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Old October 15, 2013   #31
joseph
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This week I harvested a food that I've never grown before and that is not available at my farmer's market:

Oyster Mushrooms
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Old October 15, 2013   #32
FarmerShawn
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Originally Posted by habitat_gardener View Post
I love kohlrabi! I have 2 plants this year.
I just harvested 5 giant kohlrabi heads - almost the size of a soccer ball! They are delicious - sweet and smooth-tasting, without the cabbagy-turnipy bite. But one will feed a pretty good-sized crowd. (or my wife and I for a week)
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Old October 15, 2013   #33
bower
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph View Post
This week I harvested a food that I've never grown before and that is not available at my farmer's market:

Oyster Mushrooms
Wow Joseph they look fantastic!
I have a log that a friend plugged a couple years ago, not sure if it was ★★★★ake or oyster, but hasn't borne any fruit.
We get quite a variety of wild mushrooms, hours of hiking to get the rewards instead of time spent cultivating. We have lots of golden chanterelle, winter chanterelle, two kinds of hedgehogs and matsutake, and also a couple of good boletes which pop up from time to time but are not so plentiful. The others, we get enough for our families and sell the surplus to restaurants.
Wild mushrooms are a fickle crop though. Looks like our season is over early this time, as there was a hard frost on the 8th of October.
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Old October 15, 2013   #34
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Default lesser known fruit!

How about lesser known fruit?
We make dogberry jelly every year, it is fantastic!!! The smokey sweet taste is incredible, whether with meat or as a stand alone sweet on bread, cake or yoghurt. Dogberry here is mostly the Mountain Ash, but Rowan berries are the same - the tree is a bit larger. These trees are loaded with big umbels of fruit nearly every year. Yep, it's worth fighting the crows for a share.

Dogberry Jelly

Clean 7 cups of berries, removing twigs and stems.
Cover with about 4 cups of water, bring to a boil, simmer ten minutes, allow to cool.
The inner pulp of half an orange may be added to the boil for extra pectin and a harder jelly.
Strain the juice and measure out 5 cups of it.
Return juice to a clean pot, stir in 1 pkg of pectin and bring to a boil.
Add seven cups of sugar and stir while you bring it back to a boil. Boil hard for 1 minute.
Ladle into clean mason jars, cap and seal and allow to cool.

If organic oranges or lemons are available with pretty skins, I sometimes chop the rinds and add them to the juice for the second boil, to make dogberry marmelade.. yum.
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Old October 15, 2013   #35
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I bought some dried day lily blossoms at the oriental store. I didn't think the flavor was either good or bad. I'd read that eating them in quantity for an extended period can be bad for the eyes. Later, I got access to fresh ones any time I wanted to pick them. They tasted slightly better when cooked, but I dried most of them and doled them out occasionally to my guinea pigs, which seemed to like them.

In the community garden, a man from Kenya eats Black Nightshade leaves. He doesn't cultivate them; just refrains from weeding them out. But there's a 2nd type of nightshade with black berries that also grows as a weed in the garden, and he doesn't eat that one. He can tell the difference - I can't...except that the flea beetles seem to prefer the leaves of the plant that he doesn't eat.

He also eats green bean leaves instead of pods. Apparently, that custom only developed among a certain portion of Africans. He just uses the plain old snap beans you can buy at the store.
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Old October 15, 2013   #36
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All of the African in the community garden also cultivate a specific type of cleome for its edible leaves. I haven't tried it.

I have tried nasturtium, which has a flavor that really is a good taste substitute for black pepper. The blossoms or the leaves before blossoming seem to have a milder taste.

I'd heard that gladiola blossoms are edible. I tried them but found the flavor amazingly similar to iceberg lettuce, i.e. no flavor. And the darker flowers bleed their color.
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Old October 16, 2013   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bower View Post
...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%....
You were right the first time.

Tinctures are herbs in alcohol.

Elixirs have a syrup added to the tincture.
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Old October 18, 2013   #38
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Originally Posted by joseph View Post
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).
Hi Joseph,

Dealing with "invasive" means not planting them in the ground. I already have issues with Virginia Creeper and truly know what invasive means. I plan to use large containers filled with compost that I've been making since 2004. It ought to be done by now.
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Old October 18, 2013   #39
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This link leads to a good blog about sunchokes:

http://www.tumbledownfarm.com/drupal...okes_Sunchokes
Thanks for the link, greene. It's a good read. I want to find the method to make flour in case these get out of hand. I might be the only one around here trying to eat these things!
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Old October 19, 2013   #40
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Flour is easy. Clean, dry and slice the chokes. Dehydrate them. Use the blender to grind into flour. Sift before using. Now go make you some noodles using the choke flour!

As for my vegetables, this year I am growing Thai long beans, sesame seeds both white and black, Piper sarmentosum, sunflowers, Leonotis (for tea), Roselle, Alpinia nutans, banana (use the leaves to wrap food for steaming), Horned melon, Papaloquito (a very peppery herb and I have plenty of seeds available), and the list goes on.
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Old October 19, 2013   #41
nolabelle
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Those mushrooms are beautiful, joseph. Thanks for posting a picture.

Instead of growing my "hopefully soon to arrive sunchoke seeds" in trash cans, I ordered two 20 gallon Smart Pots. This is an experiment of sorts. In the spring I will be using self watering 5 gallon buckets for tomatoes to see how that goes. I've been stockpiling medium to use for planting. Also I've been collecting free, food grade 5 gallon buckets from the local Winn Dixie.

Interestingly enough, the icing contents of the buckets kills the grass in the back yard. St. Augustine grass. Something is in that icing that the ground doesn't like. Glad I don't eat that stuff.

I am very excited about the sunchokes. I hope I'm successful with them.

Btw, I absolutely LOVE nasturtiums for salads and for their pretty flowers. This tree stump is long gone. But it was fun while it lasted.
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Old October 19, 2013   #42
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Hablitzia tamnoides is a unknown gem from the perennial world of permaculture. A good climber and edimental. You can use it as spinach in the spring!

All kinds of alliums are of course necessary, Allium cernuum, Allium proliferum, Allium fistulosum and many more.
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Old October 20, 2013   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nolabelle View Post
This is an old thread, but I have newly discovered a vegetable that I want to grow. The Jerusalem artichoke. I know it has nothing to do with artichokes, but its value as a diabetic starch substitute is very interesting. Not to mention that it is easy to grow and invasive. I can deal with the invasive part.

I suppose most seed tubers for these (and potatoes) don't become available until the early part of next year. All places I checked were sold out for 2013.

I think these tubers might be successful in my yard. I'll keep checking for starters.
I wanted to try it too, and ordered some from Johnny's about 8 years ago. The dab
nabbit squirrels dug them up and ate them. Now I think they are too expensive. I'm referring to the Jerusalem Artichoke.

Another veggie I wanted to try is tree collards, but you can only get them from
cuttings, so it's harder to get. Not sure if they would survive in my zone.

Last edited by roper2008; October 20, 2013 at 09:11 AM.
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Old October 20, 2013   #44
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Interesting, I've never heard of tree collards, just tree kale! Nichol's has Walking Stick Kale seeds, although I see from this that they may be somewhat different things.
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Old October 21, 2013   #45
nolabelle
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[QUOTE=roper2008;379181]I wanted to try it too, and ordered some from Johnny's about 8 years ago. The dab
nabbit squirrels dug them up and ate them. Now I think they are too expensive. I'm referring to the Jerusalem Artichoke.
Yes, they were a bit pricey, but if all goes well, I shouldn't have to buy them anymore, AND maybe even give some to whomever wants them.
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