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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.  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!

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Spigariello, wavy ringlets of tasty greens from this heirloom variety

Spigariello heirloom greens

Spigariello, also known as Cavolo Broccolo a Getti di Napoli, is a beautiful leafy green that produces abundant ringlets or ribbons of dark leaves that you can steam, saute, toss into pasta or put on top of a pizza. This is an old Italian heirloom variety which has a long sowing period and can be cut over and over again as the ringlets re-sprout before eventually producing a white central flower head a bit like sprouting broccoli. Continue reading Spigariello, wavy ringlets of tasty greens from this heirloom variety

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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