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Who grows Moringa and what can you tell me?  RSS feed

 
Thekla McDaniels
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Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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Moringa is a highly nutritious green.  Some people call it miracle plant.  There are lots of claims about mineral and vitamin content.  It has other uses too.  One I am pretty sure of is the ground seeds can be used to purify water.

I have a couple of 4 year old trees in big pots.  I have been bringing them in for the winter, but my house is not as warm as they like, and so they sleep through the winter and are slow to wake in the spring.  This year they will winter in the greenhouse of some friends.  I hope they like it better there.

I wonder how people are over wintering their moringa, what climates it is happy in.  (I know it grows in West Africa). 

Does anyone have any good recipes?  I have just made fritatta.  

Onions and garlic sauted to flavor the butter and make them tender.

Then add a pile of leaves, then pour the scrambled egg and stir it in. 

Add cheese if you have some and like it.

 
Marco Banks
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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I'm growing moringa here in my yard in Los Angeles.  I've got 5 plants/trees --- planted directly into the ground.  This is my first season growing those trees, so we will see how it does over the winter.  I thought it would grow more aggressively than it has, but I don't think we have the heat or humidity that it likes.  I wish I had a space on a west facing or south facing wall so that it could capture the heat of the sun on that wall.  Four of those plants are on a south facing hill, so I hope that that helps it continue to stay active and continue to grow throughout the winter months. 

I planted it from seed in pots in May, and now in late Sept., it's about 5 feet tall.  Because the trees are young, I don't aggressively harvest yet.  Hopefully by next summer, there will be enough that we can really start to enjoy it.  I've only fertilized them with comfrey mulch.  Perhaps I should start to pee around the base to give it an extra boost of N, but the trees are planted in a somewhat inaccessible location, and I don't want to have to climb over hill and dale to get to them every time I've got to take a leak.

I like the leaves when they are young and tender.  There is a pleasant tartness.  Once they get older, the flavor becomes much stronger.  Like you, I throw a small handful of leaves into scrambled eggs.  I try to not cook them very long -- I want to keep all that nutrition in them.  I think that the leaves would be nice in burritos and tacos, but I haven't tried that yet. 

 
kevin stewart
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I saw a post on moringa in edible greens and when someone "snow" I thought it survived the snow.it didn't.
Moringa farms says cold is bad but I have read that they just reshoot from the rootball.
I got a bit excited, on craigslist orange county(ca) a number of people were selling seeds for as little as $5. For 100 seeds.much better than two ounces for $15.00 online.

I do wonder though. This citrus (lemon, lime?) Survived last winter in
NE arizona. The hydroponic tray it was in had an inch of ice. It's biggest problem seems to be that the roof is to low.



IMG_20160827_151734.jpg
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Thekla McDaniels
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Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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Interesting, the survival of the citrus tree.  I know that citrus can tolerate some snow and cold.  There is a citrus belt on the west side of the Sierras (Ca, USA).  Google "Lemon Cove, California".  It gets a "real" winter there, but just barely.  And occasionally the citrus crop gets wiped out by an untimely colder freeze. 

I don't think your success with the lemon tree in ice is a good judge of what the Moringa will tolerate, but with more protection, you might do OK.  The moringa does resprout from the root ball, after the soil is very warm... so late you think it is dead.  What I have done in western Colorado, is grow it outside in the summer, and bring it in for the winter.  The 40 degree F overnight is enough to make it go quite dormant.  Everything I have read about it says freezing kills it.  I guess if you had water in the process of freezing, the moringa could be covered in ice, but itself not be frozen.  I would not want to risk mine to that experiment.  This winter mine are going to stay in someone else's greenhouse....
 
kevin stewart
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Out there (ne az) there is no Inside.
Last january I would fill my water kettle before I went to bed because my bottled water would be frozen.stupid badly insulater RV.
I won't try it this year but maybe next summer. I'll have 100 seeds!
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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Life is such an adventure.  In the early 70s, I worked in the Big Sur wilderness, solo mule and horse camping during the work week as wilderness ranger.  I loved the camping out and got used to only having a shower on my days off, wearing the same clothes all week.  (It was then I decided the color of the USFS uniform shirt was chosen for the fact that it was the same color straight out of the wash, or after a month of daily outdoor wearing.  It did smell different however). 

