City of Colorado Springs / Environmental Sustainability / News

City Hall vegetable demonstration garden produced into November
Thursday, November 03, 2011

Swiss Chard, pumpkins, and other veggies
City Hall Veggie Garden

This year the City Hall vegetable demonstration garden produced rhubarb, carrots, Swiss chard, beets, peppers, basil, sage, parsley, cilantro, oregano, chives, shallots, strawberries, pumpkins, kale, radishes, asparagus, zucchini, tomatillos, edible flowers (violets, nasturtiums and calendula) and purslane. In a partnership between the City, Care-n-Share and Pikes Peak Urban Gardens, the food was distributed to those in need through Stratmoor Hills Community Center. During the height of the growing season the garden produced three grocery bags full of (almost) organic produce each week. The food is grown in what were previously annual flower beds at the southeast building entrance. City employees volunteered once per week over their lunch hour to plant, weed and harvest.

The surprise of the season, was purslane. Not because it was growing rapidly in the extreme summer heat, but because we found out that what we’d been pulling as a weed is actually an extremely nutritional plant grown as a food crop in other parts of the world and making a comeback in farmers markets. After trying it ourselves in purslane pesto potato salad and purslane parsley salad, we deemed it tasty as well. It became a part of the harvest and we found that purslane also lasts well once picked. Once we knew what to look for, we saw it growing wildly and rampantly all over Colorado Springs throughout late June, July and August.

Purslane Pesto

  • 1 bunch purslane
  • 2 tablespoonof lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Blend ingredients adding oil slowly until it reaches desired consistency. Add
salt and pepper to taste.

Purslane, Parsley Salad

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes halved or quartered if large
  • 6 cups packed purslane leaves
  • 4 cups packed flat-leaf parsley leaves

Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, onion salt and pepper. Pour over salad ingredients and toss.