Skirret harvesting…It’s early March and we have been busy lifting some of our mature skirret plants. We left these to grow for three years undisturbed as an experiment to see what size roots would develop. The plants have produced quite sizeable clusters of good sized eating roots. The ones you can see in the images below had a nice snap to them and a sweet crunchy taste. The plants produced some very healthy looking offsets too. Offsets are the growing tips that cluster and naturally multiply around the top of the crown. These can be pinched off with a little bit of root attached and popped into a pot of compost to develop before being planted out in their final position. You can propagate and increase your stock very rapidly this way and offsets grow into mature plants in a short space of time.
Hablitzia Tamnoides can be sown over the winter months and left outside in a cold frame to germinate, you will usually see the seedlings emerge within 3-4 weeks. It is good to get them going and sow through November and December because you can prick them out in January and they will have a head start in the new year. They will stay in the polytunnel for a little while and then put outside before transplanting out in a bed in the spring. The polytunnel gets too hot for them once the weather warms up, so it is ideal to start them off in the coldest months. Continue reading Hablitzia sowings and seedlings
We did a great interview with the Green Gardens Blog in January 2016, ‘Becoming Expert Growers with Incredible Vegetables’ as part of their gardening guides series. It is all about how we developed from home growers, to setting up a perennial vegetable nursery. Plus advice on growing perennial vegetables and some of our favourites…Ulluco, Yacon, Perennial Kales, Hablitzia Tamnoides and more. You can read the full article by clicking on the image below.
Ulluco growing and harvesting in pictures. In 2016 we grew ten varieties including Chugua Roja, Ravelo Lisa, Round Orange, Yellow Spotted, White Spotted, Colombian Long Red, Purple, Pica de Pulga, Yellow and Cusco Market. Tubers were harvested in mid December.
Sown three years ago, our Hablitzia plants are really going for it this year. In their first year the plants were quite small, in their second they managed to grow a few feet and now in their third they are sprawling their beautiful edible leaves outwards and upwards reaching a height of 8ft and it is only June! Continue reading Hablitzia plants head skywards
Stephen Barstow – The Extreme Salad Man and author of Around The World in 80 Plants made a special visit to Incredible Vegetables field as part of his whistle stop tour around the UK visiting various sites and giving talks and workshops. Stephen was particularly interested in how we grow our Ulluco tubers after being dazzled with images of our 2015 harvest. He also checked out how his Hablitzia ‘offspring’ were doing ( Our plants were grown from seed that Stephen sent us from Norway a few years ago). Continue reading Stephen Barstow visit
Hablitzia Tamnoides is a semi shade loving perennial climber with mild edible spinach type leaves. Originating in the Caucasus region, it has been grown in Scandinavian countries as an ornamental before making a bit of a renaissance recently by author and plant expert Stephen Barstow. Now permaculturists and forest gardeners as well as those interested in perennial vegetables are beginning to give it a try as another possible staple that can happily grow in any garden with a shady spot. The young shoots can be eaten in early spring as well as pickings from the more mature leaves over the summer. Hablitzia seeds need a period of cold to germinate. Sow outside in a cold frame over the winter or sow in spring and place in the fridge for 10 days to trigger germination. Continue reading Hablitzia Tamnoides – how to grow
Ulluco (Ullucus tuberosus) are exquisite looking edible Andean root tubers and are members of the plant family Basellaceae which includes Malabar spinach. After the potato it is one of the most widely consumed of the Andean tuber crops, but is almost unknown outside the Andean region where it is grown. Ulluco has many varieties and colours such as the vivid green Ravelo Lisa, the mottled red and yellow Pica de Pulga, Round purple, Chugua Roja, Colombian Long Red, Long Yellow, white spotted, Cusco Market ( an orange variety with pink flecks) and many more. They are found in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentine and Venezuela and are known also as Papa Lisa, Olluco, Ruba, Chugua and Melloco. Continue reading Ulluco tubers – how to grow
How to grow Borage: Article first published in Grow Your Own Magazine September 2015 growfruitandveg.co.uk
My vegetable garden is a beautiful rambling polyculture where edible and beneficial plants happily co-exist. Bee friendly plants, edible flowers and aromatic companions happily nestle alongside my perennial and annual vegetables. This way of growing helps deter pests, maximizes your growing space and leaves less bare earth for the weeds – occupied by useful plants instead.
I first started growing the medicinal herb Borage, Borago Officinalis for its amazing vivid sky blue clusters of star shaped edible flowers to add to my salads. Continue reading How to grow Borage
We have joined the Guild of Oca Breeders
The following text is from the Guild of Oca Breeders website www.ocabreeders.org where you can find out more about the project and how to join in. We are very excited to have joined the GOB club and our first trial Oca are flourishing in the field, with even a few flowers appearing on our GOB 1358’s!
About the Guild of Oca Breeders
Set up by @Rhizowen The Guild of Oca Breeders (GOB) is a new and exciting project: a plant breeding club to support the democratisation of the plant breeding process and remove its mystique.
Incredible Vegetables is collaborating with artists Brian and Wendy Froud on a new cook book of Faery Feasts that is to be published in 2016. The book will include Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter feasts with recipes that you can make at home. It is fantastic to be collaborating with Brian on Wendy on such an amazing project. Continue reading Cook book of Faery Feasts
Perennial Nine Star Broccoli – Brassica Oleracea Botrytis Asparagoides. Is an amazing hardy vegetable that produces a central large creamy white cauliflower type head with a myriad of sprouting side shoots from as early as February through to May. To keep the plants sprouting year after year you have to cut off all the florets and any flowers that try to emerge so you don’t allow the plants to go to seed. Continue reading Perennial Nine Star Broccoli
How to grow Cardoons – article first published in Grow Your Own Magazine May 2015 growfruitandveg.co.uk
Cardoons are fantastic edible, ornamental and bee friendly plants. I’m obsessed with resurrecting long forgotten varieties and started growing Cardoons 6 years ago after discovering they were stars of the vegetable garden in Britain right up to Victorian times. I thought it was time for these architectural edimentals to make a re-appearance.
Taunton Deane kale (Brassica oleracea var Acephala) a very old variety of perennial kale that keeps growing for years giving a tasty supply of greens all year round. It is also known as cottager’s kale and would have been common in vegetable gardens up until Victorian times. Plants can grow more than two metres tall and wide and are very hardy. Being perennials they withstand pests very well, survive all kinds of weather and have a flourish of new growth each spring and summer. They are extremely nutritious as they have many years to accumulate minerals and have a great flavour and are tender enough to eat raw. Taunton Deane plants do slow down after about 5 years, so it is worth making cuttings every now and again to produce new stock. Continue reading Taunton Deane & Daubenton’s Kale
OUR SKIRRETS WERE FEATURED ON BBC TWO’S GARDENERS’ WORLD WITH MONTY PLANTING OUT OUR SKIRRET CROWNS IN HIS TUDOR VEGETABLE GARDEN. More info here BBC Gardeners World. Latin name Sium Sisarum, Skirrets are hardy perennial root vegetables. They date back centuries, pre-dating the potato, and were one of the main root crops eaten across Europe before potatoes were introduced. They fell out of favour because potatoes were easier to prepare, not because of the taste. Skirrets actually taste somewhere between a Parsnip and a carrot with a hint of pepper. Continue reading Skirrets – the long forgotten vegetable