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Perennial Greens You've Grown

 
pollinator
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Another good edible with which I've had success is Toona sinensis.  Interestingly, there don't seem to be any good common names for this plant, so I always just call it "toona sinensis."  This is its only major shortcoming ; )  Some call it "Chinese toon tree," a literal translation that lacks any descriptive benefit over the Latin name.  Others call it "chop suey tree," which is just too cheesy to repeat.

There are precious few woody perennials with edible leaves outside of the tropics, but this is one.  It grows vigorously in my climate, popping up new root suckers to form a thicket.  So far, it has proven immune from any serious pest problem.

Traditionally, the Chinese harvest the young leaf shoots in early Spring for various culinary purposes.  But I have found it easier to harvest the mature leaves, which can be done from mid Spring all the way through late Fall, when the leaves wither and drop.  Finely julienned, I add them to soups, to stir fries, to fritters, and particularly to scrambled eggs.  Their taste is very distinctive, similar to a slightly-garlicy leek.

Here is an example of a growing rosette of leaf stems, well past the "Spring shoots" stage:




Notice that each leaf has a very distinct, straight, central core.  These are too stringy to eat.  The best approach, I've found, is to harvest the leaves when they are quite mature.  Grabbing the leaf at the base with your fingers, you can (with a little luck!) strip the two halves of the leaf right off, leaving the core attached to the stem.  You can process a whole stem's worth of leaves in this manner in 20 seconds.  Any leaves that resist this procedure by pulling whole off of the stem - these will usually be the younger/smaller leaves - just toss and move on.  These trees grow new stems of leaves quite quickly, so over the course of a season there is no shortage of greenery to harvest!




A member of the mahogany family, Toona sinensis will grow into a large, canopy tree if you let it.  On my property, it grows quite fast, comparable to fast-growing mulberry.  The smaller of the trunks in this photo can be bent down to break off the leaf stems.  The larger of the trunks are overdue to be cut down, to encourage more root suckers.  It just occurs to me that I could also pollard them to encourage lower, lateral branching.  I've not yet tried that approach; perhaps I will.

 
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another common name to try on for toon is ‘fragrant spring tree’

unfortunately, toon does have some sort of disease issue in my area, and individual trunks develop bark lesions and die within just a few years. they do sucker from the roots, so my trees are still going, but i really had been hoping to pollard them and that doesn’t seem to be in the cards here.

my preferred way of eating toon is…maybe more traditional? the young shoots before the leaves have matured, chopped and added to stir-fries or scrambled eggs.
 
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Chickweed goes in my salad all spring
 
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I have garlic chives growing in lawn, have chives I planted now flowering.  Have mint in a pot, have to look out went to seed!
Letting indian mock strawberries grow in lawn, dandelions spreading them everywhere all for chicken inputs.

Pulling up daisy?  button daisy? through out yard for compost.

might harvest all but two roosters (have about 7) in a month.   Collecting a lot of eggs, not true size yet....  Buff's
 
pollinator
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Tree collards are the winner for me. From a few cuttings a couple years ago, we now have over dozen plants that are 4-5ft tall and wide. My wife and I eat multiple servings a day (our favorite veggies), give away greens and cuttings, and chop and drop big piles of them for mulch and compost when they take over an area and break trellises. Still, we can’t keep up with them.

My other favorites that go great with tree collards in saute are garlic and onion greens. Garlic can be grown as perennials, and walking onions are effectively perennial as well.

On a related note I let my brassicas go to flower in their second year to feed early spring pollinators, and the flowers and seed pods are mustard flavored and delicious.
94D20CBA-3711-4A3C-B85F-1CA3A840A6A1.jpeg
Tree collard towering over other greens
Tree collard towering over other greens
 
Matthew Nistico
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greg mosser wrote:another common name to try on for toon is ‘fragrant spring tree’

unfortunately, toon does have some sort of disease issue in my area, and individual trunks develop bark lesions and die within just a few years. they do sucker from the roots, so my trees are still going, but i really had been hoping to pollard them and that doesn’t seem to be in the cards here.

my preferred way of eating toon is…maybe more traditional? the young shoots before the leaves have matured, chopped and added to stir-fries or scrambled eggs.



Yes!  I had forgotten about that one, but that's actually a good name.

