Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting shows a mature goumi plant that has fruit ready to harvest, how to tell when it is ready to harvest and the method of harvesting.

About Sweet Scarlet Goumi

Elaeagnus multiflora is the botanical name of goumi and is in the same family as Autumn Olive and Russian Olive.  While autumn olive and Russian olive are sometimes considered an invasive plant because the spread so prolifically by seed, that is not really the case for goumi.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi is a Ukrainian plant and is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4-8. It is a perennial deciduous shrub that grows up to 9 feet high.  It likes well drained soil and at least a half a day of sunshine.  It produces fragrant creamy white flowers in May followed by fruit in June.  It fixes nitrogen in the soil, which basically puts fertilizer in the ground for free when you prune it.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Bush

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Bush

Where is the Fruit?

The fruit is deep red when it is ready to harvest.  However, if you are just walking by the bush and not paying attention, you may miss the fruit all together.  The fruit grows on the underside of the bush and if your plant is very bushy, like mine is, then the fruit is almost hidden.  You actually have to push the branches and leaves aside to see the fruit.  But use caution as the shrub has long sharp thorns.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Fruit 3

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Fruit

Harvesting

Your fruit is ready to harvest when it is a deep dark red.  The darker red that the fruit is, the sweeter the fruit is.  The fruit will turn red when it is the size of a small marble or very small cherry.

To harvest, simply grab the stem holding the fruit to the branch and give a tug.  If you are eating the fruit right away, you could just grab the fruit and give a tug.  If you are going to try and store the fruit for a day or two, make sure you pull the stem with the fruit.  The fruit does not last as long without the stem.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Fruit 2

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Fruit

Don’t Store the Fruit

The fruit does not store well. The fruit will store for a day or two in the refrigerator but then it gets soft and rubbery.  I have found that the taste doesn’t change much when it is rubbery, it just looks better and has a better texture when it is fresh.

Sweet but Astringent

The fruit has a flavor like I have never tasted before.  It has a pleasant sweet taste but also has a slight astringency.  Astringency is where it makes your mouth pucker a little, kind of like eating a grape seed or the peel of an unripe banana.  It has a seed in the center that I generally do not eat.  Some folks on my plant tours have eaten the seeds and they say it has a nutty flavor.  I didn’t get that when I tried it.  The seeds have kind of a woody texture to them and I can’t seem to get past that.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Seed

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Seed

The fruit is claimed to have 3 times the lycopene of tomatoes and to be high in vitamins A, C, and E.  I have seen several recipes online for jams and jellies, but I can’t seem to gather enough to make jams or jellies, because I end up eating them raw because they are so good.  I just fill a baggie up and take them to work with me and snack on them throughout the day.

The Video

Click on the picture below to view the Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting YouTube video.

Sweet Scarlet Goumi YouTube

Sweet Scarlet Goumi YouTube

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Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Fruit

Sweet Scarlet Goumi Berry Harvesting Fruit

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal shows how to get rid of tent caterpillars on small trees. The video also briefly diverts to cedar apple rust.

The Hunt

Every morning I grab my cup of coffee and walk around the homestead.  This is therapy for me to just relax, take in nature, enjoy the work that I have done, and to look for items that need to be addressed.  One of those items that occasionally needs to be addressed is pests on the plants.  Recently on my walks I noticed that tent caterpillars have moved into my orchard and needed to be taken care of.

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

These particular caterpillars are attacking my pear tree, apple tree, cherry tree, elderberry bush and a blue berry bush. The caterpillars build silk tents around the leaves and then they proceed to eat the leaves.  They do not eat all the way through the leaves but do eat enough of the leaves so that they turn brown.

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Why not attack later in the day?

The caterpillars move like caffeine addicts on a coffee high in the afternoon.  They are also spread out to various spots on the tree.  I have found that the caterpillars are very slow moving in the morning and that is a good time to get them when they are all in the nest.  For this reason, I usually plan my caterpillar assault in the early morning before work.

