NEW ONES TO ME ... BY GLADYS JEURINK
following are new plants to me:
Edamine beans: These
are soybeans in which you eat the tender beans. Directions call for
careful watching to not let the beans get too mature. In Japan, pods are
cooked in salt water and then the beans are popped out directly into the
mouth. I sent for “Black Pearl” that look like lentils but have all
the magic of soybeans.
Blood Beets: I like
to plant these at the base of my tall lilies.
I had some last year and they have big red leaves which are
edible like spinach leaves. Since lilies like partial shade, so did the
beets as I was growing them for the leaves.
DRAGON CARROTS: The pictures are fun as the outside is bright purple
and the inside a bright orange. Can’t you imagine slices like this in
a salad? My Cockatiels love carrots that I have shredded so they will
get their share. Like all carrots they will need deep, loose soil or
their roots won’t grow straight.
To keep carrot fly maggots away, I will cover my row with Remay
(row cover) until they get fairly tall.
Carrots also need crop rotation of at least 3 years to prevent
blight from taking over.
BULE GOURD: A bumpy,
warty 8 inch gourd that turns brown when dry.
It can be carved like a pumpkin for Halloween but will dry hard
and not rot like the pumpkins so one can save their art for winter fun.
LIGHTNING TOMATOES: These are pictured as a medium sized tomato with
a super good taste but they are the brightest red with yellow stripes
running length wise. Think of my salad of purple and orange carrots and
then add red and yellow striped tomatoes. I started them under lights
during March and then will move them to 4 inch pots as soon as they are
1 to 2 inches high. They will be set out in the garden in May. Usually I
pull the lower set of leaves off and set the plant into the ground up to
the next set of leaves. That
part of the stem will also grow roots to help feed and hold up a big 5
to 6 foot plant. I cage my plants with cement reinforcing wire fencing as
those tomatoes are heavy. Fourth
of July are my earliest tomatoes. Celebrity is the best producers for me and Big
Mama is the biggest Roma type tomato I grow.
STRIPED MAIZE: Somewhere I am going to find room for this plant.
This corn is listed as having green, yellow, and pink leaves with the
tassels dark purple and the ear kernels burgundy. Maybe I could try to
grow it in the two pots on either side of my front door. I usually have
the dark Purple Millet (“Purple
Majesty”) there. The ears are not listed for “good
ago I had Cavemen gourds which
are big, heavy things with a long handle and spikes on the fruit end.
They really did look like an ancient weapon.
Last summer was SWAN
GOURDS with a large base and a long curved neck. After drying my
neighbor painted one white and made “him” some feet and I added eyes
from the craft shop. He sits in the South window with my house plants.
You may have seen it on the first BACKYARD FARMER program the other day. These gourds need a long
season to be mature enough to harvest. We drilled a hole underneath to
get the seeds out so he could dry faster.
PENGUIN & Russian Doll gourds:
This year I have seeds of Penguin and Russian Doll gourds as well as
some Snakes. Remember gourds need lots of sun and water. They don’t
like frost so I usually start them inside the latter part of March.
They start out big and vigorous so I put the seeds (2) in 4 inch
pots to start. The hotter
it gets the faster they grow. In the fall let them dry out until you can
hear the seeds rattle inside. You may have to cut a hole and clean it
out. Then lightly sand with steel wool, and paint with acrylic paint. An
undercoat is recommended followed by finish coat. Craft stores have all
kinds of decorations, eyes, buttons, etc.
EASTER EGG PLANT: For years I have been seeing these plants in the catalog with their colored “eggs” hanging down in bunches, supposedly the size of a hen egg. They are cream, yellow, orange and green in color. I didn’t find them in the regular eggplant section but in the “ornamentals” so they may not be so good eating. I sure do want to try one.
BARK FOR LUNCH
... BY GLADYS JEURINK
Somehow a general opinion is that bark is a “waste product” to be used for paths and lately a major portion of some potting soils. An article in Mother Earth News reminds us that aspirin is made from the bark of a willow tree, and of course cinnamon is peeled, dried tree bark. Native Americans ate the inner bark of Pine trees, Cedars and Cottonwood during the winter. They also made tree bark soups, breads, and puddings. If you read the history of many of our trees, their bark was and is used for many medicinal purposes.