Saturday, May 29, 2021

Celebrating Small Blessings

After a challenging month trying to grow food while conserving water, it is nice to celebrate the little blessings. It definitely has been a challenge this May...Oh my gosh! Will it ever rain!? But I've learned the best thing I can do is to maintain our native edible plants in our food forest with as little water as possible. For example, our prickly pear. After enjoying some yummy Nopales, I decided it was only fair to finally water the drooping prickly pear. I also only watered our desert hackberries once. So far, I haven't had to water my mesquite or palo verdes at all. In the way of full disclosure, I do deep-water our drought-tolerant jujubes once a week.  And we have been rewarded with our first baby fruit! 

click on pic to see the baby jujubes 

My daughter-in-law and I did plant a few summer plants from seed: sunflowers and cowpeas. The lizards chowed down on the cowpeas and three of the sunflowers. So we decided to cover the last of the sunflowers with some old shade netting to keep the lizards off.

Fatima constructing a fortress to keep out lizards 

We are enjoying an unexpected benefit. Volunteer purslane has popped up and is thriving in the shade and water I give to the sunflowers. And the netting keeps the lizards from eating it! If you've followed my blog for a while, you may be aware of how obsessed I am with purslane. It is definitely my favorite green. This morning I harvested some for a quick scramble. Popped some in my mouth too. Citrusy deliciousness! I even called over our neighbors to try it.

I removed the wooden shish kabob skewers and rocks holding the netting to the ground.

harvesting the purslane 

I hold the stems while I cut off the yummy top branches and leaves. See, if you leave the stems and roots in the ground they will grow back in a day or two. 

I pull out a few blades of grass that are getting in the way...

I wash the purslane over a bowl to catch the little black seeds. Then I pour the seeds under a plant I already water to grow more purslane for the lizards. lol 

Purslane has a unique flavor when cooked.  I wanted to make sure I could taste it this morning, so I left off the usual pesto and added some fresh tomatoes to compliment it. I quickly sautéed them with 3 eggs. Next time I'll pick a little more purslane, since it tends to shrink when cooked. But today I wanted to have plenty left for one of my favorite dishes: potato and cucumber salad