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Warp Factor Nine ‘Star’ engage

Perennial Nine Star Broccoli

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

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Perennial kale cuttings – latest update

Taunton Deane kale

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

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Perennial kale and collards – quite a collection

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

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Purple Tree Collards

Purple Tree Collard

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

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Hablitzia T takes over

Hablitzia Tamnoides

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

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Skirret harvesting in the sun

Three year old skirret plants

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.

Continue reading Skirret harvesting in the sun

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Hablitzia plants head skywards

Hablitzia plants

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

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Stephen Barstow visit

Edimental salad

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

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Hablitzia Tamnoides – how to grow

Hablitzia Tamnoides - Caucasian Spinach leaf

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

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Perennial Nine Star Broccoli

Perennial 9 Star broccoli

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

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How to Grow Cardoons

Perennial Cardoon plants with purple thistle flowers

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.

Continue reading How to Grow Cardoons

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Taunton Deane & Daubenton’s Kale

Perennial Taunton Deane Kale

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. CUTTINGS available see our shop page for details. Continue reading Taunton Deane & Daubenton’s Kale

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Skirrets – the long forgotten vegetable

Freshly harvested skirret root grown from Skirret seed

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

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Chinese Artichokes – How to grow

Amazing edible Chinese Artichoke tubers against the dark earth

Chinese Artichokes are also known as Chorogi, Betony or Crosne. They are prolific producers of delicious knobbly crunchy tubers and have a bushy top growth of fuzzy leaves that grow up to 50cm tall. They are related to the mint family. BUY NOW  in our online shop.

How to grow Chinese Artichokes

Being hardy things tubers can be planted out between October and April. Alternatively you can keep your tubers in trays or pots of slightly damp compost in a light place and leave them to sprout. You will see leaves appearing and when the plants are about 3 or 4 inches tall you can plant them out. Slugs do like the plants when small, so getting them going in pots first ensures that they can survive pests until they have got established. Plant about 25cm apart and a 7.5cm deep in rows of 45cm. Continue reading Chinese Artichokes – How to grow