Sorry to hear that you are having problems where you grow them.  No sign so far of the disease you described in my little cops.

And yes, your use of toona in the kitchen is for sure the more traditional approach.
 
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Location: Manitoulin Island - in the middle of Lake Huron .Mindemoya,Ontario- Canadian zone 5
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I am too far north (zone 4) for many of the more popular perennial veggies like tree collards and good king henry to winter over reliably, BUT Turkish Rocket is tough, tough, tough and tastes great most of the season ( except when it gets really hot and dry mid summer). It is better cooked than raw, I think, but it tastes great cooked like you would cook any other greens -in lasagna, made into a mess o' greens with a touch of butter, in a stir fry, etc. It is yummy and bomb proof. Plant it once and eat from that planting literally for the rest of your life.

Self seeding purslane  and chickweed are good too. They  function like  perennials
.
 
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"Has anyone played with Perennial Tree Collards?" Ed Lewis
No, but I Live South Carolina & I have had collards last four years & would have made it though August heat wave, but I did not water them & they died. I plant the kind that you pick the leaves & leave the stalk, with a few small leaves in the top like a rose blooms. I have picked fresh collards on the third of July for the fourth of July dinner.
 
pollinator
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I broke a rule this year and planted French Sorrel (which I broke the rule that I haven't tasted it first).  Can anyone tell me about it's growth habits and favorite ways to use it?  I have to admit I have wanted to grow it since the first time I watched "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers."  

I agree with purslane (I made it into a tincture for dealing with the heat), lamb's quarter, chickweed, stinging nettle, yellow dock, dandelion, and while it is an annual the beet greens grow well in the winter, as well as the purple and green kale that keeps volunteering every year.  In the past, I have had good luck with lettuce's volunteering, but haven't been able to at this location for some reason.
 
Matthew Nistico
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Sherri Lynn wrote:I broke a rule this year and planted French Sorrel (which I broke the rule that I haven't tasted it first).  Can anyone tell me about it's growth habits and favorite ways to use it?  I have to admit I have wanted to grow it since the first time I watched "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers."



You're going to love growing sorrel!  It stays green most of the year, and is one of the earliest perennial greens to come up.  It forms a medium-low mound of arrow-shaped leaves.  Until it bolts, when it then grows at least 3' tall or taller.  There is a cultivar called "Profusion" that never bolts!  I can't wait to get my hands on some, but it is only sold by one nursery, which was out of stock last time I checked.  By definition, since it doesn't set seed, Profusion sorrel can only be propagated through root cuttings.  At least so I believe; I've not seen this process myself.  I used to grow regular garden sorrel from seed.

In my opinion, the best use for sorrel in the kitchen is soup.  It melts down to nothing when cooked.  And I mean nothing - wilted spinach has far more texture.  It also turns an olive drab color as soon as it hits the heat, which is rather unfortunate.  I'm sure there are other uses for it, but I like the soup so much that I've not been motivated to do anything else with it.

Here is a good recipe that I adapted from Hank Shaw, and which he in turn adapted from Julia Child.  BTW, Hank Shaw's books are great, and he offers tons of free info and recipes on his site: honest-food.net.  I highly recommend!

FRENCH CREAM OF SORREL SOUP
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:
• 5 C chopped sorrel, packed
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 4 TBS unsalted butter, divided
• 3 TBS flour
• 1 quart bone broth or veggie stock
• 2 egg yolks
• ½ C cream
• salt

DIRECTIONS:
1. Cook onions gently in 3 tablespoons butter in a covered soup pot over medium-low for 10 minutes.
2. Turn the heat up, add the sorrel leaves and a healthy pinch of salt, and stir well.
3. When the sorrel is mostly wilted, turn the heat back to medium-low, cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Mix in the flour and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring.
5. Stir in room-temperature or slightly heated – but not boiling – broth, then transfer to a blender and process well.  Blend in batches as necessary.  Or blend thoroughly with an immersion blender in the pot.
6. Return the blended soup to the pot and bring to a simmer.
7. Whisk together egg yolks and cream in a small bowl.
8. To prevent the eggs from scrambling, temper the mixture by ladling a little hot soup into it with one hand, while you whisk the egg-cream mix with the other.  Repeat this three times.
9. Pour the tempered mixture into the soup pot slowly, whisking all the time.
10. Finish the soup with the last tablespoon of butter.  Let this cook below a simmer for 5 minutes more.  Do not let it boil or the soup will break.
11. Serve hot with crusty bread and a white wine, or a floral beer like a Belgian ale.


