What unusual vegetables should I grow that I've never heard of?


#341

I’ve been fighting it on my property for as long as I can remember, it’s an extremely invasive plant for sure!


#342

I tried our hosta as well last year. Agree they are good, but not that exciting. They would be great if you needed to stretch some asparagus in soup or something.
I haven’t tried cooking purslane, but like it quite well fresh. It’s about the only “edible” weed that I would eat as much as lettuce. It self seeds for us and I have moved young volunteers to better spots so they could be harvested later.

I have a decent patch of Canadian ginger but we haven’t tried it yet. I know it’s only to be used in very small amounts due to toxicity. Just hasn’t seemed worth the risk.

Garlic mustard is another we have lots of. Made a batch of pesto from it this year. Okay, but not worth the work or cost of the nuts and cheese. I’ll stick to using it in the general salad greens while it’s tender.


#343

I like purslane raw in salads.

I’ve read the stems can be pickled too

Scott


#344

I don’t like cold slaw…but purslane would probably be a good one.

Try the hosta
as they are poked an inch or so through the ground…and stir fry them.
Brussell sprout substitute?


#345

I can’t find my original comment, however: I grow radicchio, a salad chicory named zuccherina di Trieste, which is great and gives lots of greens throughout the growing season, including summer, and wild/forage chicory. The latter I use for greens (removing the stems) but I also dig up some roots and shred them for mixed krauts. Zuccherina and wild chicory are perennial, so they are very little work for the crop, and they also improve soil as there are overwintering roots all over the garden. For plant management, you need to keep them cut after the second year, but you could also let a few plants go to seed, and then wild chicory will fully grow itself.


#346

Thanks glib. I have grown “wild” chicory, Cichorium intybus, for the root. I like chicory/coffee blends so thought I would grow some root make my own. I wasn’t impressed. I know folks use the greens, but I haven’t tried them.
I have a ton of it that pops up all over, all from one original plant. I let it flower, because the flowers are so gorgeous!
image

But I didn’t remove all the seed heads in a timely manner… I think I will have chicory around for a long, long, time.


#347

to be precise, this is a selected group of varieties sold as forage chicory (a cover crop). Some types are leafier than others but all are quite leafy. I can imagine that roadside chicory is less leafy and more bitter. I could send you some seeds if you wish. I have already planted some in new beds, but nothing has come up yet. In the past I seeded them in June because they prefer warmth, but this year I am hoping (ha!) to travel in June.


#348

@glib do you have seeds to spare as I want to start a perennial veggie patch? your chicory plants is great choice being edible and have pretty flowers.


#349

Yes, I have nearly a pound. Germination unknown as they spent the whole last year on the porch, but I see no evidence that they got wet. I do not know how to send each other private email on this forum, but if you find it, I will send you 1000 seeds or more. Chicory is also very good for the soil.


#350

Thanks @glib! I sent you PM.


#351

I figured the forage chicory should be more palatable than the wild, although some folks do eat it. I sure appreciate the offer of seeds!! But I think I will pass. I have a lot of leafy greens growing, and not enough willing consumers! :wink:


#352

We had violet greens with dinner the other night. Cooked them quickly with a little salt and olive oil. I liked them quite a lot. The taste reminded me of pea shoots, but a little milder, and they have a pleasant texture (leaves like very tender spinach, and stems have a little chewy pop to them).

I’ve been keeping an eye out for purslane but haven’t seen any yet this year.


#353

I didn’t get a crop last time I grew oca (or ulluco & mashua for that matter). I tried to order some again just last year, but something went wrong. Looks like I’ll have to wait a while to try again. Mauka’s gone too, but it showed potential while I had it.

I did manage to score a Yacón though! Bogachiel was sold out, so I settled for Sol Duc, and it’s growing mighty fine, if a bit slowly.

I’m also trying some Elephant Foot Yams, and am growing them in-ground for the first time (gonna plant out my last Enset too, when it finishes sprouting). I have Amorphophallus paeoniifolius and A. muelleri.