The Attack!

My method of killing these little boogers is to drown them in water.  I take a 5-gallon bucket and add some dish soap to it.  Then I fill the bucket about half to three-quarters of the way up with warm water.  The warm water is for me, so my hands don’t freeze as they would with cold water.  The soap is to break the buoyancy so the caterpillars will not be able to “walk on water” – they will sink.

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal - Bucket

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal – Bucket

The Cut

For my tree this year, I was able to cut the branches.  All of the caterpillars were at the end of the branches and there were not too many.  I just cut the end of the branches off where the caterpillars were and dropped the entire branch in the water and pushed it under with my hands (this is where warm water helps).  If they were in the middle of a branch or on a branch that I did not want to cut, I would pull the caterpillars off by hand, but you do risk missing some caterpillars or some eggs.

The Video

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Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal YouTube

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal YouTube

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Yellow Spots on Apple Leaves

During my walks, I have noticed about half of my apple trees have yellow/brown spots on the leaves.  This is usually a condition known as cedar apple rust.  It is caused by having a plant in the cedar/juniper family close by and it having a fungus on it.  Cedar apple rust requires a plant in the cedar family and in the apple family to complete its life cycle.

Cedar Apple Rust

Cedar Apple Rust

The fungus does not usually kill the plant, but can cause a reduction or loss of fruit production.  The issue is worse on years when you have a very wet spring.  There are treatments that you can spray on the apple trees, but I don’t care to use chemicals and usually just let it run its course and it is usually better next year.

Cedar Apple Rust Resistant

There are cedar apple rust resistant plants available.  About half of my trees at the farm are resistant.  In 2017, the trees that were not resistant did not bear fruit at all because we had such a wet spring that the fungus went crazy and took too much energy from the trees to produce fruit.  The resistant trees produced just fine.


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Hardy Banana Spring Preparation

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation

This video is about Hardy Banana Spring Preparation and what needs to be done to prepare the hardy banana (Must basjoo) for spring.


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Here is What This Video is About

I did a post back in the fall titled Winterizing Hardy Bananas Musa basjoo.  This post shows how to prepare your hardy bananas for spring after that winterization.

What was done for Winterization

For winterization, we stacked bags of leaves all around the hardy bananas and then stacked them up two high.  From there we pushed loose leaves down into any open spaces and put a layer over the top.  Then, we took cuttings from the top of the hardy banana plants and draped them across the leaves, which stitched them into place and kept the wind from blowing them all around.

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation - Winterized

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation – Winterized

When Hardy Banana Spring Preparation Should Be Done

Timing really depends on your area.  A warmer climate will need to be done earlier.  My place is in Zone-7A and I generally do my place in March, depending on that year’s weather.  This year I did mine a little later because we had some late days of deep freeze.  You can prepare them and have freezes without any issue.  What you want to avoid is removing all of the protective winter mulch and then have temperatures dive into the teens.  This will kill the stalks down to the ground and they will have to start over later in the spring.

First Step of Spring Prep

The first thing you will want to do is to remove the old hardy banana tops that were draped across the top as well as any excess leaves draped across the top.  I just bag mine up and take them out to the farm for mulch.

Next

The next step is to remove the bags of leaves.  Again, I take my bags out to the farm and use them for mulch.

Then

The last cleanup step to get us to the ground is to do a final rake and bag around last year’s hardy banana stalks.  Leave any wood chips that you have as mulch around the banana plants.  Hardy bananas love water and the mulch will help keep them hydrated.

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation - Winter Mulch Removed

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation – Winter Mulch Removed

Here’s the Most Critical Step

One of the more important things you will need to do to prepare the hardy bananas for spring, is to cut the dead tops off.  If you wrap your hands around the tops of the plant and give a little squeeze it will feel either squishy or firm.  What we are looking for is firm.  As soon as you find that firmness, that is where we will make a cut.

