Thimbleberry Plants – Unique to all but West Coast

Thimbleberry Plants – Unique to all but West Coast

Thimbleberry Plants – Unique to all but West Coast

Thimbleberry plants are shrubs that are unique to all but those on the west coast of the United States.  It has edible and medicinal qualities and is attractive to a number of beneficial insects.  Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus) is also known as salmonberry, and snow bramble and is native to North America (mostly West coast). It is a dense shrub with multiple, thornless stems or canes reaching heights of 7’. It likes moist soils but will tolerate drier sites and is hardy in USDA zones 3-9.

Thimbleberry Flower

Thimbleberry Flower

The leaves are palmate up to 8 inches across with 5 lobes and have a soft and fuzzy texture.

Flowers are ¾” to 2.5” in diameter with five white petals and yellow stamens.  It flowers between May and early July.

The Fruit

The fruit will ripen to a bright red in mid to late summer. The berries turn from pink to scarlet when fully ripe. The very fast ripening fruit can go from hard and pink to soft and red in just a few hours. The fruit is an aggregate fruit of numerous drupelets around a center core.  When picked it leaves the center core behind like a raspberry does and it looks like a thimble. The fruit is smaller and softer than raspberries, causing it to not store or ship well and is not generally commercially produced.

Thimbleberry Plants

Thimbleberry Plants

Thimbleberry fruit is liked by honeybees, bumblebees, birds, and is host for the yellow banded sphinx butterfly.

My Plants

I planted three thimbleberries at the farm last year in the food forest.  They struggled, probably due to lack of water, but I’m pretty sure at least one of them survived into the winter.  I’ll update this post in the spring and let you know if it survived through the winter.

Propagation

Thimbleberry can spread via underground rhizome, seeds, tip layering, division, or stem cuttings. Thimbleberry plants can be propagated most successfully by planting dormant rhizome segments.

Seeds requires cold stratification for a month. Tip layering is best done in July. Division is best done in early spring.

Edible

Thimbleberry Fruit

Thimbleberry Fruit

Thimbleberry fruit can be eaten raw, dried, or made into jam. Young shoots can be peeled and eaten raw or cooked. They can be cooked like asparagus. Fruits and shoots are rich in vitamin C.

Medicinal

“The leaves are antiemetic, astringent, blood tonic and stomachic. An infusion is used internally in the treatment of stomach complaints, diarrhoea and dysentery, anaemia, the spitting up of blood and to treat vomiting. An infusion has been taken by women when their periods are unusually long. A poultice of the dried powdered leaves has been used to treat wounds and burns. The leaves have been crushed and rubbed over the skin to treat pimples and blackheads. A poultice of the leaf ashes, mixed with oil, has been used to treat swellings. The young shoots are alterative and antiscorbutic. The roots are appetizer, astringent, stomachic and tonic. An infusion has been used by thin people to help them gain weight. An infusion has also been used in the treatment of stomach disorders, diarrhoea and dysentery. A decoction of the roots has been taken in the treatment of pimples and blackheads.” *

(Source:www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/r/rubus-parviflorus=thimbleberry.php)

Recipe

Thimbleberry Jam

Thimbleberry Fruit

Thimbleberry Fruit

Ingredients

2 cups freshly picked thimbleberries

2 cups sugar

Directions

Do not wash the thimbleberries—pick them over to remove debris and insects. Mix the sugar and berries, then bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Pour into sterilized jars and seal at once.

 

(Photo Source:www.nwplants.com/business/catalog/rub_par.html)

 

*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.

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Egyptian Walking Onions

Egyptian Walking Onions

Egyptian Walking Onions

The Egyptian walking onions have a unique self-propagation habit.  It has bulbs at the top of the stalk that weight the stalk down to the point it bends over and touches the ground.  When this happens the bulbs take root and start another onion in a step by step process almost like walking.

Topsets

Topsets

Egyptian Walking Onion (Allium ×proliferum), also called Tree Onions, Egyptian Tree Onions, Top Onions, Winter Onions, or Perennial Onions, is a perennial onion that comes back every year stronger than the previous year.  It is hardy in zones 3-9, likes full sun, prefers rich, well-drained soil and dislikes soggy conditions or drought. The walking onion is the first onion to appear in spring, as its green shoots will start to come up above the snow before it thaws.

The bulbs at the top of the 2 to 3 foot stalks are called bulbils, topsets, or sets.  The topsets are not usually produced the first year they are planted, but will be produced every year thereafter.