 
Matthew Nistico
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French Sorrel Soup recipe addendum:

I forgot to mention that I have been known in the past to mix in some spinach with the sorrel in this recipe.  If you reduce the volume of sorrel in this process, add a squeeze of lemon at the end to compensate.  The only reason to include spinach is to produce a less drab and more green soup.
 
pollinator
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A traditional sauce for fish is made by simply melting a bunch of finely chopped sorrel in butter.

Many soups and recipes that call for lemon or vinegar can be made with sorrel instead (or rhubarb stalks) to provide the tartness. On our Alaska homestead I often used one or both in Chinese Hot and Sour Soup, teriyaki, etc.

There's no reason you couldn't sub it into desserts too, like rhubarb. The green color is the only reason people don't, I think. So why not use it to stretch limes in desserts? You could get a bunch of sour and green from the sorrel, with a bit of lime (and the zest) to provide the specifically lime flavor. You would need to strain out the fiber (not much) and figure out the quantities. Hmm...now I want to try using it for a lemon curd analog.....
 
Sherri Lynn
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Thank you Matthew and Jamie!  I have copied down the recipe for soup and can't wait to try it when enough comes up.  Do you have problems with it reseeding all over the place when it bolts?

Jamie, this lemony taste explanation is making me think of adding it to salmon patties when I don't have lemon. . .Oh the possibilities.
 
Jamie Chevalier
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Yes, it's good in salmon patties....I'd forgotten I used to do that.
I have never seen it spread much. In Alaska it was in a bed with mint, so they more or less kept one another in balance.
It will reseed into bare ground.
 
Joe Grand
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Ben Zumeta,
What Hardiness zone are you in, I am in South Carolina Zone 8a, I am wondering if tree collards/tree kale will over winter here.
Or if I should take cuttings every years & plant them out in spring like an annual?
Thanks for your post & photos.
 
Jamie Chevalier
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We are in zone 8a and the tree collards only freeze out during unusually cold winters.
As a safety, serious growers do take cuttings in fall and overwinter them in a greenhouse or similar. But they are hardy in our usual winter weather of frost at night followed by warmer days. The die-off we have experienced were when daytime temperatures remained below freezing so that the ground froze to some depth. A mulch helps with this, of course, giving you an extra few degrees, but I would say that between 15 and 20 degrees is the danger zone where they often don't make it. The length of time at that temperature, the soil, amount of moisture, and what protection they have will all have some influence. Like most brassicas, they are also subject to die-off if drainage is poor.
My take on overwintering in greenhouses is that it can get so hot in the daytime that they come completely out of dormancy and freeze more easily. So I would suggest either making sure the greenhouse does not get hot, either with shadecloth, venting, or site. Or just take them out.
 
Matthew Nistico
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@Joe Grand and Jamie Chevalier - I also live in South Carolina zone 8a, and I am likewise anxious to see how my new tree collards will perform in the winter, seeing that we are pushing the edge of what they are supposed to tolerate!

Actually, while I am in zone 8a, my property almost straddles the line between 8a and 7b.

I am cautiously optimistic.  But I also intend, as Joe indicated, to take a few cuttings early every winter to pot up and keep inside on a windowsill.  They will be my insurance, in case one or more of my tree collards bites the dust one particular winter.  The good thing is that propagating tree collards via tip cuttings seems fairly easy.
 
Joe Grand
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Matthew Nistico, Do you have cuttings for sale, that you could mail to me??
I am willing to prepay for the goods & S&H or do you have an ETSY account??
I understand if you do not want to do this.
 
Matthew Nistico
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Joe Grand wrote:Matthew Nistico, Do you have cuttings for sale, that you could mail to me??
I am willing to prepay for the goods & S&H or do you have an ETSY account??
I understand if you do not want to do this.



I would be happy to sell you cuttings, but not until later in the year.  I have not even planted my own yet, just started to root the cuttings that I have ordered.  They grow fast, though, so I might be in a position to take cuttings by late summer, I would guess.
 