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation - Trim Back

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation – Trim Back

How to Cut

We want to remove the dead tops all the way down to living tissue, which is where the hardy banana is firm.  Take a sharp knife and cut at a 30 to 45-degree angle at the point you have living tissue.  This cut will allow new growth to start unencumbered.  The new growth starts from the center of the stalk where the living tissue is found.  If an old dead stalk is curled over and tangled up, the new growth will not be able to find its way out of the center to start this year’s growth.

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation - Angled Cut

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation – Angled Cut

But why 30 to 45-Degree Angle

The angle is cut from one side down to the ground.  This angle will allow water to run off.  After a cut is made on the hardy bananas they will pump a lot of water up to the top of the plant.  That, plus rain water could sit there and rot the plant if you have a flat cut on top.  To avoid this, just make your cut at an angle so the water will run off.

You’re All Done

Now just sit back and enjoy these beautiful plants!

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation - Complete

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation – Complete


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Raspberry Pruning Basics | Spring Raspberry Pruning | Rubus idaeus

Raspberry Pruning Basics | Spring Raspberry Pruning | Rubus idaeus

Raspberry Pruning Basics - Start

Raspberry Pruning Basics – Start

This post is about Raspberry Pruning Basics | Spring Raspberry Pruning | Rubus idaeus.  We first go over the different type of canes, then we get into the actual pruning.


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Red raspberry with a botanical name of Rubus idaeus and sometimes called European raspberry is the common red-fruited species that you throughout Europe and Asia.  It is also the common type you find in North America even though the North American native variety is Rubus strigosus.

The Basics

In order to properly prune raspberry plants, you must understand the different canes so you know which ones to prune when.

Canes

Raspberries have perennial root systems and biennial canes. The first-year cane is a primocane.  The next year that cane is called a floricane and the year following that, the cane dies and can be completely removed.  An established raspberry bush will have all three types of canes.  This year’s new canes will be primocane, which will be next year’s floricane, but you will have new canes next year that will be that year’s primocane as well.

Primocane

The primocane are the first year’s growth. These canes do not have lateral branches and usually grow four to eight feet tall. Unless you have a variety referred to as “ever-beaing” these canes will not product fruit.  If you do have an everbearing variety, your raspberry bush will give you two fruitings – one on the floricane in the summer and one on the primocane in late summer into the fall.

Floricane

The floricane is what the cane is called in the second year.  It will not grow taller, but will grow lateral shoots.  The canes have will have short shoots called raceme that will have flowers on them in late spring to early summer and will produce fruit, usually in mid-summer, but some do produce in late summer.

Spent Floricane

The dead wood, also known as spent floricanes, are last year’s floricanes.  They will have a grayish, dead look to them and will have dead lateral shoots on them.

Raspberry Pruning Basics - Spent Floricane

Raspberry Pruning Basics – Spent Floricane

Pruning

You will be pruning in the mid-winter or very early spring.  Because of this, you will not have to worry about primocane.  Primocane have not come up yet.  All you have on your bush right now are floricane or dead canes.  This makes things easy.

Floricane Pruning

For the floricanes, you will get fruit from them this year, so you want to be selective.  You will want to prune out and leave only about three or four canes per linear foot and you want a row width to only be about two-foot wide.  You will want to leave the largest strongest looking canes, pruning out the smaller, more spindly canes.  If you have an ever-bearing variety, you will also need to prune back the tips that flowered last year.

What About Last Year’s Floricane

Last Year’s Floricane will be dead wood this year.  It should be obvious to pick them out.  There will not be any buds on it and by mid-winter it should look like obviously dead wood.  These get cut down to about 1-inch from the ground.


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Raspberry Pruning Basics Pruned and Thinned

Raspberry Pruning Basics Pruned and Thinned

The Video

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Fruit Trees Flowering Early and May Lose All of the Fruit

Fruit Trees Flowering Early and May Lose All of the Fruit

This post is about my Fruit Trees Flowering Early.  My nectarine and peach trees each have about a thousand buds each that are starting to flower out.  The pear and plum trees also have buds that are starting to flower out. It is March 1st and I’m in zone 7 in the mid-Atlantic area.  This is way too early.