Edible

Topset

Topset

The greens, topsets, and bulbs are edible.  They can be fried, cooked in soups, pickeled or used raw in salads. The greens can be harvested at any point in time, just be sure not to take the greens that have topsets or you will lose those valuable resources.  The topsets can be harvested in late summer or early fall.  The bulbs are best harvested in late summer and in the fall.  Be sure to leave some bulbs for onions next year.  The bulb is about the same size and shape as a shallot.

Propagation

Plant the topsets about two inches deep.  They can be planted any time that the soil is workable, but fall is the optimum time to plant them.  Topsets can be harvested in late summer or early fall. Divide mother plant every few years.

Medicinal

Egyptian Walking Onions

Egyptian Walking Onions

Although rarely used specifically as a medicinal herb, the onion has a wide range of beneficial actions on the body and when eaten (especially raw) on a regular basis will promote the general health of the body. The bulb is anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, hypotensive, lithontripic, stomachic and tonic. When used regularly in the diet it offsets tendencies towards angina, arteriosclerosis and heart attack. It is also useful in preventing oral infection and tooth decay. Baked onions can be used as a poultice to remove pus from sores. Fresh onion juice is a very useful first aid treatment for bee and wasp stings, bites, grazes or fungal skin complaints. When warmed the juice can be dropped into the ear to treat earache. It also aids the formation of scar tissue on wounds, thus speeding up the healing process, and has been used as a cosmetic to remove freckles. *

(Source:www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+cepa+proliferum)

Purchase

I looked around and there are not many nurseries that sell these.  They do sell them on Amazon and Ebay, but they sell them at low quantities and they are expensive.  I did find one company that sells them at higher quantities and just purchased 100 topsets for $40.00 plus $5.50 shipping and handling from egyptianwalkingonion.com.  That’s $.40 per topset.  I’m betting I can grow these and sell them for much cheaper than $.40 per topset, so I’ll have to add this one to the “future selling” category.

Recipe

Walking Onions

Walking Onions

Creamed Onions Egyptian Walking Onions

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound Egyptian walking onions or pearl onions, peeled
  • ²/³ cup heavy cream
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Dash of hot pepper sauce
  • Grate of fresh nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

·      Heat the oven to 350°F.

·      Combine the onions, cream, garlic, and salt in a small baking dish. Dot the top with the butter and add a little hot sauce, nutmeg, and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes or until the onions are beginning to brown and are very tender.

Recipe Notes

To peel pearl onions, cut off a small bit of root end from each onion and drop the onions in boiling water. Let boil for 3 minutes, then submerge in cold water. The peels will slip off easily. If you like, add ½ cup blanched almonds to the onions as Helen Corbitt did.

(Source:www.tastebook.com/recipes/2726376-Creamed-Onions-Egyptian-Walking-Onions)

 

*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.

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Adaptive Seeds Company Review

Adaptive Seeds Company Review

Adaptive Seeds Company Review

This post is an Adaptive Seeds Company review and consists of my experiences dealing with them over the years.

AdaptiveAdaptive Seed Company is a farm-based seed company near Sweet Home, Oregon.  Most of their seed is adapted to the Pacific Northwest & other short season northern climates.  They do not sell seeds that are proprietary hybrids (F1), patented, PVP, or genetically modified (GMO).  They have been certified organic since the summer of 2013.

From their home page you can download a PDF copy of their current catalog.  The 2016 catalog is 104 pages and consists mostly of vegetables.  There are no pictures of each individual plants like there are in other catalogs.  However, there are pictures of each plant they offer on their main web page, so if you want to see what something looks like, check it out on the web.  From the home page you can also request a print copy of the catalog to be mailed to your house.  You can see the cover of the catalog in the picture titled “Adaptive Seeds Company Review – 2016 Catalog”.

From their main page if you go to the resources page you can download a 22-page seed saving guide.  The guide looks like a good resource especially for someone starting to save seed for the first time.  This section of the web page also has a winter garden chart that you can download.  This chart shows what vegetables and cover crops do well in the cooler weather.

Adaptive Seeds Company Review - 2016 Catalog

Adaptive Seeds Company Review – 2016 Catalog

How to Order

You can order online, via mail order, or by phone or fax. They offer free shipping on all orders over $50.00 or up to $5.00 on orders below $50.00.  The cost is more for international orders.

