the Virtual Gourmet!

Noted food and wine author John Mariani ran my article Salmon and the Sustainability Zeitgest. Click here to read it!

Books make great gifts, for yourself or others.

Click here to see what's on my Powell's Bookshelf.
Powell's Books

Mark Your Calendars

August 22 - Courtney Hunt's acclaimed film Frozen River at the Coolidge Corner. See Diversions for more.

Caught my eye…

  • The Audubon Insectarium opens in New Orleans. See Getting Down with All that Skitters.
  • Copper River Salmon is so hot, even E!online is commenting on the stars who eat it. Taye Diggs was digging it.
  • Vertical farms? Colbert meets Ethicureans...heaven is for those with humor and ethics, yes? Interesting food for thought here....

On Women and Work

Read my contributions to The Glass Hammer a new blog for executive women.


  1. Tales of the Cocktail may be over but the fun continues. Check the blogs and podcasts for all the news that fit to drink!
  2. The Maori art of facial tatooing is called moko. It is a powerful expression of tribal identity which has only recently enjoyed a resurgence as the colonial Christian prohibitions against it have lessened. Go to the Peabody Essex Museum for this rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of this amazing cultural tradition. The documentary I saw at Sundance years ago on moko, was one of the most powerful films I have ever seen.
  3. The Audubon Insectarium is a new and top-notch attraction in New Orleans. We passed by it and wondered why we'd missed it before. Turns out it's just now opening. No time this last trip, but it's on the list for the next time. Check here for info.

What's on my list?

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