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Fruit Trees Flowering Early Nectarine

Fruit Trees Flowering Early Nectarine

Normal?

This is about 6 weeks earlier than they normally flower out, but we have had several weeks with well above normal temperatures.  The last two weeks has had about four days up in the 70’s.  Normally our highs are in the 40’s.

Implications

The implications with the trees budding out early is the risk of losing all of the fruit if we go into the low twenties or teens.  I just checked the forecast and they are calling for it to do down to seventeen degrees the day after tomorrow.  At that temperature, I will definitely lose the buds that have opened up.  I do not know what will happen to the buds that haven’t flowered yet.  It really is a shame because I have never seen so many buds on my trees before.

Fruit Trees Flowering Early Pear

Fruit Trees Flowering Early Pear

Bush Cherry and Honeyberry

My Nanking bush cherry is in full bloom.  I’m not sure if it can handle temps down into the teens or not.  We had a late freeze last year and the Nanking cherry did fruit.

The honeyberry is flowering out as well.  I’m pretty sure it will be ok because they consistently flower out in March and always fruit for us.

I’ll give an update later in the spring when I figure out what survived and what didn’t.

Fruit Trees Flowering Early Nanking Cherry

Fruit Trees Flowering Early Nanking Cherry


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Transplanting Trees by Hand

Transplanting Trees by Hand

This post is about Transplanting Trees by Hand.  It is more showing how I did it than an actual how to or how you should do it.  The reason I’m transplanting trees from one yard to another is that I’m moving and one of the trees is not in the best spot and the other just has not been doing all that well.


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Dwarf Shapovia Mt. Ash

The first tree is a Dwarf Shapovia Mt. Ash.  This particular tree has not done all that well and really hasn’t grown that much in the three years that it has been planted in its current location.  Because it is so small and hasn’t grown that much, I will not be trimming any of the top branches.  I’m just digging it up and transporting it out to the farm in WV and putting it in the ground.

Transplanting Trees by Hand Shipovia

Transplanting Trees by Hand Shipovia

Illinois Everbearing Mulberry

The next tree is an Illinois Everbearing Mulberry.  It has grown great in its current location, but is growing under two oak trees and has fruit that will stain the walkway in the pool area.  Because of the danger of stains and location I feel that whoever buys this house will likely not want it where it is and will cut it down.

Well, if the tree is going to be cut down anyhow, I might as well try digging it up and transplanting it.  Because it is so big, it will need a good bit of pruning on the upper part to minimize the stress on the plant.   What I ultimately want is an hourglass shape.

Transplanting Trees by Hand Mulberry

Transplanting Trees by Hand Mulberry

Hourglass Shape

What I mean by hourglass shape is that the top part of the plant is spread out and it comes together to a main trunk.  That main trunk then fans out at the bottom, almost matching the shape of the top of the plant.  This should have an hourglass look to it.

Transplanting Trees by Hand Hourglass

Transplanting Trees by Hand Hourglass


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Marshmallow Althaea officinalis Edible Perennial

Marshmallow Althaea officinalis Edible Perennial

Marshmallow Althaea officinalis is an edible perennial plant that may have medicinal properties, can be cultivated, but also grows wild in the US.


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My Experience

I do not have a lot of experience growing this herb yet.  I was in a Permaculture Design Class (PDC) this past fall and one of the people there was an herbalist.  She had a number of packets of seeds for sale and marshmallow was one of them.  She explained to us what the seeds were and some of the benefits so I had to buy them.  Below I will explain a little about this plant and will follow up later this year on how they did.