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Sherri Lynn wrote:  Do you have problems with it reseeding all over the place when it bolts?



Your mileage may vary but I wish my French Sorrel would reseed all over but it doesn't seem to, at least I've never been wandering about the property and stumbled upon more French Sorrel that I didn't plant.  The wild sheep sorrel and various wild dock do to some extent.  I need to remember to harvest some seed this year and deliberately try to spread it by planting more!
 
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Violet flowers are great for salad and the greens are edible too. Used in stir fry and the leaves taste like something between spinach and kale. I failed to get any brassicas this spring because of slugs. I tried violet for the first time and actually like it better.
 
Joe Grand
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May Lotito wrote:Violet flowers are great for salad and the greens are edible too. Used in stir fry and the leaves taste like something between spinach and kale. I failed to get any brassicas this spring because of slugs. I tried violet for the first time and actually like it better.


Not all Violet are as tasty as others, you are lucky you got one of the best.
Like day lilies & hasta, you can eat the whole plant.
 
Matthew Nistico
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Joe Grand wrote:

May Lotito wrote:Violet flowers are great for salad and the greens are edible too. Used in stir fry and the leaves taste like something between spinach and kale. I failed to get any brassicas this spring because of slugs. I tried violet for the first time and actually like it better.


Not all Violet are as tasty as others, you are lucky you got one of the best.
Like day lilies & hasta, you can eat the whole plant.



I just planted a bunch of day lilies today!  27 altogether.  I have been planning to for years, but never quite gotten around to it.  Yes, they are entirely edible.  I read that cooking the flowers, particularly the unopened flower buds, is quite traditional in China.  I can't wait to try.

My own plantings are in more shade than a day lily truly prefers, so I must expect fewer flowers.  But I can make up for that with volume.  Day lilies are so easy to grow, I don't mind giving them priority in my landscape design.
 
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Daylilies:  unopened buds can be used like zucchini, or battered and fried.
Open flowers can be stuffed with whatever, chèvre or yogurt based filling, tuna or egg salad , or maybe you can be more creative than I am!
 
May Lotito
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Joe Grand wrote:
Not all Violet are as tasty as others, you are lucky you got one of the best.
Like day lilies & hasta, you can eat the whole plant.



Someone else mention sweet violet ( Viola odorata) is edible. Mine is likely native Missouri violet (Viola sororia var missouriensis ) based on the triangle leaves. They grow large clumps over 1 ft tall in the shade, almost being invasive here.
violets-under-cedar.JPG
[Thumbnail for violets-under-cedar.JPG]
large-leaves.JPG
[Thumbnail for large-leaves.JPG]
 
Jamie Chevalier
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Joe Grand wrote:

Do you have cuttings for sale, that you could mail to me??


Tree collard cuttings are available at quailseeds.com
 
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I have to admit that for many things I am better as growing than harvesting.   My brain can recognize a lot of things as food but I don't immediately think of them when cooking because they are not as familiar.  

I have many daylilies an to me the flower buds eaten raw tast just like iceberg lettuce.  I plan to try cooking a small number this year and maybe that would be more interesting for me.

The birds brought me a pokeweed plant last year. I have been watching for it and just this morning picked and cooked a small handful.  They were very similar in flavor to cook but not overdone spinach. Tender enough to truly cut with a fork without that slimey texture spinach often gets. It's still a very small plant this year, I suspect it started late last season because even as it went to seed it was much smaller than other pokeweed I have seen around here. Next time I will do one more water change because it had the slightest hint of a bitter after taste.

The sweet potatoes have sprouted again in the front gardens.   I am going to be more aggressive harvesting the leaves. It grows well all the way to first frost and I always waste the vines.

The other one is more a hope than anything concrete.   I spread a grex seed mix of perennial tree kale, tree collard and perpetual spinach.   I am pretty sure all my thriving survivors are perpetual spinach.  Regular Swiss chard can sometimes be a short lived perennial for me so this gives me strong hope.  I do wish some of the others had survived.   I held back seed to try again in the fall when my are does the best brassica plants.  
 