My Experience

I buy from Adaptive seeds because they have unique varieties that others don’t have and also because they have an option to order the seeds in quantity.   Most companies will sell you 20 to 100 seeds.  Adaptive offers seeds from 1G (about 500 seeds, for Amaranth) up to 1oz (a lot of seed for Amaranth).  For other seed, they go up to 5lbs of seed.

I have ordered seed from them for three years now and still have some of the original seed I purchased and it is still viable seed.  As long as you keep the seeds dry, out of the light, and cool the seeds will last for a long time.

Check them out for yourself at adaptiveseeds.com.  December and January is their busiest time, but in the past they still manage to turn orders around pretty quickly.  If you are going to start any seeds inside or if you are going to plant any cold weather crops, now is the time to order.

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Dandelion Plant Information – The Incredible Edible

Dandelion Plant Information – The Incredible Edible

Dandelion Plant Information – The Incredible Edible

This post gives you dandelion plant information to include its edibility, medicinal properties, how to propagate it, and a dandelion recipe.

Dandelion Plant Information - Dandelion

Dandelion Plant Information – Dandelion

Dandelion (Taraxacum) is a wildflower found around the world that is a wonderful benefit to the landscape and permaculture garden.  It attracts beneficial insects, provides nectar for bees in the early spring, is an edible, and has herbal and medicinal qualities.

They are native to Eurasia and North America, and two species, T. officinale and T. erythrospermum, are found as commonplace wild flowers worldwide. Both species are edible in their entirety. The stems and leaves exude a white, milky latex when broken.

They can can grow to a height of nearly 12 inches and have deeply-notched, toothy, spatula-like leaves that are shiny and hairless and ½” to 2-1/2” wide. They always grow in a basal rosette, with the grooved leaves funneling rain to the root. They have large tap roots, are herbaceous and are perennial. The dark brown roots are fleshy and brittle and are filled with a white milky substance that is bitter and slightly smelly.

They have many flowers collected together into what is called a flower head. Each single flower in a head is called a floret. The flower heads are yellow to orange colored, and are open in the daytime, but closed at night. The flower heads are borne singly on a hollow stem (scape) that is usually leafless. The flower heads mature into spherical seed heads called blowballs (or clock) containing many single-seeded fruits called achenes (a type of simple dry fruit containing one seed).

Edible

Dandelion Plant Information - Dandelion Flower

Dandelion Plant Information – Dandelion Flower

Dandelion is used to add flavor to salads, sandwiches, and teas. The leaves are tastiest in early spring, before the flowers appear and after a frost, as their protective bitterness disappears.

To make leaves more palatable, they are often blanched to remove bitterness. The flower petals, along with other ingredients, usually including citrus, are used to make dandelion wine. The ground, roasted roots can be used as a caffeine-free dandelion coffee. Dandelion was also traditionally used to make the traditional British soft drink dandelion and burdock, and is one of the ingredients of root beer.

Other beneficial properties

Other beneficial properties include providing an important source of nectar and pollen early in the season for bees, acts as a dynamic accumulator, is used as food source for some species of butterfly and moth, and releases ethylene gas which helps fruit to ripen.

Medicinal

Dandelion Plant Information - Dandelion Clock

Dandelion Plant Information – Dandelion Clock

Dandelions contain vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as minerals, such as iron, potassium, and zinc. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center: “In the past, dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), dandelion has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, dandelion was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

So far, there have not been any quality scientific studies on dandelion. Today, the roots are mainly used to stimulate the appetite, and for liver and gallbladder problems. Dandelion leaves are used as a diuretic to help the body get rid of too much fluid.” *

(Source:umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/dandelion)

Propagation

Dandelion can be spread by seed or by root cuttings.  The flowers have many seeds in their seed head.  Each seed has a tiny parachute, to spread far and wide in the wind.  The seeds are fertile even without cross pollination and can sprout immediately after hitting the ground (no stratification/cold time needed).

The taproot is deep, twisted, and brittle. Unless you remove it completely, it will regenerate.  One taproot can be cut many times to make many plants.

Recipe

Curried Greens with Golden Onions and Cashews

Ingredients

1 large onion, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick wedges

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 cup coarsely chopped salted roasted cashews (4 oz)

1 lb spinach, tough stems discarded (6 cups)

3/4 lb mustard greens, stems and center ribs discarded (5 cups)

3/4 lb dandelion greens, tough stems discarded (4 cups)

1/2 cup water

Preparation

Cook onion with salt to taste in 3 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until deep golden and some wedges are crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together spices.

Add cashews to onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until nuts are 1 shade darker, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons spice mix and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove skillet from heat.

Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook remaining spice mix, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Immediately stir in the 3 greens and water and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid is evaporated and greens are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt.

Serve greens sprinkled with onion mixture.

(Source:www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/curried-greens-with-golden-onions-and-cashews-104561)

 

Dandelion Sesame

1-1/2 tbs. olive oil
7-1/2 cups (packed) of very young common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), wild or commercial chicory (Cichorium intybus), or wild lettuce (Lactuca species) leaves
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
3/4 cup sesame seeds
2-1/2 tsp. Bragg’s liquid amino’s or tamari soy sauce

Preparation

Toast the sesame seeds in a frying pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Immediately remove from pan and set aside. Gently sauté the dandelion leaves and garlic in the olive oil 15 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the Bragg’s liquid aminos and sesame seeds and serve hot.

 

*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.

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Spicebush Plant Information – A Wild Edible

Spicebush Plant Information – A Wild Edible

Spicebush Plant Information – A Wild Edible

This post, titled Spicebush Plant Information – A Wild Edible, provides information including edibility and propagation of this medicinal plant.

Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is a wild edible that is native to eastern North America.  It is a small deciduous tree growing to 15 foot in USDA zones 4 to 9. This hardy perennial tolerates deer, drought, heavy shade, and clay soil. You’ll find spicebush in damp, partially shaded, rich woodlands, on mountains’ lower slopes, in thickets, and along stream banks. Spicebush is primarily an understory species found in the wild in open forests and along forest edges

Spicebush Plant Information - Spicebush

Spicebush Plant Information – Spicebush

Spicebush leaves are alternate, simple, oval or obovate and broadest beyond the middle of the leaf. It has yellow flowers that grow in showy clusters which appear in early spring, before the leaves begin to grow.  The fruit grow in clusters, from the leaf axils of the female bushes, in autumn. Ripe fruit is a red, berrylike drupe. Plants are either male or female – both sexes are needed in a garden if one wants drupes with viable seeds.

Edible

Crush or scratch the thin, brittle twigs, or any part of spicebush to release its lemony-spicy fragrance. The leaves, buds, and new growth twigs can be made into a tea.  The fruit drupes taste a little like allspice.

Rinse them, pat them dry, and chop them in a blender or spice grinder. Berries have too much oil to be dried, so flash freeze them for future use.

Propagation

Spicebush can be propagated by seed, clonal via rhizome sprouting, and cuttings.  .  Seeds should be stratified for 90-120 days at 41 degrees. Seed should be sown 0.25 to 0.5 in. deep.  Softwood cuttings should be taken in June or July.

Medicianal

Spicebush Plant Information - Spicebush Berry

Spicebush Plant Information – Spicebush Berry

Spice bush has a wide range of uses as a household remedy, especially in the treatment of colds, dysentery and intestinal parasites. It warrants scientific investigation. The bark is aromatic, astringent, diaphoretic, febrifuge, stimulant and tonic. It is pleasant to chew. It is used in the treatment of coughs and colds. The bark can be harvested at any time of the year and is used fresh or dried. The fruits are carminative. The oil from the fruits has been used in the treatment of bruises and rheumatism. A tea made from the twigs was a household remedy for colds, fevers, worms and colic. A steam bath of the twigs is used to cause perspiration in order to ease aches and pains in the body. The young shoots are harvested during the spring and can be used fresh or dried. The bark is diaphoretic and vermifuge. It was once widely used as a treatment for typhoid fevers and other forms of fevers. *

(Source:www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/l/lindera-benzoin=spice-bush.php)

I found some seeds at Amazon.  The link is below:

 

Check out the Amazon link.

Recipe

Creamy Cashew Salad Dressing

This is the perfect dressing for a wild green salad. The creaminess of the blended cashews balances the robust greens.

6 tbs. olive oil
6 tbs. canola or sunflower oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup mellow (light-colored) miso
2 cloves of garlic
2 common berries, or 1 tsp. allspice, ground

Purée all ingredients in a blender.

Makes 1-1/2 cups

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

(source:www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Web%20Recipes/CreamyCashewSaladDressing.html)

Spicebush Tea

Ingredients:
Enough spicebush twigs, striped of leaves and broken into lengths of approximately 5 inches, to fill a 3-quart pan
2½ quarts water
2 tablespoons honey

Fill pan with twigs and water, and bring to a boil, uncovered. After about 25-30 minutes, water should be slightly yellow. Strain tea through colander into gallon container. Stir in honey. Tea will keep in refrigerator for a week. It should be served hot – microwaving is fine. Enjoy!