The Basics

Marshmallow Althaea officinalis Edible Perennial

Marshmallow Althaea officinalis Edible Perennial

Marshmallow has a botanical name of Althaea officinalis. The generic name, Althaea, is derived from the Greek, altho (to cure), from its healing properties.  It is a green perennial that is hardy in zones 3 through 9 and likes partial shade to full sun.  They grow in clumps about 4 feet tall and about 2 1/2 feet wide, with maple-like leaves. It’s soft, hairy leaves are deeply cut in 3 divisions, similar in shape to a maple leaf.

Flower

Trumpet-shaped white flowers about 3 inches wide and 3 inches deep grow on the top one-third of the plants from July to September giving way to seedpods that ripen from August to October.

The plant will begin to flower in the second year.

Harvest the leaves after flowering and harvest the root in late fall.

Marshmallow Althaea officinalis Edible Perennial

Marshmallow Althaea officinalis Edible Perennial

Propagation

Marshmallow can be propagated via seed, divisions, and cuttings.

Cold stratify seeds for 4 weeks and then plant just below the soil surface, and space the groups of seeds 18 to 24 inches apart. Root divisions are taken in late fall or early spring when there is not active growth above ground.  Softwood cuttings are easy to root in the summer.

Marshmallow Althaea officinalis Edible Perennial

Marshmallow Althaea officinalis Edible Perennial

Edible

The leaves, flowers, roots and seeds are edible. Roots contain a mucilagelike material that can be cooked into a soft sweet food and was used as the original marshmallow.

Marsh Mallow contains starch, mucilage, pectin, oil, sugar, asparagin, phosphate of lime, glutinous matter and cellulose. (2)

Medicinal

According to webmd.com; “Marshmallow leaf and root are used for pain and swelling (inflammation) of the mucous membranes that line the respiratory tract. They are also used for dry cough, inflammation of the lining of the stomach, diarrhea, stomach ulcers, constipation, urinary tract inflammation, and stones in the urinary tract.
People sometimes apply marshmallow leaf and root directly to the skin for pockets of infection (abscesses) and skin ulcers; and as a poultice for skin inflammation or burns, and for other wounds.” * (1)

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Amazon Link for Seeds

Recipe

Marsh Mallow Water
‘Soak one ounce of marshmallow roots in a little cold water for half an hour. Peel off the bark, or skin. Cut up the roots into small shavings, and put them into a jug to stand for a couple of hours; the decoction must be drunk tepid, and may be sweetened with honey or sugar-candy, and flavored with orange-flower water, or with orange juice. (2)

Photo References/Sources:

(1) http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-774-marshmallow.aspx?activeingredientid=774&
(2) http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mallow07.html
(3) Copyright expired due to age of image Source: from ”Koehler’s Medicinal-Plants” 1887 {{GFDL-DD}} (PIC1)
(4) flower Pic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Althea_officinalis_flor.jpg
(5) {{Information |Description ={{en|1=Marshmallow roots from a cultivated ”Althaea officinalis” plant, Castelltallat, Catalonia}} |Source ={{own}} |Author =Victor M. Vicente Selvas |Date =04/12

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Blue Vervain | Swamp Verbena | Wild Hyssop

Blue Vervain | Swamp Verbena | Wild Hyssop

Blue Vervain is a beautiful perennial flower that is beneficial to good insects and can also be made into a tea.


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My Experience

I do not have a lot of experience growing this herb yet.  I was in a Permaculture Design Class (PDC) this past fall and one of the people there was an herbalist.  She had a number of packets of seeds for sale and blue vervain was one of them.  She explained to us what the seeds were and some of the benefits so I had to buy them.  Below I will explain a little about this plant and will follow up later this year on how they did.

The Basics

The botanical name is Verbena hastate.  It is also known as swamp verbena, wild hyssop, wild vervain, and herb of grace.  Blue vervain is native to the United States and is a perennial wildflower that grows from 2 to 5 feet tall.  It is a self-seeding herbaceous perennial that is hardy to -40 degrees F making it hardy in USDA hardiness zones: 3 to 8.

