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Pennycress

 
Richard Kastanie
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Location: Missouri Ozarks
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I'm looking for penny cress (thlaspi arvense) seed. Searching on google shows many articles and plenty of information about it, but curiously nobody selling the seeds within the USA. Does anyone know of any sources or have any to sell? If you have any for sale, PM me with prices and arrangements.
 
Cassie Langstraat
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So I decided to create a little thread dedicated entirely to pennycress.



Pennycress or (Thlaspi arvense L) is a member of the mustard family and it grows as a winter annual. It has little florets that grow low so they provide a cover for over-wintering plants. So, it is able to be an effective ground cover without being too much competition for your other plants. Pennycress germinates in the fall and finishes its growing cycle in the late spring so it will not compete for light or nutrients with your summer crops!



Pennycress seeds and leaves can apparently be harvested and eaten! They are somewhat spicy and peppery so they make a nice spice and go well with heaps of dishes. You can learn how to harvest them here.

Also, apparently pennycress is a viable option for biofuel!

Here is Paul's video with Helen Atthowe about pennycress!



What are other people's experiences with pennycress?





 
Deb Rebel
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I am talking to a place that is encouraging farmers to grow pennycress for the seed for oil and other use, it can be made into biofuel it seems. The place is, www.growpennycress.com and there is a phone # (Minnesota) to talk to 'Seth'. At the time I'm typing this I'm going straight to voicemail as I think he's on phone. For the permaculture people, they might be willing to provide seed if enough want it. (I know this stuff, where I grew up it was a rampant weed; some places have issue with it because of 'invasive' status. Montana is in the native range of it) Maybe it will take just having to send some people out from the lab area to hunt some up and gather seed? I started phonetag, I'll post updates.
 
Tirzah Schmaltz
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Deb Rebel wrote:I am talking to a place that is encouraging farmers to grow pennycress for the seed for oil and other use, it can be made into biofuel it seems. The place is, www.growpennycress.com and there is a phone # (Minnesota) to talk to 'Seth'. At the time I'm typing this I'm going straight to voicemail as I think he's on phone. For the permaculture people, they might be willing to provide seed if enough want it. (I know this stuff, where I grew up it was a rampant weed; some places have issue with it because of 'invasive' status. Montana is in the native range of it) Maybe it will take just having to send some people out from the lab area to hunt some up and gather seed? I started phonetag, I'll post updates.


Funny. Was just gonna post the same info. Any luck with this?
 
Deb Rebel
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I'll let everyone know, I'm currently playing phone tag (talk to the voice mailbox) and waiting for a reply.

As for 'just about to post this' .... great minds think alike?
 
Tirzah Schmaltz
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Deb Rebel wrote:I'll let everyone know, I'm currently playing phone tag (talk to the voice mailbox) and waiting for a reply.

As for 'just about to post this' .... great minds think alike?


Depends on how wide the spectrum of greatness is. Thought you could "get anything on the internet" but am too often surprised by what one can not readily locate when it comes to gardening and thc like. Still looking for a sycamore fig (tree). Hope your search is successful.
 
Deb Rebel
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Tirzah, you might search southern California nurseries or ones in the SE Texas area (Houston) as those areas are 10a climate which is what the Sycamore Fig prefers, 10a or warmer. B&T Seeds offers seeds of the Sycamore Fig but that is Euros plus shipping plus customs. I KNOW there's some trees somewhere in California... I put a few feelers off to friends, they are going to keep eyes peeled. Networking is often the best way to turn something.

Yeah, I know about how wide or narrow the definition sometimes. Still waiting on callback here, and I emailed the pennycress place.
 
Kevin Anderson
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How much do you need? I have a research project involving pennycress at UMN and may be able to get you a small amount. Also, you may be a bit late for planting- I try to get it in the ground before September 15th.
 
Hans Quistorff
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Interesting the seed pods look like silver dollar plant that I am familiar with but it has purple flowers. It has a more upright habit and usually 4 seeds per translucent pod.
 
John Saltveit
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A similar and I believe related plant with similar attributes is shotweed. It is also a type of cress, and as such, winds up on most nutritious vegetable lists as a 100-the most nutritious-with kale and collards. It is also an invasive weed. Most people don't know it's edible. It also grows in the winter. I'm just starting to see some now in October. Gives you lots of spicy greens in winter when you need them. I'm amazed that more people don't eat them. We have mild winters here-wet, cool and rainy-different from Montana's, so it may be "our pennycress".
John S
PDX OR
 
Deb Rebel
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I happen to be up, and received an email reply from the pennycrest growers.... their rep person is out of country right now but the email request I sent reached them.

They would like to know how much seed we are looking for (they are used to dealing with providing to farmers that are planting at least 40 acres at once) and I have indicated we are looking for less than that amount. They also said it's more than a bit late for a fall sowing. If someone would let me know how much seed I will let them know. Thanks.
 
Deb Rebel
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Okay, pennycress growing contacted me again; they are interested in working with us in 2015 to provide seed. We will have to figure out how much we want and need over the winter, and perhaps get some from them about March?
 
Judith Browning
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We have a little pennycress growing around here...I will have to look for it this winter. I've never seen it growing very thick, covering the ground though.
I'm doing a similar experiment with chickweed, also a winter annual most winters here and an excellent ground cover...along with dead nettle, a plant I couldn't stop if I had too.
I am wondering now about a cover of all three together...bees also like the dead nettle and it survives a bit later into the spring.
 
Jonathan Krohn
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Since pennycress is non-native and invasive throughout North America, I suspect there is seed to be had locally if you check out roadside ditches or other weedy areas next spring. I don't know that I would call it particularly low-growing, though. Weeds of the West says it grows 6-18 inches tall, and I think I have seen it before at 2-3 feet. Also, according to Thomas Elpel, all mustards are edible (though some don't taste too great!), and many of them are winter annuals. So, if you can't find pennycress seeds, there are probably several other species that you could substitute.
 
Chris French
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http://wildseed.co.uk/species/view/257

Is this the same plant?
 
Deb Rebel
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Yep, I recognize the latin. It's the same one.
 
Wyatt Brush
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I am working on harvesting the seeds that are just ripening here in western South Dakota, if anybody is still interested in seeds. These are just growing here wild, and I have not had their oil content tested, so I don't know if they are high, low, or average. The soil is poor here, but a lot of these are growing in the corrals, which would be better soil with a lower ph. Some of the soil out here (according to the land lord) tests out at about a ph of 8! This Pennycress has grown to about 6 inches to 24 inches high. I am in Zone 4.
 
Deb Rebel
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Nobody got back to me about getting seed from that one place, so I assumed that another source was found... my bad for not following up either. (busy and sick spring) Hope you have just the thing, Wyatt
 
paul wheaton
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Wild turkeys wiped out most of our pennycress. But it looks like plenty made it through and we now have quite a bit!

 
Deb Rebel
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Kewl, great. Thanks for the update, Paul.

 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Cassie Langstraat wrote:Pennycress germinates in the fall and finishes its growing cycle in the late spring so it will not compete for light or nutrients with your summer crops!


In my garden, pennycress is just now maturing seed. But my summer crops had to be planted a month ago. I haven't been successful planting crops during the summer for harvest in the fall. So if I grew pennycress, I guess I'd have to plan on the after-pennycress crop being something like a cover-crop, or a fall planted crop like wheat or garlic.
 
Wyatt Brush
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paul wheaton wrote:Wild turkeys wiped out most of our pennycress. But it looks like plenty made it through and we now have quite a bit!


One source I read said that Pennycress builds up a seed bank that will last 20-30 years.
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