Jamie Chevalier
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Cassie, given your location, I would suggest perennial arugula, which is taprooted and drought-tolerant like the Perpetual Spinach.
I used to think it was just for salad, and didn't use much, until I learned this Italian way of using it:
Cook a pot of pasta in the usual way, but halfway through cooking, throw in a lot of perennial arugula (or turnip tops.)  Let it come back to a boil, finish cooking, and drain in a colander. Then return to the pot or to a warmed dish, and toss with oil that has been warmed with some garlic (and pepper flakes if desired). grate in a bunch of parmesan or romano cheese and serve. Or for that matter, you can use another sauce if you prefer. The point is that you end up with a lot of flavorful but not overwhelming greens in with your pasta.
 
Casie Becker
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You don't know much we dislike spicy greens.  Mustard greens are off the menu also.  It's really interesting to learn arugula is a perennial. At some point I may try it in with the herbs as that is how I use on those rare occasions I do.

Sorry, had to fix an odd spelling error
 
Jamie Chevalier
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The perennial arugula is a different species, and even a different genus. It is also known in English as wall rocket, and that gives you an idea of its habitat--rocky dry places. It has a long, woody and tenacious taproot, very different from the cabbage-like annual arugula. https://www.quailseeds.com/store/p295/Perennial_Arugula%2C_Rucola_selvatica%2C_Wild_Rocket_%22Sylvetta.html  
The leaves are most tender and palatable when cut often, but on the other hand, if you let it go to flower, it attracts more bees than anything I've ever grown. Self-sows like crazy, so keep it in a separate spot outside the vegetable beds. I use it for holding a bank that I don't want to disturb or erode.

The perpetual spinach is a good one for those who don't like mustardy flavors. Also Salsify, which is again tap-rooted and drought-tolerant. There are also the greens that are more parsley-like in flavor. Our family is sensitive to all of these, not even liking celery much, but for those who are less so, Alexanders, Lovage, and perennial leaf celery https://www.quailseeds.com/store/p10/Leaf_Celery.html  are all options.
 
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Turmeric LEAVES are edible; sold as a cooking green wherever turmeric is grown (thailand, India, etc etc).  Turmeric is perennial in zones 8 and above.  We are in Mississippi; it loves heat and can grown in shade (though it may not bloom at all in deep shade).  The leaves are large and look like they may not be edible, but grab one: it feels like a thin sheet of silicone.  Tender and tasty (comtains a small amount of curcumin; shredded leaves cooked in broth will give it a light yellow color and a little flavor).  
 
Betsy Carraway
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We are in Mississippi.  For warm climate perennial greens (Zones 8-9 and above) try: Florida Cranberry Hibiscus (tart, tender salad green); turmeric (tender and tasty, usually cooked); Brazilian Spinach (actually I grow this year round in my primitive greenhouse, in a wicking bed: delicious and rampant!!; in the same greenhouse (wicking beds) I have Chaya, gynura procumbens/Longevity Spinach; and Katuk trees.  All of these are in wicking beds; there is no heat or AC/fan in there; we leave doors and windows open all day in Summer and of course closed in cold weather.  Dead easy.  Telling you this because I suspect a lot of folks could use this simple system to grow warm-weather perennials even if they live further North.  I do not have but am looking for Turkish Rocket.  I planted Good King Henry in an old chicken enclosure but something ate it anyway.  BTW everyone on here should know about Richter's Herbs in Ontario.  GREAT mail-order catalog: it is one of my favorite casual-reading publications.  They sell not only herbs but other edibles, seeds and plants.  My Good King Hery plants were from there.

We grow comfrey here, since it is medicine for our rabbits (American Blue).  Comfrey is an edible green; do not listen to "warnings" about allantoin causing liver damage; in olden times it was known as "poor man's fish" as they would take the thick, fuzzy leaves, coat them with batter, and fry them like fish fillets.  People have eaten comfrey for millennia, and used it for medicine.  I would be careful feeding it to sick/old people with liver damage/taking a lot of meds and Tylenol...this may be the reason for the "warnings"  We love it! Here in Mississippi where the soil is often clay/acid, you need to add quite a bit of lime to your comfrey bed, and grow it in part shade.  