Vervain has square green to reddish stems with opposite leaves that are up to 6″ long and 1″ across.  It prefers moist conditions and full to partial sun.

Blue Vervain | Swamp Verbena | Wild Hyssop

Blue Vervain | Swamp Verbena | Wild Hyssop (3)

Flower

This insect beneficial plant has purplish-blue flowers in mid to late summer, lasting about 1–1½ months. Each bloom is about 1/4 inch across and conspicuously lobed with no noticeable floral scent.

Propagation

Verbena hastate can be propagated via seeds, rhizome spread, and cuttings.

Cold stratify for 90 days.  Seeds need light to germinate, so press seeds into the surface soil and do not cover.

Propagation can be done via digging up suckers from rhizomes that spread out.

Propagate via cutting using 3 to 4 inch cutting.

Edible

Most sources online say to use the above ground parts, but there are a few sites that talk about using the rhizomes as well.  The above-ground parts of the plant should be gathered before flowering and dried. Vervain must be picked before flowering and dried promptly to be effective

Traditionally used as a tea, but also as a tincture, syrup, foot soak or bath herb, salve or cream.

The seed are edible when roasted and are ground into a powder and used an Indian flour.

Medicinal

According to Organic Facts dot net, blue vervain has a number of health benefits.  They say that it can help to eliminate toxins from the system, can help relieve respiratory irritation, and nervous disorders, chronic anxiety, stress, and sleeplessness.  They go on to talk about the anti-parasitic activity, female tonic, oral health and pain relief. (1) *

According to the USDA website, blue vervain is used internally to treat depression, fevers, coughs, cramps, jaundice, and headaches. Externally, it is used for acne, ulcers, and cuts. (2) *

Check out the link in the sources section for details.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Recipe

A vervain tea can be made by steeping 1 tablespoon dried Blue Vervain leaves, roots and flower in 2 cups of hot water for 8 to 10 minutes.

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Herb                       Seeds

 

Photo References/Sources:

(1) https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/blue-vervain.html

(2) https://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_veha2.pdf

(3) Picture: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fritzflohrreynolds

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Eating Canna Lily Rhizome Like Potatoes

Eating Canna Lily Rhizome Like Potatoes

This post is about Eating Canna Lily Rhizome.  We will talk some basics about Canna, then talk about its edibility and move on to how to cook the rhizomes.

The Basics

The Canna plant (Canna indica), also sometimes called the Canna Lilly, has broad flat alternate leaves and grows 6 to 10-foot high. Its leaves are large and green, sometimes brown to maroon, and occasionally variegated.  High winds can tear the leaves, so many times they are planted in an area that protects them from strong winds.

Eating Canna Lily Rhizome Like Potatoes

Eating Canna Lily Rhizome Like Potatoes

Canna Lily actually is a tropical and subtropical perennial herb that comes back every year in USDA hardiness zone 8b and higher. Cannas are native to the warm areas of the Americas.

The Canna requires 6 to 8 hours of full sun and moderate water in well-drained rich or sandy soil.

Edible

Rhizomes are an edible starch. The rhizomes can be eaten raw, boiled, or baked.  Today we will boil and bake the rhizomes.  The greens can be eaten as well, usually the young greens, and they are usually cooked, but can be eaten raw.  The greens are also sometimes used to cook another food in.  Because all of the greens have died back for me already this year, I can not try them.  Young seeds can be used as an addition to tortilla.

Eating Canna Lily Rhizome Like Potatoes

Eating Canna Lily Rhizome Like Potatoes

Rhizome Harvest

To harvest Canna Lily rhizomes, simply cut the above ground growth off about two inches above ground level.  Then use a shovel and dig out at least six inches away from where the above ground growth was.  Then use the shovel to loosen the soil in the area and gently remove the rhizomes.  See the video below titled Eating Canna Lily Rhizome for a detailed view of this process.

Clean

Once you have the rhizomes in the kitchen, give them a cleaning to get the dirt off.  Do not use a coarse scrub brush as this will scar the rhizomes and cause issues later in the cooking process.  Also, remove any of the smaller roots at this point.

