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-   -   Does Anyone Grow Capers? (http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=42951)

greenthumbomaha October 16, 2016 12:25 AM

Does Anyone Grow Capers?
 
I was wondering if anyone has experience with a caper plant (Flinders Rose). I became curious about what a caper actually is while looking at a recipe for Chicken Piccata. I surely don't live in anything like it's native climate, but I wonder if it could be overwintered here in a greenhouse, and if it's production would be worth it. The flower looks lovely too.

- Lisa

greenthumbomaha October 25, 2016 10:37 PM

Does not look like its a very popular plant to tomato people. Anyone?

- Lisa

Worth1 October 25, 2016 11:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by greenthumbomaha (Post 597452)
Does not look like its a very popular plant to tomato people. Anyone?

- Lisa


I saw this when it first showed up.
I have no idea if I could grow one or not and I have no idea if I have even had a caper in my life. :lol:

Worth

habitat_gardener October 26, 2016 03:25 AM

I saw a plant at a local master gardeners' demo garden a few years ago. They were growing it as an experiment, and I don't know how it turned out. But iirc it's a mediterranean plant so it should have done well here.

Worth1 October 26, 2016 03:32 AM

Looks like they would do great where I live.

Worth

brownrexx October 26, 2016 09:50 AM

Know nothing about growing them but I discovered them for Chicken Piccata too. It is a favorite dish here.

braybright October 26, 2016 10:09 AM

I've read you can use nasturtium seed pods that are still green in the same way. Poor Man's Capers

Durgan October 27, 2016 05:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by braybright (Post 597513)
I've read you can use nasturtium seed pods that are still green in the same way. Poor Man's Capers

I have often eaten the flowers of nasturtium. The plant grows well in my zone 5.
They will certainly be grown next year and capers made.

I knew an Indian from India and he told me capers were grown in his back yard on a bush.

I usually have a jar in my refrigerator and they keep forever.

Thanks for the post.

Durgan

greenthumbomaha December 29, 2016 11:49 PM

For warm climates (not mine!) -
I found a seed source for capers on a random search for another vegetable.

Lake Valley Seed, a USA company that sells to small independent nurseries, has a domestic sub-brand of Italian seeds called Pagano. I have seen Pagano seeds on a rounder in an Omaha Landscape store. I think they were selling for $3.99 packet.

Pagano carries Capers!
Their full catalog is available at the lakevalleyseed.com .
For anyone possibly moving forward on this, check the seed quantity. In the main LV line, they're pretty cheap on the quantity of seed. In addition, I read caper seed germination ranges 40 - 70%.

Sounds like a pretty flower too, if you are patient. Full production is 3 years.

- Lisa

AlittleSalt December 30, 2016 12:23 AM

Lisa,

I missed this thread until now. I had to look up what capers are. I've seen them used in gourmet cooking shows. I found this link http://www.growitalian.com/how-to-grow-capers/ I don't know if they would grow in my part of Texas?

Part of the fun of gardening is growing some things that are not easy to grow. That's why I started 4 Elephant Garlic cloves in 2015. I was told that they can't be grown in-ground here. They produced 28 cloves this year. I planted all 28 of them and they all came up. They look really healthy. I guess when I dig them up in mid-2017, we will have to try eating some for the first time.

We do things to challenge ourselves.

greenthumbomaha December 30, 2016 01:50 AM

Robert , glad you found the thread!

If you google something like growing capers in California, you will get some good info. There are several studies going on to make this into a specialty crop in California. It is from a warm climate, so I don't know if your temp drops below its comfort zone.

As to elephant garlic, you may know it is a type of leek. My partner grew it and was satisfied with the taste, but it was not a good keeper. I shouldn't have declined his offer of tasting one, as he decided not to grow it again. Enjoy it for me :)

- Lisa

b54red December 30, 2016 03:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlittleSalt (Post 607572)
Lisa,

I missed this thread until now. I had to look up what capers are. I've seen them used in gourmet cooking shows. I found this link http://www.growitalian.com/how-to-grow-capers/ I don't know if they would grow in my part of Texas?

Part of the fun of gardening is growing some things that are not easy to grow. That's why I started 4 Elephant Garlic cloves in 2015. I was told that they can't be grown in-ground here. They produced 28 cloves this year. I planted all 28 of them and they all came up. They look really healthy. I guess when I dig them up in mid-2017, we will have to try eating some for the first time.

We do things to challenge ourselves.

I grew Elephant garlic for years and years. It really doesn't taste much like garlic but it is great for some things like cooking in a pot roast. It makes the gravy taste wonderful. They keep okay but the bulbs can be huge and need to be kept in a dry place each year. They actually kept better than true garlic in our humid climate so I would think they would keep fine in Texas. Now that I see how much seed companies are charging for them I wish I had kept growing them.

One thing that really helps when growing them is to mulch them well and keep the weeds out. They don't do well if there is a lot of competition for nutrients. I always added compost and manure to the soil before planting them in the fall and would pull them up when the tops were dying in the early summer or late spring. I would then let them lay on the ground for a day or so then pick them up and spread them somewhere in the cool shade to dry under a shed or in a shed. Once they were dry I would cut off the roots and excess stalk and put them on shelves spread on news paper. Sometimes one or two would start rotting and that is why it is better to spread them instead of putting them in mesh bags and hanging them. I did hang them sometimes when I just had too many to spread but I would check them occasionally to make sure none of them were rotting.

Bill

carolyn137 December 30, 2016 01:10 PM

There are very few edible items edible to most,that I dislike but near the top are capers.

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...k1.Bnbz7SibvdU

https://www.google.com/search?q=cape..._AUIBygA&dpr=1

For me, just plain nasty tasting. My mother used to buy the white McCormack cans called pickling spices, she used them when making pickles in huge crocks and our own saurkraut, also fermented in large crocks. I wouldn't eat them alone, but the home made pickles and saurkraut were great. Recipes handed down from the maternal side of the family, my Grandmother immigrating with her brothers and sisters to the US from Sweden, home of the cream everything,white color scheme on the plates, and chives used for almost everything as garnish...

Carolyn

oakley December 30, 2016 01:26 PM

I do like capers and use nasturtium buds in place of them in the summer months. I just pickle them like a fresh pickle and add them to the pickle when the cukes come along if the timing is right.
I have hit and miss nasturtium seasons. Not sure what critter finds them so tasty as most years they are left alone and every third or fourth year they are gone overnight.
I have seeds for a trailing variety i might try in another location.

b54red December 30, 2016 02:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by carolyn137 (Post 607635)
There are very few edible items edible to most,that I dislike but near the top are capers.

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...k1.Bnbz7SibvdU

https://www.google.com/search?q=cape..._AUIBygA&dpr=1

For me, just plain nasty tasting. My mother used to buy the white McCormack cans called pickling spices, she used them when making pickles in huge crocks and our own saurkraut, also fermented in large crocks. I wouldn't eat them alone, but the home made pickles and saurkraut were great. Recipes handed down from the maternal side of the family, my Grandmother immigrating with her brothers and sisters to the US from Sweden, home of the cream everything,white color scheme on the plates, and chives used for almost everything as garnish...

Carolyn

Capers have a very distinct and strong flavor but in the right things and in limited amounts they can really enhance the overall taste of some dishes. When using them I still try one straight out of the bottle and they still make me wince every time. If I can live long enough I might get to the point where that doesn't happen.:lol::lol:

Bill


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