PNW: I grew a Akebia, or chocolate vine from seed. I got the seed from a garden on Queen Ann Hill in Seattle. I live in Olympia, WA so wet, colder a bit than Seattle. The Seattle Akebia had "fruit". It looks like big pods full of seeds in Seattle. With a gelatinous gooey opaque white can I call it fruit? It was sweet and delicious. I think they need a lot of sun to get the fruit, mine are partial shade. Otherwise the vines are beautiful, very hardy, don't entirely lose their leaves in winter. My vine is 2 years old, and no fruit yet. I'm going to start growing sunchokes. We have 2 acres, of which one is forest, about 2 miles from downtown Olympia. So we are essentially in a town but have our own well water. I grew Orach for a leafy green that re-seeds, did well here. I have a fig tree that does pretty well.
Also, kiwi both the fuzzy, and "hardy". The Hardy or grape, or Anna Kiwi (all names for it), took 7 years to harvest, but are they wonderful, the skin is smooth, pinching off tassle to eat. Can harvest when just barely ripe to ripen inside since the racoons and birds will eat them right away if you don't get them first. They drip down from the branches like grapes. We harvest, clean them, then freeze, and use all winter long. Very little work required to grow, that's my kind of plant. Appletrees doing exceptionally well, but they are very old so well established. I harvest Spruce tips in spring and have made a tincture, and a balm. If you grow a wild cherry tree, you can take the bark and make an excellent tincture for respiratory problems. We had one already on the property. Chickweed grows fast in spring, and miners lettuce. Look for wild ginger, I have a patch that mysteriously appeared under the rhoddys, and are spreading like crazy, loving the shade. If you plant a Linden tree, the bees will love you. Also, the flowers harvested and dried make a wonderful tasting calming tea, popular in Europe. A very pretty, hardy tree to grow. You can find them in cities along parking strips everywhere. We used strong black mesh deer fencing between poles, or can be stapled right onto branches around the property, as the deer eat everything, even rose bushes. Made a gate this year by attaching a pole to the mesh, then the pole into a pvc pipe in the ground down about 6 inches to hold the pole. When opening, lifting the pole up out of the pvc, moving it over to another pvc pipe that is set to accept the pole the distance of the opening. Does this make sense? It's been a great way to have a gate! Brenner gardens online is where I got the roll of fencing. I am brand new to this site, so this is my first posting.
I’m surprised at how many people reported having trouble with ground nut. I put some in a small garden on the northwest corner of a building. The soil was terrible so I dug in about 2 gallons of my partially finished compost before putting the ground nuts in. They came up happily every year. I will say they seem to have a later season than many other perennials in my region. I loved seeing the beautiful almost pine cone looking flower. I just had to dig all the tubers up as the landlord decided they didn’t want anything climbing near the building. I’ve moved them to the west side of my house and look forward to seeing how hey do in this new location.
I haven’t yet tried eating any. If they do well this year I will probably try eating some. I’ll try to remember to take a picture of them when they are flowering which is usually late summer possibly even into autumn.
Jackie Frobese wrote:I’m surprised at how many people reported having trouble with ground nut.
Hi Jackie! I was also a bit surprised as they do well for me here in Maine. Maybe we're lucky to live in an area they like? I'm placing an order with Oikos for the "Maine groundnuts" as I'd like some that produce beans as well. My current strain doesn't seem to set seeds....maybe a triploid?
Biochar maker/enthusiast whose mind wants to dance, but whose body is a really awkward white guy.
S Tonin wrote:And Lamb's Quarters, which I can't get rid of no matter how hard I try.
I encourage lamb's quarters and have 2 areas of it that I use heavily each year. I actually feed it well-rotted manure and expanded production. I harvest it by the armload daily for my chickens. I have pondered harvesting and drying it for "hay" for them for the winter. Love the stuff.
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