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Gardener reveals the surprising secret superpower of a common weed you probably have growing in your garden: 'I had no idea'

The newlywed couple is on a mission to share low-cost methods of producing food.

A homegrown hand-gathered purslane taco

Photo Credit: @homegrown_handgathered / Instagram

Nobody likes pulling weeds out of the garden, but one gardener is making the most of those pesky weeds. 

"Here's how we turn our garden weeds into delicious food," says Silvan Goddin (@homegrown_handgathered) in a popular Instagram Reel

The scoop

Silvan and Jordan of Home Grown | Hand Gathered are on a mission to share low-cost methods of producing food, whether in the city or the suburbs, showcasing helpful tips and tricks on social media. 

In the Reel, Silvan prepares an incredible-looking taco using common purslane, a prevalent weed found in gardens across North America.

Purslane is one of many edible weeds that often go to waste because many gardeners don't know how to use them. "So many are tasty and nutritious edible plants," Silvan explains. 

According to Healthline, purslane can be eaten raw or cooked and is a nutrient-dense food packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. Silvan describes the succulent as having a "juicy, crunchy texture and a delightfully lemony flavor." 

The tacos in the Reel are inspired by Silvan's travels in Mexico, where there is a long tradition of eating purslane, or verdolaga as it is locally known.

How it's helping

Little to nothing goes to waste in Jordan and Silvan's garden, and they are rewarded with delicious greens that "require no work from us at all other than noticing and harvesting them," Silvan says. 

Edible weeds like purslane are good for the body and keep mealtime interesting by adding diversity to the average salad, soup, or taco. Learning how to use freely growing crops like purslane and other edible weeds is also a great alternative to buying a bag of salad mix every week. 

Discovering how to identify and benefit from edible weeds can help gardeners further connect to nature while reducing their reliance on the conventional food system.

What everyone's saying

"This is something that's in almost everyone's lawn (where I live) yet I had absolutely no idea you could eat them," one commenter replied after watching Silvan's Reel. "Thanks for the education!" 

"I had no idea it was good cooked!" another replied. 

While some were shocked this common weed could be eaten, commenters from around the world shared their favorite recipes incorporating the plant. 

"We call this 'semizotu' in Turkish," one commenter shares. "We cook it as stew with onions and tomato paste and serve with yoghurt+garlic sauce on top." 

From Nigeria and India to Indonesia and indigenous American cuisines, commenters shared their favorite recipes, including tangy purslane. 

Safely learn how to enjoy purslane and other edible weeds by using resources such as professional gardeners, outreach centers and extension offices, and well-vetted guidebooks for your area.

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