Anyone successfully growing vegetables foreign to their locale?
For the artichokes: I did this by planting them in a raised sheet mulch bed (approx. 6 inches high) , cutting the plants leaves back in the fall so that there was only about 2-3 inches of stalk above the soil level, mulching 3-5 inches with hay (careful that the mulch doesn't touch the stalk to avoid rot), placing a bucket over the plant with a stone on top, and then putting a big mound of mulch on and around the bucket.
I should mention that out of about 6 plants, only 2 of them made it through the winter. I tried several methods of overwintering and the one I described above was the one that worked. Near as I could tell, the problem with the plants that didn't survive is that they rotted due to my leaving their cut leaves near the stalks as a mulch, and/or that I didn't cut the leaves back far enough. Not totally sure though.
And I grew a perennial gourd I let it grow to full size and it tasted horrible.
I like growing strange stuff but it would have been better to find recipes first or try the things first than the other way round. We lived in a warm climate and these where the things which grew best.
I grew malabar spinach, and kang kong water spinach which are both good, the latter is better.
I like the book "perennial vegetables".
I plan to grow quinoa this winter, partly to feed my compost pile, but partly as a leafy green. I understand it takes a few rinses to wash away the saponins from the outside of the seeds, so I'm not sure it's worth growing as a grain.
I once had chia in the garden and it was really very pretty, but I didn't come around to harvest the seeds, it is difficult to get them at the right time before they shatter and they are small. The same happened to my grain amaranth experiment.
I hear the secret is to tip the living plant over a container and shake it, then leave it growing while more seeds mature. There are some clever designs for baskets to do this, but it seems like a plastic storage box (perhaps with a bag slipped over the end) would serve OK. I'm going to see how this works with sesame as well, at some point in the future.
Bulbs at wholesale prices: http://vanengelen.com/
Interesting idea about planting those alternative root crop/ bulbs. Do you have any info on using them as a food crop?
ediblecities, personally I would avoid those plants especially kudzu, because there is a chance it could get away from you. I think you could find less invasive substitutes.
Ps- i'm in zone 5a
Mexican horchata is vaguely similar, but being made with rice, is not nearly so nutty tasting. I really liked horchata de chufa when I visited Spain, but some of the other Americans I met there, didn't.
I think it would be a good candidate for aquaponics, a constructed wetland, or a constructed pond where it can't escape. I think it might be especially well-suited to an overflow, because it can handle some drought.
Similarly, kudzu might be contained on a constructed island, or by a chicken moat if you want to use it in a several-year rotation of garden beds.
I need something to fight this wisteria, my bee's don't need it and my ducks and rabbit's could sure use the kudzu where nobody can use the wisteria. Dam vine killed my hopes and has gone up 50 ft and smothered one of my pine tree's. I wish i had kudzu to hold back the blackberry and invasive mints aswell.
ediblecities Hatfield wrote:Maybe kudzu is great for sheep too?
Horchata is a traditional drink of Spanish and South American meat eaters.
I bet it is, sheep adore vines on our properties. I keep sheep mainly for their work in keeping vines down. It is either that, or pay someone with a machete. Might as well get some food out of it too. They love a lot of what is considered weeds here that cattle won't eat. I have seriously considered trying out renting sheep in farmers lands. (they pay me) Sheep will have a feast on what the cattle won't touch because cows eat with their tongues, and sheep, with their teeth.
I would have to keep a worker with them, but he could remove at the same time what nothing wants to eat.
Snake gourds: Easy to grow, vines grow long but grow well in small pots. I still have to find a recipe for those
Bottle gourds: one grew one, and I am saving the fruit to harvest seeds for next year. Also easy in pot but stops at a point
Luffa: vine grows long (initially it is very slow) but it is failing to set flowers (maybe it took too long, now there is less sunlight)
Moringa: easy to sprout at 30°C, grows fast, but I dislike its taste
Okra: tasty (do not transplant and water minimal), they start slow but then take fast. Very tasty and plenty of new seeds
Amaranth: grain easy to harvest (just shake flowers and then blow with hair dryer).
Quinoa: it is flowering now. Its my first year growing it. Very dry resistant. Grows very tall, and like amaranth it starts slow. I managed to sprout some seeds from store bought quinoa.
Chia: easy to grow from store bought seeds, grows fast but it did not flower yet (I guess is short day plant)
Sesame: easy from store bought seeds, and produces well. Very dry resistant, I love these kind of plants, because you dont need to take much care for them
Goji berry: started from store bought berries, grows quick, but it will only set fruit by 3rd year
Ginger and turmeric: very easy to start from rhyzomes, grow perfect indoors but need a wider container to form a more harvestable crop. Need almost no care.
Skirret: root tastes like carrot raw, and is perennial
Chinese artichokes: funny looking, also a nice eat and ground cover
Sweet potatoes: never tried outdoors (too cold) but indoors in a box, it makes new sweet potatoes. Easy to grow but obviously likes more space
Tiger nuts: very easy to grow (soak for 2-3 days before germination). Tasty roasted. Perennial and spreads well.
Peanuts: I was able to grow them well and flower in a container box, but it is failing to set the nuts. I think I have a pollinization problem because I am indoors, or maybe they lack some nutrient or hotter temperature.
Chinese cabbages: tasty in stir fry, and easy to grow. Need small space for roots, care to not overwater or drying.
Mung beans: eays to grow, small sized plant, makes a lot of small mung beans. I love the taste of mung beans, so nutritious and less heavy than normal beans
molokheiya (corchoris)- super easy to start from tiny turquoise seeds in greenhouse. translplant well and produce all summer
new zealand spinach (tetragonia)- sporadic but dependable germinator in spring greenhouse. grows well in cool and hot weather
new fall crops. .
salsify (trogopogon)- germ easy . . i transplanted these in sept. . i should have direct seeded some but I went with old reliable seed tray. . they have transplanted well and should go through our zone 6 winter
italian chicory (chicorum) easy germ plants can transplant up to frosts. . bitter, most people don't like them but the plants are really hardy and in the aster family. good for beneficials
mache- can be direct seeded late. . grows well with garlic . seeds ready when garlic is harvested