Updated: Dec 16, 2019
The warmth of Spring is a warm welcome after a long winter of work and play in the snow covered mountains. The majority of my time is spent "getting it while I can get it" working like a crazy person during the four busy ski months in SLC and Park City. Just as the days start to get longer I find myself completely drained and ready for the warmth of summer to lift my mood and get me outside.
Warmth in Utah means gardening, hiking, swimming and playing with my dogs. I like to refer to my dog walks as "walks with benefits" because I will use them as an excuse to get off the couch and look for foraging spots and fun edible treats hidden around the area.
The yellow glacier lilies in the mountains and buds in the trees in the deepest parts of the valley are my first signs that the weather is on the ups. Spring time foraging is often overlooked because the majority of the "good stuff" like berries and mushrooms, are found in the late summer and fall months. On the contrary, there's a ton of interesting things that grow in these early months and I encourage that when you are out on your next dog walk, to keep your eyes peeled for some of these springtime Utah goodies.
Purslane is an annual succulent that can be found pretty much everywhere. I see this plant growing on city streets, sidewalks, weeds in vegetable gardens and so on. It does require a decent amount of moisture to keep it going and the more water the plant receives, the more delicious and special the plant becomes. It is advisable to search for the best purslane plants in unkept city landscaping with water drip lines, along the banks of rivers and streams, in your backyard gardens and flower beds and basically anywhere man has landscaped and hasn't kept up on the weeding. This delicious succulent grows low to the ground from a central taproot, meaning all of the branches stemming from a plant will all congregate back to the same place. Stems are green or green with reddish highlights. Leaves from the plant grow from the stalk in a star shaped pattern of four leaves and most importantly, when you break the stems there should be a clear liquid that seeps from the plant, NOT A MILKY WHITE SUBSTANCE! The plant itself is a nutritional powerhouse and is high in vitamin C and protein! Happy hunting and look for another post on another spring edible shortly!