To weed or not to weed

With increasing amounts of wood sorrel (Oxalis) and purslane (Porulaca oleracea) emerging in the vegetable garden, I am torn between pulling them out to plant rotational crops or letting them be.

They spread rapidly, but are delicious. They can form a thick mat choking out delicate seedlings, but they make great salad toppings.

Such is the complicated relationship with volunteers. I love the crunch of purslane on a sandwich or as part of a salad. Its slightly sour taste with crunchy bite cannot be beat on a hot and sultry day. It is tough and thick with juices.

Wood sorrel is a bit the opposite. The moment it is picked, it must be consumed quickly as its delicate leaves shrivel if you look at it the wrong way. It, too, is tart but has a slightly more citrusy staple. It can sometimes be confused with clover’s (Trifolium) more rounded-shaped leaf. No matter, all are edible. And yummy.

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