From an Annoying Weed to a Desirable Treat

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Last Monday Painted Turtle Farm hosted a potluck for all of the people and families connected with the farm as well as all of those who live on campus this summer.  I was happy with the number of people that came.  The food was absolutely delicious and it was probably the best meal I ate since I got here this summer.  It was maybe a little too yummy because I stuffed myself a bit too much.  My stomach was groaning at me in protest as I continued to try new dishes after I had surpassed my food limit.

 My favorite part of the meal was a chicken and purslane soup that one of the families had brought.  Purslane is a weed that we were picking the Wednesday before when a lot of the families were working on their plots in the garden. We planned on tossing the purslane in a pile with the rest of the weeds, but instead many of the families collected the purslane in bags before everyone left for home.  We were really curious and asked them if it was edible.  One man said it was and described the types of dishes that could be made with it.  He told us that he would make something using purslane for the potluck.  He definitely delivered.  They soup was delicious and had a nice heat to it.  I though the dish was neat because I now have a new outlook on purslane because of it.  I don’t just see it as a plant that I have to continuously weed out of the farm, but I also can now look at it as a delectable ingredient to a delicious dish.  I’m glad that we are not just teaching the families how to farm, but the families are also teaching us.  The relationship goes both ways.

Sarah Beth Watson