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


#101

@JustAnne4
Have not noticed any rodent damage
Deer do love the tops
Better feed value than alfalfa, is what I remember reading
A great plant, just needs its own place, as I said, it can be invasive


#102

I love bitter melon/gourd, but most Americans do not. I harvest at least this much every week during the growing season.
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My Filipino coworkers love this stuff!

I’ve been freezing a bunch for my winter stockpile.
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Here https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/bitter-melon-and-diabetes is a link to some health benefits of this wonderful plant. Blanching or sauteing removes most of the bitterness. Personally, I like it lightly blanched leaving a good bit of bitterness. It is awesome in chicken salad.


#103

I have tried to like bitter melon
But I just don’t.
It is a good item for the farmers market though
My sales pitch is " if you don’t know what it is , don’t buy it "


#104

Yes, I was told I should sell it at the Asian markets, but I would rather give it to friends and family. If I brought 10 pounds of it to work, my two coworkers would eat it all in a week.


#105

Yes, the Asians that grew up eating it love it.
Not so much on this side of the pond


#106

Ridged luffa is very good


#107

I first bought Bitter melon to help with my dad diabetes. And boy did it ever my first ever badly prepared batch dropped his blood sugar from 200 to 100 in 20 minutes. Needless to say everyone got over the bitter taste quickly. Now I know how to cook it and I actualy eat it because I like it.


#108

I love it. I like to use it in soup. Some people slice it thinly and cook it in scrambled egg.

For some, they boil cut up pieces in water and rinse off the first water to cut down bitterness. I don’t do it because much nutrient is lost that way. Others sliced them in smaller pieces, add salt, mix well, squeeze juice out. Then, rince out the salty taste before cooking. They claim it is a way to tone down bitterness and more (salty) taste to it.

Bitter melon known for medicinal property. There are several varieties. I like the big ones with pale green skin. People say, the darker the green color, the more bitter it is.


#109

I have seeds if you would like me to send you some. Our vines regrow, I suspect from seeds, every year. They are the most low maintenance annuals we grow. Everyone tells me that they are very large compared to the ones they have seen. If they are well watered and fertilized they will grow to over a foot long.


#110

Thank you very much, Bambooman. I think what you grow is Indian Bitter gourds. I prefer Chinese ones since I grew up eating them. They are bigger (circumference and length) and is light green in color. I’ll try to find the Chinese variety.


#111

I’m a white guy who didn’t grow up with it. In my experience, it’s actually pretty good when made into a soup once you get used to it (like anything “new”). The soup most commonly made with the bitter gourd is mung bean soup. With eggs, it’s something I eat only because of how healthy it is. A generous dose of garden salsa helps to make bitter gourd with eggs palatable to me.


#112

I used the word “scrambled egg” since it is easier for American to picture it. Thai scrambled egg has no milk or cheese in it.

It is made of 2-3 beaten eggs with a tbsp of water, fish sauce and a little sugar ( if you like). Then add thinly sliced bitter gourd. Mix well and pour the mixture in a hot pan ( with some oil). Scramble until cooked.

Some like to eat it with Sriracha sauce


#113

That’s how my wife makes it, minus the sugar. I let her cook all the bitter gourd. I think with egg it’s probably one of those things people who grew up with it will usually have an easier time.


#114

I added longevity/cholesterol spinach to my veggies this year. It is an easy to grow green that has a pretty mild flavor. I’m not sure if its actually effected my cholesterol levels (as I haven’t had them measured this year) but it is an easy to grow and tasty plant. Best of all it grows well from cuttings, so the one I got in May has become 5 good sized plants (and I’ve eaten quite a bit). This one is great ripped up and put into a tomato-cucumber-onion salad with a nice vinegary dressing. I also nibble on leaves from time to time and add them to sandwiches.

I also added Jiaogulan, also known as immortality herb. Its another easy grower (this one is a vine). It grows well from cuttings (but better from air-layering), though it is harder to propagate than longevity spinach. I add about 8-12 inches of vine, complete with leaves, to a water-bottle of black tea and it is a good pick-me-up in the afternoons.

I also got crosnes, but I also misplaced the package (from Poland) for 6 weeks and have just recently planted them. They sent up foliage in just about 2-3 weeks, though I am sure they suffered from my neglect.

Scott


#115

When you said mung bean, did you mean mung bean threads? If mung bean threads, it is very common to put them in soup.

My bitter gourd soup is just pork ribs ( cut is 1-2” pieces), bitter gourd pieces, garlic and fish sauce. Cook ribs first until they are almost tender before putting gourd in. Otherwise, those gourd would go to mush. This is very simple Chinese bitter gourd soup. Some people just use pork instead if ribs.


#116

I mean this:

You make a soup with mung beans in the same way you’d make a split pea soup. Only, since my wife does it, there’s Asian things like ginger, bitter gourd, pepper leaves, bitter gourd leaves, etc in there. I wait until hams are on sale and use the left over bones to make split pea soup the 'Murican way. We used to live near a Honeybaked Ham store where you could get a good quality ham bone with a lot of meat left on it for a good price, but now we don’t live anywhere near that store so we just go without split pea soup until the usual times people tend to cook hams here.


#117

I only use those in dessert only. Anyway, I have to stop hijavking this thread. Let’s get back to growing unusual veggies.


#118

Has anyone grown wild bean? Its perennial.
https://oikostreecrops.com/products/organic-fruit-trees-shrubs-plants/grape-plants/wild-bean

I ordered seeds from the USDA sometime around Sept. 20th and they arrived about a week ago.

Dax


#119

Dax, I’ve been looking into thicket (wild) beans also, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I have a embankment that I cleaned off and need something for soil erosion. I would rather plant something I can eat.

TFN


#120

Should you want them either ask me for a few or get them from USDA Grin.

Dax