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Salsify really!! wow  RSS feed

 
Lorenzo Costa
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Location: Italy, Siena, Gaiole in Chianti zone 9
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Kevin what a beautiful thing to find someone that has so much passion for salsify on the other side of the world. Here in Italy we eat Salsify and it's called at least in my region Barba di Becco, or Barba del prete, beard of the priest. I love it and eat in omelette. I thought of collecting the seeds and throw them on my land hoping to get some. I have it close to my house but not on my land and I would like to propagate it.
So as I saw on your video one doesn't have to plant it but just throw the seeds and let them do. I'll try...
I heard people here use dandelions flower buds as capers putting them under salt or vinegar, do you think it can be done with salsify flower buds? I've never tried them, I'll catch up this year. I've had salsify for dinner quite a few times this year and I love it.

My thoughts on wild edibles were to collect seed and propagate them on my land I don't want to risk over collecting plants that instead are really good. I collect a lot of allium ampeloprasum, I think you call it wild leek, another of my candy edibles.
they grow really well under olive trees and around my house there's so many. I've got this neighbor that passes with the tractor under his olive trees and every time this period of the year he breaks the bulbs and they propagate so much because around, what I call the mother bulb, there are all the small bulbs. I've sold them sometimes through a firend of mine to a restaurant for 8,97 dollars a kilo. I'm not to into the thing of seling them but thats a yield too.

I think in a permaculture design we should work a lot on trying to fit in these wild edibles, they're so strong and just grow by themselves. I love them.
Thanks for your great hard work in sharing this knowledge.

 
Kevin Feinstein
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Thank you for sharing your experience about salsify, great to hear about it where it's actually native. My experience with it is that is always finds a place to come up when it naturally reseeds (or I protect it so it can reseed.) However, seems like every time I intentionally plant it, it doesn't grow! I do know it takes a long time to germinate and get going, at least here.

I like to follow the permaculture ethic when foraging -- using the surplus. I don't go for rare things, or even always my favorite. For me foraging is sustainable if you are using the surplus. What is being provided/offered by nature. What's extra? What needs to be divided, thinned, culled, removed? I look for what nature is giving, not what I can take.

Also, more and more as time goes on for me, the line between the wild and my garden becomes blurrier. Salsify in my garden is simply a very desirable plant. It grows on its own, using only rainfall and the natural soil, it doesn't have spikes, makes a pretty flower, and is very good to eat, so it is certainly one of my favorites. I think somewhat rare wild/native bulbs such as ramps should be cultivated using natural methods if we like to eat them so much. I feel that the foraging in actual wild places should be more of land stewardship approach, foraging only for regenerative purposes (this can be very broad). We have very few wild places left.
And I mean plant foraging, mushroom foraging is an entirely different thing!



 
Lorenzo Costa
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wild leek here is so native that you walk on it, I can have in 100 square meters 70/80 wild leeks it's really incredible. Anyway yeah I don't like to collect to much. now it's time for me to go out and get some ruscus aculeatus that has turions like asparagus. I've got so much in my forest that luckily is free from being visited by humans, it's very off hand and only wild animals go there. So this weekend I'll collect some of the turions and cook something up, they're strong in flavor, bitter, but it's a nice bitter taste, I love them boiled and eaten with oil, lemon and salt.
 
Heather Ward
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I love salsify too, and enjoy the buds as a vegetable, although they are so tiny that I seldom get more than a very small handful. I like to throw them in olive oil and cook rapidly over fairly high heat until done. You do have to make sure that you get buds that have never opened, as opposed to those that have opened and closed. The never-opened ones are smaller with blunt tips, while the opened-and-closed ones are larger and pointy at the tip.
Do either of you have experience with growing and eating scorzonera? I tried growing them for the roots and didn't get enough roots to be worth preparing, but after reading that the tops are edible, I tried cooking those. They are fair, somewhat bland in flavor and certainly not choice, but they grow with very little additional water in our high-desert climate once established, which I think gives them some claim to our attention. Right now mine are starting to form flower stalks, and I plan to try cooking those too. Would love to hear your experiences.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Found this nice little video on salsify in another thread (here):

 
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