more info on this delicious round variety of carrot coming soon!
more info on growing celeriac from seed and harvesting, storing and eating the entire plant coming soon!
german extra hardy garlic
another garlic variety with less cloves but this one was STRONG. I like my garlic strong, and this was my go-to variety. I actually procured my german extra hardy garlic heads from a garlic symposium in Colorado Springs in 2016 (nerd) that was grown by an organic gardener there. Seed Savers Exchange also offers this garlic. Of the garlic casualties, this one I lost a few that couldn’t be stored over winter because the roots are so deep and strong I pulled them (a garlic no-no) and they detached from the stem base. That just meant I had to eat them all ASAP and I stored the rest in a jar of olive oil in the freezer, or pureed them with salt and olive oil and froze them in 1oz cubes to shave off for cooking as needed.
I chose 3 different garlic varieties to grow in my allotment. I ended up planting a little over 120 cloves in October of 2016 and harvested all of them with a few shovel casualties in early june. The Russian giant garlic is absolutely massive, with a maxiumum of 4 cloves in one head. I don’t much care for peeling a ton of tiny garlic cloves so I chose varieties to plant that had less and larger cloves. Delicious flavor, perfect roasted, crushed and in sautéed foods, shaken in a dressing or in a jar of pickles.
more info on curing, saving and tying (braiding) hardneck garlic coming soon!
more information on different parsnip varieties coming soon!
more information on this obnoxious but super beneficial garden 'weed' coming soon!
French breakfast radish
Purchased from USDA organic seeds from Seed Savers exchange in 2013, I have saved my seeds since, the same process as saving any other seed gone to bolt. French breakfast radishes are quite delicious, and I popped them in my mouth while pregnant with my first. Easy to grow and one of the first veggies to harvest, they have less than a month to maturity. If you want to grow something for kids, these are a great starter.
yacon is one of those foods that most people have never heard of. It is native to the Andes. In 2008 I started using yacon purchased dehydrated from an organic gardener, for use in my restore herbal tea. it has such a delicious flavor. I see a lot of descriptions of yacon on the internet but nothing is spot-on (or is regurgitated information from another website).
My yacon tubers were super crisp and amazingly sweet. Super sweet. Imagine eating crisp potato (don’t do that) that tasted like an apple that has been brushed with agave. That’s the only way I could think to describe it. It’s delicious! And very different. Yacon is a member of the asteracea family, like sunflowers but with giant edible tubers. It looks like a sunflower with a strong green stalk and pink-red tinged edges on the foliage. It’s very pretty. Right before the frost hits, or when we got a light one, the foliage begins to yellow and wither. That’s when you harvest the roots. The tubers are amazingly sprawling under the ground, and it takes some tactile shovel work and hand-digging to not damage the tubers. Each edible tuber was bigger than my hand, with most the length of my forearm.
In addition to the edible tubers, there are little radish-colored knobs on the top of the roots. These are the plantable bulbs (rhizomes) that you store to grow more.
I had a hell of a time trying to store both the rhizome and the tuber in cold storage. Rodents and rot both got the best of me 3 years in a row, so each year I would have to purchase new rhizomes from cultivariable to grow for the year. Cultivariable is an excellent source for yacon, oca, etc.
There are a lot of claims out there that yacon syrup and tubers are awesome for diabetics, but I don’t personally believe much of this. As you store the yacon, which makes it taste better and sweeter, the fructose in the tuber increases. Cultivariable goes over more of this on their website, but I thought I would share that with you.
From my tubers I dehydrated them after curing a bit to sweeten for tisane and I also made a yacon syrup. All in all, yacon is a very cool plant to grow and does very well at altitude.
in 2015, I purchased organic wonnegold turnip seed from Adaptive, directly sowing in the early still frosty colorado spring. They germinated and grew very fast, faster than the 75 day to harvest as the seed pack said. Now, it has become very apparent to me that I just flat out do not like turnips or rutabagas. I keep trying because it’s such a weird food to not like, but it’s super gross to me. Any variety. Gross. I haven’t grown them again, but if you like turnips, I highly recommend these. They were a beautiful creamy color and very pungent. I grew them in soil next to my carrots and beets, so I know the strong taste wasn’t anything I did, as they all like the same soil pH of 6.0-6.5
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