#354

You must live in very different climate. I have never seen the plants you grow. But it is interesting to know such edible plants exist


#355

Puerto Rico. It’s tropical here, but I do zone push with chill fruit as well. Right now the vegetable that’s maturing the biggest crop is my breadfruit tree, it’s loaded! Breadfruit fritters are awesome! Those tostones are a bit different than the ones made from plantain, but just as wonderful. :yum:


#356

I have never seen a live bread tree. But I tasted bread fruit thirty years ago. Someone I knew got some breadfruit from Jamaica and I was given one fruit. I sliced it thick , there was no seeds inside, i don’t remember if I peeled the skin or not, I think I didn’t. I pan fried it with very little oil. Boy, that was really good, better than bread. I always wanted to get some more but have not seen one anywhere ever since. So, how big is the tree? and how many lb of breadfruit you can harvest from one tree? How do you store them? Can breadfruit be made into wine?


#357

A well-trained tree can be kept rather short and bushy by pruning the growing tips off the top & branches. An untrained tree (or worse, poorly pruned) can be a rainforest giant, very tall.

You can get about 200 lb of fruit off a tree in a year. They don’t last too long, about 2 weeks when fresh in the fridge (but they’re usually gone long before their expiration here). You can peel & quarter them, then freeze for a much longer storage time. Or you can process them into flour, though I haven’t tried yet.

I think some varieties mature into culinary fruit (like a seedless jackfruit perhaps), so those might be made into wine, but I haven’t seen those here. There’s two varieties on the island: White (mine, and preferred by my family), and Yellow. Only now are we starting to see some of the other varieties from the Pacific in some agricultural projects, but they’re very rare.

Here’s my tree:

And a little one I cloned off the big one by cutting, not sure what to do with it:

Here’s some of the other veggies I’m growing. Most of 'em are in the same patch, but a few are in pots or in other locations.

The Yam Patch (Dioscorea), with Sunroots (a more recent photo than my last one):

Arrowroot:

Achira / Queensland Arrowroot:

Lerén (Calathea allouia):

A more recent pic of the Yacón:

Cocoyams… Malanga / Taro and Yautía:

Hausa Potato / Potato Mint:

Basell Potato / Madeira Vine:

Air Potato, Chayote and Winged Bean:

Cuban Oregano:

Ornamental Yam (Dioscorea, edible raw or cooked):

Chaya:

Chuta / Florida Pistachio:

Pigeon Pea, with some Poleo:

Ora Pro Nobis… I accidentally whacked it, but the stump and the top are both growing again:

Cilantro blooms:

Chufa, with some Potato and Cilantro:

And finally, my first Star Cherry (Eugenia selloi), I can’t wait to try it!

Lately, my garden has been raided by some feral neighborhood chickens. I was happy for their visits at first, but the bliss ended the moment they started harming my plants, and the harm increased over time. You can imagine my panic, with all the work I put into the garden. I put up some minor barriers in the side yards, but that was only a temporary relief, which they soon overcame. After several failed attempts, I successfully hunted down the main offender on my property yesterday (chased it down and grabbed it), built a makeshift cage, and stuck it in there. I haven’t seen its partner in crime yet, but I suspect it’ll show up sooner or later. I checked with the neighbors, they don’t belong to anybody, and the owner of their parent stock disowned the offspring, so it’s mine now!

It’s bad enough having to deal with Iguanas (ripped up my arm when I caught it, I won’t be sharing that picture), I won’t tolerate chickens destroying my hard work. I wanted chickens too, but under controlled conditions. I’ll make a bigger cage as soon as I’m able.


#358

Awsome farm my friend! Congratulations! :grin:


#359

Your garden is amazing. Thank you for attached pictures with each plant. I read/look through learning and am feel envious of your collection. I am kinda recognize few plants ,but most are totally strange to me.
I love the shape of your breadtree leaves, look like a house plant I bought from HD, very ornamental. With such tall tree, how do you harvest the fruits?Do the fruits drop off the tree when they ripe?
The sunroot looks like type of Jerusalem artichoke that I grow here in Chicago, judging by the leaves, although I don’t know if Jerusalem artichoke can live this far south. The yam looks familiar, at least the tiny air potato part(don’t know what to call the smaller thing grow in the air). I used to grow something similar for the roots, very long roots. It climbed very tall, just kept going and ran out of the support structure and still climbing. I love the texture and flavor of its root, a little slimy but it’s very nice blended with milk for breakfast. the purple roots yam is even better in taste and color.
I noticed on a picture you posted above, I think I have the same plant for many years, not sure what to do with it. I heard the leaves and root are edible but have never been brave enough to eat it. But I do enjoy its fragrant flowers. This is my plant, does it look familiar to you?


#360

What about one of these?