Boil

Put the rhizomes in a pot, add water, and boil them for half an hour.  First year rhizome growth can be used like potatoes at this point.  Second year or older rhizomes will need to be baked for 30 to 120 minutes more after boiling.

Eating Canna Lily Rhizome Like Potatoes

Eating Canna Lily Rhizome Like Potatoes

Taste

For the first-year rhizome that I boiled, I found the taste to be exactly like a potato.  The texture is a cross between potato and water chestnut.  I never actually baked the rhizome long enough to be usable, so I cannot speak to that.  I may try the second-year rhizome next year when I have more time, but I had plenty of first year rhizomes this year for use, so I was happy.

The Video

Check out the video below titled Eating Canna Lily Rhizome.

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Propagating Rose of Sharon

Propagating Rose of Sharon

This post is about Propagating Rose of Sharon.  Here we go over some basics of Rose of Sharon and how to propagate this edible plant.

Plant Basics

Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is also known as Althaea, Shrub Althea, and Hardy Hibiscus. The shrub has a tight, upright vase-shaped form, reaching 7–13ft in height and has large summer blossoms. They like full sun to light shade and moist, well-drained soil.  They have deeply-lobed, light-green leaves. It is a deciduous flowering shrub native to east Asia and is the national flower of South Korea.

Propagating Rose of Sharon

Propagating Rose of Sharon

Flowers

The Rose of Sharon has trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom from summer into the fall. The flowers are short-lived, lasting only a day. They come in shades of white, red, pink and purple and attract birds, butterflies and other useful pollinators. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects.

Propagating Rose of Sharon

Propagating Rose of Sharon

Edible

The leaves, blossoms, and flowers of the Rose of Sharon are edible and have a mild flavor and mucilaginous texture.  Leaves are made into tea and the flowers eaten, usually raw. The leaves taste like lettuce, but are very fibrous unless you catch them early.  Blossoms appear in late summer and have a nutty flavor to them. The flowers taste great and have a hint of nectar at the base of the petals.  The root is edible but very fibrous.

Propagating Rose of Sharon

Propagating Rose of Sharon

Propagation

Rose of Sharon can be propagated via seeds, cuttings, or layering.  This post is going to discuss propagation via softwood cuttings.

Softwood Cuttings

Softwood cuttings are this year’s growth that started in the spring.  This wood is usually just slightly a different color and last year’s wood just looks a little more worn and older.

Make the Cut

Cut the softwood branches off of the plant. Then cut the branches down so they have four internodes.  Internodes are any place a branch or leaf comes out.  I usually go with four to six for Rose of Sharon.  Leave two leafs at the top and remove the bottom leafs.

Rooting Hormone

Dip the bottoms of the cuttings in rooting hormone.  I use dip and grow liquid hormone because I only need the one product and I can mix it as strong as I like.  Softwood cuttings does not require very concentrated rooting hormone, whereas hardwood cuttings require more concentrated solution.

Cuttings in the Planting Medium

Now it is time to place the cuttings into the planting medium.  Push them into your planting medium about two inches down.  Your planting medium should be something that drains freely and easily.  You do not want to saturate the soil where disease and pathogens will proliferate.

Propagating Rose of Sharon

Propagating Rose of Sharon

Keep the Leaves Wet

These little cuttings will die if the leaves dry out.  You don’t want to soak the ground, but you do want to keep the leaves wet.  The best way to do this is with a mist irrigation system that automatically comes on.  I use the Galcon 8056 and have it programmed for 10 seconds on and 5 minutes off.  This runs all day, but shuts totally off from 9 PM until 6 AM.

Leave Them Be

The cuttings need to stay in the rooting medium until they go dormant.  This usually happens by December or January timeframe.  Once they are dormant, they can be moved to pots or to their location in the yard.

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The Video

Check out the video below titled Propagating Rose of Sharon.

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