Thursday, April 25, 2013

American ground nut and new seedlings growing

In the spring I bought 5 American ground nut tubers (Apios americana) and planted them in this little row. They didn't grow quite as much as I thought they would but now that they are dying down I will soon be able to dig up a couple to see how many tubers they made. I need to leave them in the ground until next winter though because I read that they need two years to produce decent sized tubers. I think that next year with better fertilisation they will grow much bigger.
Apparantly these were an important food for Native Americans and are crunchy and nutritious. They grow as a vine, are a legume and produce tubers the size of eggs or bigger. They are supposed to taste like a potato but slightly sweeter and nuttier. They can be baked, boiled or fried.

I read that some people are trying to breed better varieties than the wild ones to produce commercially.

Below are a few volunteer seedlings of the mustard called 'ruby streaks'. I love it because the taste is spicy but very mild and it grows fast. I only grew a few plants for seed last year but it is so tasty that I will grow more this year, for seed and to sell. It looks great on the plate or in a salad with its bold colour and ornamental leaves. I don't care for spicy vegetables but I like this one.

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