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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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Hablitzia sowings and seedlings

The shoots of a young Hablitzia Tamnoides plant

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

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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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Ulluco tubers – how to grow

Yellow, Pica de Pulga, Ravelo Lisa (green) and Purple Ulluco tubers.

About Ulluco

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

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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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A stunning winter harvest of edible tubers

Freshly harvested Ulluco, Yellow, Pica de Pulga, Ravelo Lisa and purple varieties.

December is an exciting time for lifting our edible tubers and discovering the buried treasure that has been busy growing under the earth. Vivid red Oca tubers, stunningly beautiful Ulluco tubers, Chinese Artichokes and Jerusalem Artichokes are a welcome harvest when there is not much else to gather in the veg patch.  Continue reading A stunning winter harvest of edible tubers

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Tuberous Chervil – what a find!

Tuberous Chervil

I have just sown some tuberous chervil Chaerophyllum Bulbosum. This is a root vegetable with a chestnutty earthy taste. Seeds can be sown in the Autumn or in the Spring after a period of stratification ( they need a good 8 weeks of cold to germinate ). The tubers will grow over the summer months and can be harvested in the Autumn/winter but benefit from a period of frost. Continue reading Tuberous Chervil – what a find!