Someone mentioned on here that they eat the leaves of Goji berries; I have the variety called "matrimony vine" which does make the berries but also has more spade-shaped leaves (and is more prickly, hence the Name) and which is used as a potherb by the Chinese.  I got my original cuttings from China years ago, via eBay.  Took 3 months to get to me, and were totally black/leafless/dead, spiny sticks.  The seller urged me to plant them ANYWAY - I selected the best looking ones and they all grew!  This tough unkillable plant has survived through drought, heat, freezes, and just keeps on going.  The small but abundant leaves taste, cooked, like green pepper (which makes sense as it is a Nightshade relative)

We have a lot of Shasta Daisy; the leaves are a delicious cooked green; I love them with ground lamb and onions.  If you grow these in part shade you get fewer flowers and more leaves (in a hot area) as well as leaves through the winter.  We just keep spreading these around; the more the better.  It is "hidden food" too; someone may steal all your row crops but will leave this stuff.
 
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Kale
Fennel
Malabar Spinach (it goes insane here)
walking onions
sweet potato leaves
tomato (as long as you can get them through winter here, they will just keep going, and obviously im talking fruit not leaves. Why did I put this here agian?? )
Dandelion
Swiss Chard
mints of all kinds
 
Jamie Chevalier
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Betsy Carraway wrote:  For warm climate perennial greens (Zones 8-9 and above) try: Florida Cranberry Hibiscus (tart, tender salad green); turmeric (tender and tasty, usually cooked); Brazilian Spinach (actually I grow this year round in my primitive greenhouse, in a wicking bed: delicious and rampant!!; in the same greenhouse (wicking beds) I have Chaya, gynura procumbens/Longevity Spinach; and Katuk trees.quote]

Betsy, Do you have the botanical name for Brazilian Spinach???

 
Thekla McDaniels
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goat dog food preservation medical herbs solar greening the desert
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Betsy Carraway wrote:

We grow comfrey here, since it is medicine for our rabbits (American Blue).  Comfrey is an edible green; do not listen to "warnings" about allantoin causing liver damage; in olden times it was known as "poor man's fish" as they would take the thick, fuzzy leaves, coat them with batter, and fry them like fish fillets.  People have eaten comfrey for millennia, and used it for medicine.  I would be careful feeding it to sick/old people with liver damage/taking a lot of meds and Tylenol...this may be the reason for the "warnings"  We love it! Here in Mississippi where the soil is often clay/acid, you need to add quite a bit of lime to your comfrey bed, and grow it in part shade.  …..,.

We have a lot of Shasta Daisy; the leaves are a delicious cooked green; I love them with ground lamb and onions.  If you grow these in part shade you get fewer flowers and more leaves (in a hot area) as well as leaves through the winter.  We just keep spreading these around; the more the better.  It is "hidden food" too; someone may steal all your row crops but will leave this stuff.



Thanks for the info on Shasta daisies, I didn’t know that!

And about the comfrey, I eat the leaf too, but I think it’s better not to ingest the root, it has more of the problematic alkaloids… but the root is great as a topical.

 
Betsy Carraway
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Jamie Chevalier, the botanical name for Brazilian Spinach is alternanthia Sissoo; it is also called Sissoo Spinach.  It loves hot weather and keeps a crisp, savoyed leaf in large compact mounds, no matter what the temps; however in drought the leaves get tougher.  When well watered (wicking beds!!) the leaves are bigger and thin/crispy/juicy/mild, a popular South American salad green but also stellar cooked.  This has none of the sliminess of many tropical leaves and no oxalic acid.  It is like eating a green-vegetable "potato chip".

My brain goes everywhere, very unruly.  Right now I am going to add a word about eating the pods of the redbud tree, since I have read that they are acrid and inedible; but this is only when you get them too late!!  They should be thin and almost translucent, very pliable like thin sheets of silicone.  In this stage they are tender, delicate, and mild with a flavor like snow peas.  You can eat them raw or lightly cooked. The flowers are good as well; but in both cases, it takes a lot to get any real bulk.  Add tubers to get full.

 
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Nathan Stephanson wrote:I'm pretty excited about Good King Henry.



What has you so excited?

We just put Swiss chard down for the first time this year here in Oakland. Super excited to be eating it fresh this summer.

