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General information and discussion about cultivating all other edible garden plants.

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Old October 12, 2013   #16
tlintx
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http://www.johnnyseeds.com/c-31-jeru...artichoke.aspx

HEB sometimes has them in the veggie area for eating.

Also, I think they have a high inulin content, so eating too many may cause a tummy upset. I read something about cold weather causing the plant to convert the inulin to an easier to digest starch?

Tl
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Old October 13, 2013   #17
nolabelle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlintx View Post
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/c-31-jeru...artichoke.aspx

HEB sometimes has them in the veggie area for eating.

Also, I think they have a high inulin content, so eating too many may cause a tummy upset. I read something about cold weather causing the plant to convert the inulin to an easier to digest starch?

Tl
Thanks for the link, tl. I must have missed that during my search.

Here's some nutritional information:
Nutritional Value

While a good source of carbohydrates, the sunchoke stores inulin rather than insulin as its starch for extra energy during winter months. This can be useful, especially for people who limit glucose in their diets, because the inulin breaks down into fructose rather than glucose during digestion. This unique quality can make the tuber a good substitute for other starchy foods like potatoes, particularly for diabetics. Some people experience mild gastrointestinal bloating due to this fructose, however, so some proponents suggest introducing sunchokes to the diet gradually, beginning with small portions.

These vitamin-rich roots are high in thiamin, niacin, and iron. They also contain relatively large amounts of potassium and Vitamin C, while being low in calories. The tubers contain no fat or cholesterol, and only small amounts of sodium. A 1 cup (150 gram) serving of sunchokes contains approximately 110 calories, 3 grams of protein, and 2.4 grams of dietary fiber.

They may make you a bit "windy".
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Old October 13, 2013   #18
nolabelle
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I just ordered 1.5 lbs of seed. Supposedly for fall planting. I'm thinking of growing these in trash cans to keep them contained. But instead of using potting mix, I might try some of the compost I've had in the works since 2004, lol.

I'll keep you posted.

Thanks again, tl.
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Old October 13, 2013   #19
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This link leads to a good blog about sunchokes:

http://www.tumbledownfarm.com/drupal...okes_Sunchokes
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Old October 13, 2013   #20
tlintx
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No problem! I'm trying to remember why I passed on growing them -- I think it was the invasive nature plus, well, I know how my system reacts to too much inulin!

I am growing Florida Cranberry aka Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) and False Roselle (Hibiscus acetosella) this spring. Both edible perennials but maybe not hardy where I am.

Nice to read this thread and find out about more "unusuals". It's too bad most are unusual for good reasons!
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Old October 13, 2013   #21
bower
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I have sunchokes in my garden, my friend planted a couple years ago, but I haven't eaten any yet. Around here I think it's customary to dig them in spring when other veggies are scarce. But I have the impression, a little goes a long way too. The traditional spring food here is dandelion greens, boiled or steamed and served with mustard. They are ready to eat long before anything planted.

I have grown Gobo (Japanese Burdock), and although the roots are tender cw the wild burdocks here, it wasn't a big hit as a veggie, due to the bitterness. It makes a great tincture (or 'elixir') though, we mix Burdock and Black Hollyhock extract together, and it's great in coffee.

Radish pods are not so usual and a great treat, especially in early spring before peas are out. I'd like to get some seed for the 'rat-tail' radish which is grown especially for pods, because they are crunchy, early and so good! I tried to overwinter black radish last year to get pods in spring, but I guess they weren't big enough and didn't make it. Radish leaves also have a lot of uses in the kitchen, so it no longer bothers me if they bolt or don't bulb. It's all good.
I like edible flowers too. Probably my favourite is the musk mallow. We toss them into salads but they are even better very lightly cooked. The petals are sweet and the fleshy receptacle tastes a bit like asparagus (for some reason the white variant are not sweet, only the pink ones). They are perennial and really bear a lot of flowers, sow themselves freely and require no attention to grow, so it's a 'free vegetable' except for the pickin.
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Old October 13, 2013   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nolabelle View Post
... Jerusalem artichoke. ... I can deal with the invasive part.
That's easier to say than to do... It's not so much that they are invasive (in the meaning that they move from place to place in the garden) but once they get established they are rhizomous and not easily eradicated.