(Source:www.grit.com/farm-and-garden/american-spicebush.aspx?PageId=2#ArticleContent)

 

*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.

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Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant

Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant

Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant

Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant. Viburnum Blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium), another unique edible plant, is a native as an understory shrub in the Eastern and Midwestern United States.  It is a deciduous shrub in USDA zones 3 to 9.  In the north it is a shrub, but in the south it can be grown into a small tree.  It blooms with white flowers in the spring and has pinkish to black fruit in the fall.

Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant - Viburnum

Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant – Viburnum

Viburnum can grow up to 12 – 15-foot-high and can spread 6 -12 foot.  It tolerates drought, clay soil, black walnut, and air pollution.  It likes moist, well drained soils of average fertility in full sun.  The leaves are obovate, finely toothed, and glossy dark green (to 4″ long).

It blooms in late spring with creamy-white, flat-topped flowers.  In the fall it forms pinkish to blue-black, berry-like drupes, which often persist into winter and are quite attractive to birds and wildlife. The flavor of the fruit improves in flavor and sweetness after a frost.

The plants branches grow very dense an unruly, and it benefits from an occasional pruning.  Prune immediately after flowering since flower buds form in summer for the following year.

The Fruit is edible raw, made into wine, in jams, can be made into preserves.  Some recipes are at the end of this article.

Propagation

Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant - Blackhaw

Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant – Blackhaw

Viburnum can be propagated by rooted stem cuttings, seeds, or transplanting of the occasional suckers from the nearby roots at its base.  I have not had the opportunity to try propagating this plant yet.  I have two at the farm and will try propagating in 2016.

Medicianal

The astringent bark was used medicinally. *

Black haw is a shrub that is native to the woodlands of central and southern North America. People use the root bark and its extracts to make medicine. *

Black haw is used for increasing urine (as a diuretic) to relieve fluid retention; and for treating diarrhea, spasms, and asthma. It is also used as a tonic. *

Women use black haw for treating menstrual cramps and spasms of the uterus after childbirth; and for preventing miscarriage. *

It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to use black haw if you are pregnant. It might affect the uterus. *

Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant - Blackhaw

Viburnum Blackhaw Tree Information is Another Unique Edible Plant – Blackhaw Fruit

It’s also best to avoid using black haw if you are breast-feeding. Not enough is known about its safety. *
Aspirinallerty: Black haw contains chemicals called salicylates. There is some concern that these salicylates could trigger an allergic reaction in people with asthma or aspirinallergies. *
Kidney stones: Because black haw contains oxalic acid, it might increase stone formation in people with a history of kidney stones. *

(Source: www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-892-black%20haw.aspx?activeingredientid=892&activeingredientname=black%20haw)

BLACK HAW WINE

  • 3 lbs ripe black haw berries
  • ¾ lb black raisins or zante currants, chopped
  • 2½ lbs granulated sugar
  • 7 pts water
  • 1 tsp acid blend
  • ¾ tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • wine yeast

Bring water to boil and add sugar. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Meanwhile, wash fruit and chop raisins or currants. Combine in nylon straining bag, tie closed and put in primary. Mash berries with piece of hardwood. Pour boiling water over bag, cover, and set aside to cool. When primary reaches room temperature, stir in remaining ingredients except yeast. Cover and set aside 12 hours. Add activated yeast. Ferment 10 days, stirring and squeezing bag daily. Remove nylon straining bag and squeeze gently to extract flavor. Discard pulp, transfer liquid to secondary and fit airlock. If required, top up when fermentation subsides. After 30 days, rack, top up and refit airlock. Repeat racking every 30 days until wine clears and no new sediments form over 30-day period. Stabilize, sweeten as desired, wait 10-14 days, and rack into bottles. This wine should be aged 6 months before drinking.

(Source: winemaking.jackkeller.net/request105.asp)

Black Haw Jam

Ingredients

1 quart of black haw berries

1 cup sugar per cup of juice

½ cup water

3 oz. pectin

Wash and stem berries and place into a deep saucpan. Add water and cook till fruit pops. Crush fruit completely with a masher. Run through a food mill or strainer to remove skins and seeds. Measure juicy pulp and place in deep saucepan with sugar. Bring to a boil stirring constantly, then add 3 oz liquid pectin. Boil and stir for 1 full minute then remove from heat and skim of foam. Pour into hot, sterile jelly jars and seal.

