I’ve been growing Apios Americana for a few years now. Native to North America, it’s a leguminous plant that has everything going for it – delicious tubers, beautiful ornamental vines with scented flowers and is nitrogen fixing too. Also known as Groundnut and Hopniss (from the Lenape word “Hobbenis”) it was an important staple food for many indigenous peoples in North America. I’m so excited to be working with this perennial edible plant that has so much potential as a useful high protein food crop.Continue reading Apios americana or Hopniss heaven
Perennial Nine Star Broccoli Field Trial ‘Project Nine Star’ is underway. After raising hundreds of plants from 11 accessions of Nine Star seed including kind donations from Warwick University gene bank, Brown Envelope seeds and other generous individuals, the plants finally made it into the ground at the beginning of June. This is our first venture into small scale plant breeding, both exciting and daunting! and we may need our hands held along the way by friends and colleagues with more experience. Perennial Nine Star broccoli has special significance for us as many years ago it was the first vegetable plant that got us interested in perennial growing. Continue reading Warp Factor Nine ‘Star’ engage
Perennial kale cuttings – latest news. Our waiting list is temporarily closed while we fulfil existing orders and replenish our stock plants
Because we have received an unprecedented number of order enquiries for perennial kale cuttings following mentions on Radio 4 and in the Guardian / Observer we are working on a strategy so we can fulfil orders and try and meet all requests in the coming years. Basically we have Taunton Deane perennial kale stock plants growing which we make stem cuttings from. Because of the increase in the demand, we are busy propagating more stock plants so we will have more in the future to ensure a steady supply. We don’t want anyone to miss out! Continue reading Perennial kale cuttings – latest update
Perennial kale is one of our greatest obsessions and after starting off with some Daubenton, variegated Daubenton ‘Panache’ and some Taunton Deane kales, we have been busy gathering other specimens for our perennial brassica botanical garden. We have added five more perennial brassicas to our collection over the last two years. Purple Tree Collards, Spis Bladene, Egloskerry Kale, Carole Wellwood’s kale and an undetermined sort of thousand headed kale. Continue reading Perennial kale and collards – quite a collection
Purple Tree Collards seem to be the most elusive of the perennial brassicas. After waiting patiently for many years, a tiny Purple Tree Collard cutting came our way. We nurtured that little plant and it is now a majestic specimen and we are carefully taking a few cuttings to start propagating these on a larger scale. Our aim is to plant out lots of stock plants so we can begin to offer stem cuttings in the future. Continue reading Purple Tree Collards
Hablitzia Tamnoides likes to take its time establishing but is well worth the wait. As each year goes by the plants become more vigorous, the leaves become larger and deeper green and I have seen the most remarkable growth spurt as May approaches…something like 30cm or more a week. Continue reading Hablitzia T takes over
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
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
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 for eating 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.