Also put down some Sea spinach/sea beet I am looking forward to eating fresh and hopefully enjoying longer than I might be able to enjoy the chard, as my palate can’t really tell the difference between the two yet, they are so similar (and so new to my garden ;). I have reason to believe that the chard may not due back, since we don’t always experience frost.

I put some Sea Kale, Okinawa spinach, New Zealand Spinach, and Fish Mint in the ground last season. The New Zealand spinach is an annual that drops so much seed; it pretty much just is there forever once planted. In Oakland it never got cold enough to die back;so I pretty much planted a 4” pot last spring that turned into a bush by winter that never died. Really cool. You CAN eat the leaves fresh; but can be problematic in large quantities, so I avoid it altogether. But I love, love, love it in my scrambles, sautéed, and in these greens I make that my family loves.

The Okinawa spinach and fish mint are both edible fresh without boiling. But you won’t want to eat either fresh. I use them fresh for my guinea pigs; and prepare them as I mentioned above for my scrambles, greens, etc.

Man!!! Them greens!!! I make a mean pot of greens. It’s my grandmother’s recipe. Except… instead of using Collard greens; I use my garden green medley of Okinawa Spinach, Sea Kale, New Zealand Spinach, and Fish Mint. When I say my family loves this dish… they really do! I always make a big pot. We eat on it for a day or few and freeze what’s left.

By the time the frozen leftovers are gone; the Bush of New Zealand Spinach and Fish Mint have gotten to needing to be thinned back out again; the Okinawa Spinach has nice fat barbed leaves again; and the Sea Kale is ready to offer Nice Fat pads to trim. Loving these perennial greens!!

The sea kale os pretty awesome, too.

I actually put it in the ground in spring 2020. Wait. I put it in a 10gal bag In 2020 along with a root crop. Indian ground nut tub or I believe.

I picked on the kale and harvested one tubor out. My Malinois pup made me grateful to have one tubor to pull out. Really tested the courage and durability of my garden this year 🤓🥴😭

The kale grew really tall in 20 & 21. So this year I cut the stalk into 3 pieces; basically leaving the bag with a 8” stalk; and I took the other two 12” pieces and put them each in a bag. First I rubbed fresh aloe gel from a fresh pad I cut from the garden; then stuck the stalk down with 6” in soil and 6” sticking up.

Fresh leaves started on the base piece, and the middle piece within a couple weeks; the top piece started to flower little broccoli i pieces. I thought that was cool because I hadn’t remembered seeing the kale flower at all the previous two seasons; annnnnd that only one of the three pieces flowered; annnnnd I didn’t know kale could make broccolini hehehe 🤓🥴😅😂🤣😂🤣

🗣I love broccolini!!!

We could literally start a whole new broccolini thread 😂🤣😅🥴🤓
 
Matthew Nistico
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Dimitrius Brown wrote:Man!!! Them greens!!! I make a mean pot of greens. It’s my grandmother’s recipe. Except… instead of using Collard greens; I use my garden green medley of Okinawa Spinach, Sea Kale, New Zealand Spinach, and Fish Mint. When I say my family loves this dish… they really do! I always make a big pot. We eat on it for a day or few and freeze what’s left.

By the time the frozen leftovers are gone; the Bush of New Zealand Spinach and Fish Mint have gotten to needing to be thinned back out again; the Okinawa Spinach has nice fat barbed leaves again; and the Sea Kale is ready to offer Nice Fat pads to trim. Loving these perennial greens!!



My understanding was that Sea Kale was grown for blanched shoots in early Spring.  But you harvest the leaves throughout the Summer, I am reading?

Please elaborate on that...
 
Jamie Chevalier
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Tree Collards are the best-tasting brassica I know of, but they don't come true from seed, so I'm always on the lookout for kale and collards with perennial tendencies from seed.
I've recently had good luck and good reports on Cottager's Kale https://www.quailseeds.com/store/p514/Cottager%27s_Kale.html
Old Timey Blue Collards has lasted 3 years in my garden, so far so good. https://www.quailseeds.com/store/p337/Old-Timey_Blue_Collards.html
 
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Isn't Sorrel an invasive plant?
 
A magnificient life is loaded with tough challenges. En garde tiny ad:
A PDC for cold climate homesteaders
http://permaculture-design-course.com
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