(Source: earthnotes.tripod.com/blkhaw.htm)

*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.

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Jujube Tree Information – A Unique Edible Tree

Jujube Tree Information – A Unique Edible Tree

Jujube Tree Information – A Unique Edible Tree

This post, titled Jujube Tree Information – A Unique Edible Tree, covers the edibility, propagation and medicinal uses of neat plant.  Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba) is also sometimes called red date, Chinese date, Korean date, or Indian date.  It is a small deciduous tree reaching up to 40’ in height. Jujube is a native to many parts of Asia and has over 400 cultivars. It has thorns on the branches of most cultivars.  The wood is very hard and strong.

Jujube Tree Information - A Unique Edible Tree

Jujube Tree Information – A Unique Edible Tree – Jujube Tree

Jujube has small, ovate or oval leaves that are 1-2 inches long and a shiny bright green.  In the autumn, the leaves turn bright yellow before falling.  In the mid spring small flowers with five inconspicuous yellowish-green petals emerge, giving way to strawberry sized fruit in the late summer into the fall. Most jujube cultivars produce fruit without cross-pollination

The fruit has a thin edible skin surrounding whitish flesh in an oval shape up to an inch and a quarter deep.  It starts out green and tasting like an apple maturing brown to purplish-black and eventually wrinkled, looking like a small date.  There is a single stone similar to an olive pit that contains two seeds. A mature jujube tree can have 40 to 100 lb or more of fruit depending on tree size and culture management. It requires hot summers and sufficient water for good fruiting.

The fruits are eaten fresh, dried, candied, and smoked.  Juice, marmalades, jujube vinegar, pickles, and wine are also made from the fruit of Jujube.  Fresh fruit harvested when first ripe can be stored at 40° F for two weeks or more without losing quality.  The best time to harvest drying cultivars is when they are fully red.

Cultivars

There are over 400 cultivars of jujube in total.  I have the three listed below and will be writing articles on them in the future.  I just put my trees in last year, so I have not harvested any fruit yet.

Li

Popular commercial cultivar. Large, round fruit up to 3 ounces, mid-season (ripens in mid-August), fresh eating cultivar. Good quality. USDA Zones 5-10. Self fertile. May be picked at the yellow-green stage. Tree is many-branched, yet narrow and upright. Best first tree to have.

Lang

Another popular commercial cultivar. Fruit is big and pear-shaped and good for drying. This fruit is best to let dry on the tree. The tree is upright and virtually spineless and is a late season ripening variety. Some fruit may split if it rains at mature season. USDA Zones 5-10. Pollenized by Li or other jujubes.

Coco

Prolific producer of golden-brown fruit with a unique coconut-like flavor. Can be self fruitful, but a second variety recommended for best fruit set. Origin- Nikita Botanic Garden in Yalta, Ukraine.

Propagation

Most commercial jujube trees are grafted on sour jujube for their hardiness.  Softwood cuttings are also possible.

Medicinal

Jujube Tree Information - A Unique Edible Tree - Fruit

Jujube Tree Information – A Unique Edible Tree – Jujube Fruit

While they may not have a large amount of any one nutrient, jujubes contain a wide array of different ones, including magnesium, potassium, copper, niacin, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, and iron. They contain 20 times more vitamin C than any citrus fruit, strengthening the immune system and fighting infections, which may be why they’ve been used medicinally for millennia in many cultures, as a tea for sore throat, for example. [1] *

Medical studies have found that jujube fruits and extracts have the capacity help lower blood pressure, reverse liver disease, treat anemia, and inhibit the growth of tumor cells that can lead to leukemia. Jujube extracts are also used in skin care products used to diminish wrinkles, relieve dry skin, and treat sunburn pain. [1] *

The seeds, fruit, and bark of jujube have been used in traditional medicine for anxiety and insomnia, and as an appetite stimulant or digestive aid. Experiments in animals support the presence of anxiolytic and sedative properties. However, clinical trials are lacking. [2] *

Recipe

Jujube Cake

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups dried, minced jujube
  • 1 cup water

Bring these to a boil then set aside to cool

  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoonful soda
  • 1/2 teaspoonful salt

Sift these together then add to the above mixture. Bake at 325° F

(Source: www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/jujube.html)

 

[1] foodfacts.mercola.com/jujubes.html

[2] www.drugs.com/npp/jujube.html

 

*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.

