For several weeks now, I've been gathering edible weeds at White Barn Farm – an organic farm and CSA located on 1A in Wrentham, MA. While the farmers wait for rows of peppers and tomatoes to ripen, the same rows are already yielding pounds of wild vegetables. One of my staple greens right now is Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea), a warm weather plant that really takes off by early July. In some cases, a single plant can fill a salad bowl.
Common Purslane has crisp stems and fleshy leaves that are widest near the tips. The plants often have several branches originating from a common point, and unless neighboring species help to prop it up, it sprawls out horizontally on the ground. If the plants are fresh and green, I'll simply snap off branches, rinse them, and chop them up for salads. Occasionally, funky leaves or portions of stems need to be discarded, but the vast majority of plants I'm finding right now are in prime condition.