Cheap Date: Eat Your Weeds

The Traumatized Budget
2 min readAug 29, 2023

It’s Purslane season, darlings

Context is everything. Chances are, if you saw this succulent plant packaged up in the cool refrigerated transepts of your gourmet grocery store, you’d be all curious to pay and try.

But if you’re yanking it from your own garden, familiarity breeds contempt.

This is purslane. It is the only weed I eat.

I eat it every summer. I throw it in salads and saute it lightly with eggs or toss it with boiled potatoes. In fact, I eat it while I am actually weeding, sometimes. I do.

Once or twice I’ve also used rose petals or pansies from my garden for cake tops or salad, but those don’t have the lovely underdog allure of the common purslane.

Purslane grows in abundance in my area this time of year. It is edible, delicious, and massively good for you. It has a flavor a bit like spinach, and a bit like asparagus, with a twist of lemon at the end. The texture reminds me of asparagus tips, although some have described it as okra-like (no fur, though).

I’ve found chicory, wild strawberry, wild garlic, and young pokeweed in my garden at various times, plus I must have a lot of other stuff I don’t recognize. But I’m timid, and haven’t rooted around too much.

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The Traumatized Budget

I’m a 60 (😱)-something bohemian with a mountain of debt and regrets. Can I dig out before it’s all over? I brake for poets.