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Broadleaf Plantain Plant Information | Edible and Medicinal

Broadleaf Plantain Plant Information | Edible and Medicinal

Broadleaf Plantain Plant Information

This blog post provides Broadleaf Plantain Plant Information.  Broadleaf Plantain (Plantago major) is one of the more common plants found here in the mid-Atlantic region.  While it is native to Europe and northern Asia, the USDA hardiness range from zone 3 to 9 has helped this perennial to naturalized all over the place.  It is also known as the Mother of Herbs, Broadleaf Plantain, Greater Plantain and White Man’s Footprint.

Broadleaf Plantain Plant Information - Broad Leaf Plantain

Broadleaf Plantain Plant Information – Broad Leaf Plantain

The leaves form in a rosette fashion.  It has flower heads that consist of leafless, slender spikes of inconspicuous flowers clustered densely along an upright flowering head. Each plant can produce up to 20000 seeds.

Plantain thrives in disturbed and compacted soils and is used for soil rehabilitation.

Propagation

The plant enjoys full sun and moist well drained soil. When planting by seed, place the seeds on the soil surface and press in.  For outside planting, plant seeds in the fall or before last frost. If starting indoors, cold stratify seed for 7 days, then start indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost and plant out after last frost. It grows better than most plants in compacted soil. Because seed can remain viable in the soil from 10 to over 50 years and it can spread to become a common weed, so consider planting away from your garden. I purchased seeds from Restoration Seeds in October of 2013.  I planted a few in the 2014 season and they grew strong and large.  They came back in 2015.

Edible/Medicinal Information: Excellent astringent to heal cuts and draw out splinters. Poultice relieves bee stings and extracts snakebite poison rapidly. Useful for respiratory, bladder and ulcer problems. A potent coagulant, those taking blood thinners or are prone to clots should not use internally. *

Broadleaf Plantain Plant Information - broadleaf-plantain2

Broadleaf Plantain Plant Information – Broadleaf Plantain

“Great plantain is used for bladder infections, bronchitis, colds, and irritated or bleeding hemorrhoids. It is also used to kill germs and reduce swelling.
Some people apply great plantain directly to the affected area for skin conditions or eye irritation.”*

(Reference: webmd.com)

All parts of the plant are edible.  The young leaves are fine eaten fresh, the older leaves are tough and bitter fresh, so they are best blanched. Seeds can be ground into a flour substitute. The plant is high in calcium and vitamins A, C, and K

Nutty Plantain Snack Recipe

Ingredients

>> 1 handful of plantain seed
>> 3 handfuls of pumpkin seeds
>> 3 handfuls of sesame seeds
>> Olive oil (enough to just cover the seeds)
>> Sea salt to taste

Instructions

Place seeds into a bowl, add olive oil and salt. Be sure to coat all seeds.

Either roast seeds in oven on a baking sheet at 300°F for 10-15 minutes or roast them in a frying pan on the stove.

(Recipe from: www.ediblewildfood.com/nutty-plantain-snack.aspx)

*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.

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Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine

This post provides Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine and provides how to care for the plant, gives a recipe, and describes the fruit of this cold hardy medicinal.

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine Maypop1

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine

Maypop (Passiflora incarnata) is an attractive vine that flowers in the early summer and then produces two-inch-long fruit that is shaped like a chicken egg and is ready to pick in the fall.  The flowers are very sweet smelling and attracts a lot of beneficial insects.  The flowers are white and lilac in color and are quite showy.  It is a hardy perennial that survives down to -20F and is hardy in USDA zones 5-9 and is native to the Eastern United States. The vines freeze down to the ground each winter. Maypop gets its name by popping out of the ground in May.

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine maypop2

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine Maypop Flower

Fruit

While the vine will have dozens of flowers, only a few will actually fruit.  I have found several sources that say you get better fruit production by hand pollinating.  This year I totally ignored mine and mowed them down with the lawn mower a few times and they still produced fruit.

The maypop fruit is ripe when it turns from “Kermit the Frog” green to light green to yellow-orange in color. A better indication of a ripe maypop is a somewhat wrinkly skin whereas the unripe maypop fruit will have a firm, tight feel and taste quite sour.