I dig sunroot tubers both in the fall, and in the spring, and anytime during the winter that the ground is not frozen.

I am currently working on edible cana lillies.

I would like to work on edible dahlias if I could find varieties with simple flowers (like a sunflower).

Last edited by joseph; October 13, 2013 at 10:21 PM.
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Old October 14, 2013   #23
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I planted 5 sunchokes this year -- just as I had last year -- and they are monsters this time! They've grown to 10-12 ft. high and the sunchokes are peeking out of the soil. I had a container plant a foot away that was looking strangely tilted, and I discovered the sunchokes are so prolific they are making a mound. I covered it with a couple buckets of mulch. I can't wait to harvest to see how many I'll have this year. It's a good thing I have a multitude of places to share them!

bower -- what is Black Hollyhock extract?
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Old October 14, 2013   #24
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lesser known vegetables...Is there anyone else growing similar vegetables?
Kohlrabi!
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Old October 14, 2013   #25
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I love kohlrabi! I have 2 plants this year.
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Old October 14, 2013   #26
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bower -- what is Black Hollyhock extract?
Immerse fresh black hollyhock blossoms in vodka (40% alcohol) for a few days or a few weeks... voila. A sweet extract, loaded with those healthful black anthocyanins (delphinidin, petunidin and such).

I used to call these fresh herb extracts 'tinctures' but technically, I'm told, they should be called 'elixirs', since the water content of a fresh flower, root or herb will reduce the overall alcohol to somewhat less than 40%.

Red Hollyhock is also delicious and quite fruity - even tastier than the black. The yellows have a chalky taste which I don't like.

We also dry the black and red hollyhocks and mallow flowers for tea.
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Old October 14, 2013   #27
Darren Abbey
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Originally Posted by joseph View Post
I would like to work on edible dahlias if I could find varieties with simple flowers (like a sunflower).
All Dahlia varieties are edible... but not all will be worth eating. I kinda want to work on breeding better vegetable dahlias, but I haven't got the garden space yet.
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Old October 14, 2013   #28
tlintx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph View Post
I am currently working on edible cana lillies.

I would like to work on edible dahlias if I could find varieties with simple flowers (like a sunflower).
I started some canna lilies just because they're pretty and hardy. I'm trying to create an edible front yard. Surprisingly difficult in zone 9. Many of the "unusual" edibles are not bred to be widely adapted like the more usual suspects. Or are so difficult to get nutrition from they're basically a novelty.

When you factor in potential toxicity (or lack of information), difficulty of harvest, the occasional two plus years of germination time (subtropical cherries), irregular germination, the fact that a number of these things are technically trees... well, it makes me want to stay with radishes.

My list so far is canna lilies, lemon balm, lemon mint, white horehound, hibiscus, lemongrass, Job's Tears, ornamental peppers, redskin dahlia, chives, and pumpkin tree. And hopefully some potatoes in the spring. Trying to find "surprise" edibles that are cold hardy yet won't melt in the sun and aren't partly toxic is hard!

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Kohlrabi!
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Old October 15, 2013   #29
habitat_gardener
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bower View Post
Immerse fresh black hollyhock blossoms in vodka (40% alcohol) for a few days or a few weeks... voila. A sweet extract, loaded with those healthful black anthocyanins (delphinidin, petunidin and such).

I used to call these fresh herb extracts 'tinctures' but technically, I'm told, they should be called 'elixirs', since the water content of a fresh flower, root or herb will reduce the overall alcohol to somewhat less than 40%.

Red Hollyhock is also delicious and quite fruity - even tastier than the black. The yellows have a chalky taste which I don't like.

We also dry the black and red hollyhocks and mallow flowers for tea.
I never thought of using them! I've been growing black hollyhocks for a couple years.
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Old October 15, 2013   #30
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I like to eat nasturtium leaves and flowers right off the plant. the flowers also look nice in a jar of pickles.

jon
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