The thing I could not get used to was that before I could have my coffee, I had to get up, light a fire and boil water.  It was too much for me.  I liked my coffee first thing, VERY first thing, so I could face the rest.

I solved that by making the coffee on the dinner fire, and putting it in a thermos by my bed roll.  In the morning I could lie in my sleeping bag, look at the forest and the early activity of birds and animals without having to budge out of bed.

I thought that worked pretty well.  So, I used to make hot lunch on the breakfast fire, and had a different thermos for the daily lunch burrito filling.

I don't think you could take your moringa to bed with you, so I guess next year you can start.
 
amarynth leroux
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We grow Moringa but we are in the dry tropics.  Working with some friends in colder areas where it needs overwintering, we've figured that you have to grow it more like a shrub, i.e., cut it and keep it short.  Then overwinter it and cover it as you would do with your other shrub type things.  There is a lot of moringa now grown not as trees, but as field crops, where they grow 35 or so days, and get harvested, and again they grow 35 or 40 days, and there is another harvest.  So, the plant lends itself to be aggressively pruned.

Otherwise, just take seeds and plant it year after year when your climate allows.  They grow so easily that this is viable.    
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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thanks amarynth,

I think possibly I could do that shrub thing, with the roots protected from very cold soil.  I don't get seed production during the growing season here.  and don't get enough growth to use the leaves.  I've just been keeping it alive, nothing more.

I think the roots are more tender than fig and pomegranate, but with all the trying I've been doing with and for them, and finally noticed a great location on a south facing wall with protection on the east.  A nice little heat pocket, and the wall is my basement on the other side, so the wall is never frozen...
 
Ganado Mage
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Moringa can be grown in a pot.  This site has good info
How to Grow Dwarf Moringa

A couple of things I don't think it discusses
1) Moringa does not like its roots wet.  Dry / well drained is very good,  Its a desert loving plant
2) Moringa does not like its tap root messed with.  So a tall pot or 5 gallon bucket is better if you are growing in a pot in the house.
3) Grow more than one in a bucket, I have 5 to a bucket (I'm on my second batch as the 1st ones got root rot from monsoon, ahh the joys of growing pains/failures!)

http://i.imgur.com/o9X0FvI.jpg

the bottom right leaves are curling as it is getting too much water.  I start pinching early any plant I want to grow in a pot so that it focus's on growing roots and spreading out on the top verses growing tall. Moringa is a tree so it can get tall the key is to keep pruning it back from the very beginning if you are going to make it a bush instead of a tree.

I've seen them in Africa grown very densely in a 3 X 6' hedgerow planted 8-12" apart and cut off at 12" for harvesting. 

ORAC Values of Moringa for micro nutrients you cant miss the graphics

 
Andrew Cavanagh
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Moringa loves the tropics and loves the monsoons here.

You can cut it back every year and it will grow right back (which is necessary here because it grows huge if you don't cut it).

You can eat the pods when they're green as well as the leaves.

You can also get an excellent cooking oil from the seeds (Benn oil) and you can extract the oil fairly simply at home.
http://www.permaculturecairns.com/MoringaTree.html
 
Daniel Quinn
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Moringa. Dried. Powdered. Whipped into honey. Makes good candyHerrrummm uh plant based Suppliment for children who need extra iron. (in lead prone urban environs.)
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Posts: 1832
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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From what I know,it does like sun and heat,but what it really can't stand is freezing.  A south facing location that collects and maintains heat would allow it to live survive winter.  the heat trap and sun question are there to play with.  You never know what you might discover.
 
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