Popping persimmons and purslane

Persimmon tree at All in Common Garden
Persimmon tree at All in Common Garden

Hi, this is Pax, and this week’s post is sponsored by the letter P. I’m very excited to announce that we are harvesting persimmons at the All in Common Garden! These beautiful orange globes, popping with color amongst the green leaves of their tree, have been tantalizing volunteers and visitors since they finally began ripening a few weeks ago. Guests have repeatedly asked when we are going to pick them, and even if we’re going to sell them. We’ve been explaining that once harvested, they will be given away with the other locally-grown produce at the Free Farm Stand.

Tree and friend with persimmon
Tree and friend with persimmon in All in Common Garden

You can see how big these beautiful fruits are, it takes two people to show one off! Tree’s friend is here to help us build our new greenhouse at All in Common. More help is still needed!

Fruits from All in Common Garden
Basket of fruits from All in Common Garden: Persimmon, pineapple guavas, avocado

My persimmon is keeping company with other fruits from the garden I’ve mentioned in previous posts: Pineapple guavas (feijoas) and avocados. When it’s fully ripe, I plan to make pudding out of it. I am working on perfecting a vegan-friendly persimmon pudding, using silken tofu as the base. I still haven’t figured out just the right spices though. Any suggestions?

Basket of purslane at Free Farm Stand
Basket of purslane at Free Farm Stand

While everyone is excited to see persimmons, far fewer know or appreciate another food I’ve been harvesting: Purslane, also known as verdolaga. This beneficial, edible weed pops up everywhere. It was the first weed I learned to recognize when I began volunteering at Alemany Farm. I was trained to wait until the patches of purslane grow fairly large before picking them, as long as they’re not growing directly next to another plant and thus competing with it for nutrients. I still always harvest large amounts.

Purslane starts and information
Purslane starts and information at Free Farm Stand

I printed out some information on purslane that Tree forwarded to me, so that volunteers and guests at the garden know how and why to eat this plant. The leaves, stems, and buds are all edible, and can be enjoyed raw or cooked. They are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, and also high in Vitamin C. Their juice be used as a remedy for minor bites, stings, and swellings.

Pop over to the Free Farm Stand or the All in Common Garden, and see what other edible treasures we have to share!

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