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine Maypop3

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine Maypop Fruit

Upon splitting the fruit, you will see numerous seeds coated in a clear goo while the inside of the skin will have a thick layer of white pulp. Only the clear goo is edible, suck it off the seeds like you were eating a pomegranate.  You can eat the fruit raw, make preserves, cold drinks, and tea.  I took one of these fruits over to my mother’s house last week and we tried the fruit.  It had a sweet tropical fruit flavor like I hadn’t had before.  I don’t know that I’ve had passion fruit before, so I can’t make a comparison.  It was mighty tasty, but it was difficult getting the pulp off of the seeds.  I looked online for an easier way to do this and did not come up with anything.  The recipes below seem to cook, squash, and strain. That may be the best way.

Vine Info

The alternate leaves (2 to 6 inches long and wide) are palmate with 3 lobes and finely serrated margins.  (Palmate means having several lobes whose midribs all radiate from one point.)

Maypop loves full sun and the fast growing vine can grow to 25 feet.  It likes moist but well drained soil.

This plant suckers all over the place.  I put in one vine two years ago.  Last year I had suckers coming up twenty to thirty feet away.  The suckers come up from the main plant going out along the roots at about every twelve to eighteen inches.  If you plant these near a lawn you can just mow them down.  I planted mine near a large mulch garden and they went crazy.  Just use caution putting them in the landscape as they can become quite invasive.  I have a separate post on Maypop Propagation if you are interested in propagating this vine.

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine Maypop4

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine Maypop Fruit Cut in Half

Vitamins / Minerals / Medicinal*

Maypop contains the following vitamins and minerals: Vitamin A, B2, B3, C, iron, and phosphorous. http://www.fruitsinfo.com/maypop-fruit.php#Nutritional-Value

Tea made from the dried leaves and stem of the passion vine contain alkaloids with a sedative effect on humans.  According to drugs.com: “Passiflora exhibits sedative and anti-anxiety activity in laboratory animals. Human studies of Passiflora, in combination products, have also demonstrated anti-anxiety and sedative properties.”

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine Maypop5

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine Maypop6

Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine

 

In these pictures we see one seed with the edible fruit around it and two seeds that are without the edible coating.  It does look very similar to a pomegranate fruit from this perspective.

 

Recipes

Maypops Jelly
2 cups ripe maypops, sliced
1 cup water
2-1/2 cups sugar
1-3/4 ounces pectin
Combine the Maypops and water, and boil gently for 5 minutes. Then strain, discarding the pulp. Combine the liquid and sugar and bring to full rolling boil. Add pectin, and again bring to rolling boil. Remove from heat, pour into hot, sterilized jars, and seal. Makes 2-1/2 pints.

http://www.monthsofediblecelebrations.com/2009/04/food-shopping-au-natural.html

 

 

Maypops Squash.

4 cups maypops, halved
3/4 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick, halved
1 whole clove
2-1/2 cups water
1/4 cup lemon juice
Combine the paypops, sugar, cinnamon stick, clove, and water and bring to a boil. simmer gently for 5 minutes. Put through a strainer, pressing fruit to extract all the juice. Add the lemon juice, and chill well before serving. Makes 4 servings.

http://www.monthsofediblecelebrations.com/2009/04/food-shopping-au-natural.html

 

Maypop Ice Milk

This will make a 1/2 gallon.
3/4 cup non-instant milk powder, 3/4 cup ice water, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 and 1/4 pounds maypop, 3/4 cup honey(And the honey is to taste. So taste the mixture and if it is too tart add more honey, but keep in mind that everything is going to be diluted when you add it to the whipped cream.) which really isn’t cream but that is what I learned to call it. LOL
I put the beaters and bowl in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes. In the chilled bowl make up the ice water and milk powder, beating until stiff, about 20 minutes.When almost stiff I add the extract. In a blender, I process the maypops and honey until thick puree. Taste here for the honey like I said. Then scrape this into the beaten you know cream and beat in well. Then we put into our ice cream maker and crank until set.

http://www.maryjanesfarm.org/snitz/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1746

*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.

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Please provide feedback on Maypop Plant Information | A Unique Edible Vine by commenting below.

FREE Bonus Plant Reference Guide

FREE Bonus Plant Reference Guide

Plant Reference Guide

Plant Reference Guide

The Bonus Plant Reference Guide is a 147-page PDF document that gives you detailed information on 164 annual and perennial plants, what makes these plants unique, color pictures of most plants and information on how to acquire these unique plants for your own use.  This guide is FREE simply by signing up for our email list at https://greatescapefarms.com/subscribe/.  We will be posting another free guide for our subscribers that covers vines, shrubs, and trees in the coming weeks.  Don’t worry, we only use our email list to notify you of updates to our web site and sales at Great Escape Nursery.