herbalisticJune 25, 2008

I just gave a talk entitled "One man's Weed is another man's Herb" for our local Master Gardener group. One of the "weeds" that is growing everywhere in my garden now is Purslane. IN my research, I was amazed to learn that purslane has the most Omega -3 fatty acids of any leafy vegetable!

Are any of you selling purslane at market? I read that it is showing up more at Farmers' markets and am thinking about bringing it to mine with some recipes. How much should I sell it for?

I took lambs quarters [chenopodium album] a couple weeks ago and offered at $1 bunch but had no takers. Kind of surprised a few people tho' at seeing "weeds" for sale at the market lol! So I educate people on how much more nutritious it is than spinach. LQ has 309 mg of calcium!

I passed out recipe sheets at my "weed" talk and several said they were going to try some of the recipes - most notably the Lamb's Quarters Quiche and the Purslane -cucumber salad

I would like to hear from any other marketers who have offered stuff like this at market.

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I just tried selling garlic scapes today. Lots of looking, only a few sales. But I don't have scales and sell by the bunch, not sure if that is affecting things. It really helps, I have found, if you can talk about the different products and give cooking ideas.
Is purslane that stuff with the fat shiny leaves that is growing wild in my garden? I think my chickens like it too, wish they liked bindweed that well.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 1:06AM
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I have sold purslane in the past, I think I got around $2.50 a half pound for it. Sold lambsquarter for $2.50 a pound a couple of weeks ago (it was a special request).

I sell garlic scapes for $4 a half pound bag. They can be a hard sell, be sure to have recipes. Asians, especially Chinese and Koreans, love garlic scapes

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 6:56AM
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It is all a matter of education. I find if I bring something unusual to market I spend a lot of time explaining but not much selling of it. However, they do come into the booth to see what else I have (normal)or what weird next week, so it is good in that sense. I wouldn't base my major selling item as the "needs explanation and only the brave will try it" item. I call these things "shills". Recipes are wonderful, though a tiny bit of extra work. What really does work is lots of prepared food samples. People like to eat stuff that is FREE. If you are going to offer this same weird thing for weeks, people come back and ask for it. If it is a one time thing, they forget. I once offered "do-it-yourself" horseradish with tastes and recipe. Two years later people are asking me when it will be offered again. I offered Korean Red (very hot and spicy) garlic by the clove (not bulb) for the adventuresome (with samples of green beans marinated with these cloves and chopped onion, olive oil, salt). They still come by and ask if I have any this season (yes, I just happen to have some cloves here at $10 per pound). If you think there is a market for purslane, go for it. Most people view it as a weed but it really is nutritious and your job is to educate them. Just tell them not to put into their compost pile and to please, take a bite of this delicious "prepared whatever".


    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 8:07PM
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Hi, I sell golden purslane (a larger, cultivated type) sporadically through the summer. I have 1 customer that will buy it whenever I have it. I sell for $10.00/lb, which is what all my baby, washed greens sell for. I agree with nancedar, I do a lot of talking but not so much selling. I have also sold stinging nettle, lamsquarter, beet tops, and malabar, not to mention pennycress, foxtail and dock in flower bouquets. I get quite a bit of teasing from the other farmers but over time you can build up a following for different things.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 4:30PM
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I love that you market gardeners are selling some of these things. I'm a home gardener, and sometimes wonder why I'm devoting so much energy to pulling the weeds when they're probably more nutritious than the crops I'm making room for. A few years ago I started involuntarily growing a gardenful of red root pigweed, savored by my Mexican friend as 'quintonila". I feel bad when I pull it because she'd love to eat it! I also love the fact that I'm growing all the calcium I can use in lamb's quarters, and now you're saying purslane is high in antioxidants. It's a shame that people know so little about nutritious eating, but keep educating. We sure need it!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 2:39PM
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thanks for your feedback. i find I do a certain amount of education it seems no matter what i sell. I recently started putting some info pages in plastic page protectors in a notebook since room for signage is at a premium. I can hand the appropriate page to an interested party to read while I take care of another customer if need be. One person told me today they thought my notebook was a great idea.
Last year I sold purple and yellow wax beans in addition to the ever popular green beans and had to do some educating with those even. I've taught people about tomatillos, shallots, garlic etc. One of the great things about a farmers market is the education people can get there. I'm not pushing the purslane or lamb's quarters too heavy here since this is a rural area and people can go find it for free, so those have been more for educational purposes. As with anyone else, focus has to be on what sells the best for you.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 4:01PM
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wild purslane became a living mulch under my tomatoes this year. i tried freezing and drying it. both were fine in soups. it even thickened up tomato sauce with no change in taste. but the best ways so far are raw in salads and dropped in just-boiled water, & sit for 2 minutes.
i also grew sunchokes. LOTS of sunchokes. i sold them to some local restaurants for $4/lb. i've never sold anything before- what a thrill ! they are interested in anything grown locally. next year i plan to grow a lot of hot peppers. does anyone know how to price produce for a restaurant verses a farmer's mkt ? is it connected to the price in a grocery ?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 11:12PM
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emmakitty(z5 IL)

I don't know where you all are located, but here in the big city of Chicago my local farmers market is shopped by many Hispanic chefs who LOVE to see purslane for sale. Only one seller had it available (and let me tell you, it certainly was locally picked) and he sold all he brought with him by the end of the day! And would bring more!
If any of you are located in Illinois region, please please please bring your garlic and otherwise to our small farmers markets. They are loaded with ethnic chefs that crave those odd "weeds" you have for sale!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 12:51AM
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