Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, August 12, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 10


Mountain View News Saturday, August 12, 2023 


Friendly PUMPKIN!

We are calling on you 
wonderful cat lovers for 
help. Pumpkin’s owner’s 
health and financial circumstances 
are becoming 
dire, and we've been 
trying so hard to help her 
find an adopter in order to 
avoid returning Pumpkin 
to a cage where she originally got him. 

She loves Pumpkin so much, has had him from a kitten. He loves getting attention, so needs 
to be an only pet. Born 2014, Pumpkin is active, playful, sweet, and easily handled. He's 
been lovingly raised. He loves humans and will be by your side! Pumpkin loves his toys 
and his cat trees, too. 

Pumpkin is healthy, and up to date on his vaccines. Can someone please give this wonderful 
boy a fresh start as an only pet? See more pictures of him on our web-site’s “More Cats” 
page. Submit the Lifeline for Pets adoption application on our website, at www.lifelineforpets.
org. Please help!


[Nyerges is the author of over two dozen books, including “Guide to Wild Foods,” “Foraging 
Edible Wild Plants of North America,” “Extreme Simplicity,” and others. Information 
on his classes and books is available at]

A long time ago in a distant universe, I was still in high school and 
very much focused on discovering all I could about the very fascinating 

 and exciting world of wild foods – ethno-botany. I began to realize that 
the lineage of using wild plants for food and medicine was still very much 
alive, though hidden, not so much yet out in the open.

In my Pasadena high school in 1972, I became a part of the school’s journalism 
team and I wrote for the school newspaper. I used that opportunity to share with 
the world – well, with my fellow students anyway – my enthusiasm for the world of wild 
plants and their uses. My teacher-advisor said it would be ok to write about the uses of 
plants I could find growing right on the school campus – assuming there were any, she 
added with skepticism.

The more I looked, the more we were surprised. Besides wild mushrooms on the lawn, the 
cam-pus was packed with the full spectrum of European weeds as well as the many uses of 
the exotic trees that were so common, such as the edible pods of the carob tree.

PURSLANE (Portulaca oleraceae)

I had just recently learned about purslane, and found it crunchy, tasty, and just a bit sour. 
And once I discovered it, I did just like Thoreau did, I ate it raw in salad, I boiled it, I fried 
it, I pick-led it. I really liked the pickles. Because purslane was my most recent discovery, I 
ate the plant at every opportunity, and found discreet ways to slip it into our family meals. 
My father wasn’t fooled when he saw the little succulent paddle-shaped leaves in his salad, 
and wouldn’t eat them. My father had informed me that he doesn’t like the wild plants that 
I had been bringing home to eat. 

“How do you know you don’t like them?” I innocently asked. “Have you ever actually eaten 

“No, but I know I don’t like them” was his Archie Bunker-like response.

 But when purslane was diced and mixed with other cooked greens, he ate it without complaint. 
And when purslane stems were diced and mixed into a Chinese soup mix, my father 
barely no-ticed it. Wild foods were going main-stream in my family, even if they had to 
fly subrosa.

So one day, after school was out, I found an incredibly healthy patch of purslane growing 
near the photo lab. I collected a lot and wondered how I could create a salad. I was near the 
home economics class and there were about five girls and the teacher still in the kitchen-
class room talking. 

“Hello,” I ventured. “Can I make you all a salad? 
Do you have any salad dressing?”

They looked at me as if I’d dropped out of Mars, 
and after a lot of giggles and answering a lot of 
questions, they were all helping me rinse the 
low-growing purslane plants, dicing them, and 
final-ly adding a diced tomato to the bowl, and 
topping it all with their oil and vinegar salad 
dress-ing. The biggest hurdle, once they realized 
I was serious, was that they wanted to be 
sure I had correctly identified the plant. They 
didn’t want to end up vomiting or worse, dead. 
I had as-sured them that I was a top botany student 
under the tutelage of Mr. Muir. I further 
explained, that the purslane plant originated in 
India, and was now a fairly common wild food 
that had been used in this country for a few 

The girls, the teacher, and I then filled our little 
paper bowls with purslane salad, and they all 
gingerly ate a few tastes.

“Oh, tastes better than I thought,” one exclaimed.

“The dressing is the best part,” added another. Everyone laughed.

I finished the rest of the salad, thanked them, and departed.

I have always liked purslane, an easy-to-recognize plant that grows in gardens as easily as it 
grows in the bottoms of washes when the water descends in early summer. It’s really quite 
ubiquitous. And some years ago, a few 
Greek researchers discovered that purslane 
is the richest plant source of Omega 3 
fatty acids, which means that it will lower 
cholesterol levels if you eat it.

It’s gotten so popular that I now see it in 
the summer time at farmers markets, often 
under the Spanish name of “verdolago.”

At one market, I asked the farmer, “Do 
you grow it, or do you just pick it?” Understanding 
my point, he just laughed.

Pet of the Week

John is a fun-loving shepherd/husky mix looking for his 
forever home. He is about three years old and built for 

 John loves playing with toys and sometimes needs to be 
reminded that there is more to life than just his trusty tennis 
ball. Once his memory is jogged, he remembers that going for 
walks and doing some training can also be fun!

 One of John’s favorite things to do is go out on field trips with 
Pasadena Humane volunteers. He enjoys going on hikes and 
other outings but is also quite content to hang out and play 

 Come meet this good boy today!

 Pasadena Humane is hosting a free adoption day on Saturday, 
August 19th, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. All dogs, cats and critters can 
be adopted at no charge. No appointments necessary. Dog 
licensing fee may apply. 

 The adoption fee for dogs is $150. All dog adoptions include spay or neuter, microchip, and 
age-appropriate vaccines. New adopters will receive a complimentary health-and-wellness 
exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, as well as a goody bag filled with information about how 
to care for your pet. 

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule an adoption appointment at pasadenahumane.
org. Adoptions are by appointment only, and new adoption appointments are available every 
Sunday and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. 

 Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by phone 
calls or email.

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