Saturday, April 27, 2013

Fun and Unusual

Perennial Purple Tree Collard
A tall growing, non heading member of the cabbage family, tree collards were introduced to California, probably during the latter half of the eighteenth century. They are nutritious and a 100 square foot bed can provide four times more protein and eight times more calcium than the milk produced from a fodder crop grown in the same area.  In addition, tree collards contain no oxalic acid; therefore, they may be eaten raw without iron being tied up.  Perennial Purple Tree Collard leaves are rich in calcium (226 mg per cup, cooked), vitamins B1, B2, B9, and C (which may be leached by cooking, however), as well as beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A).
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Fooled You is a hybrid (F-1) variety of jalapeno with virtually no heat. 

They have the flavor and appearance of jalapenos, but you can munch them like bell peppers.  They are typically just a bit larger than regular jalapenos at about 3 ¼ inches long and 1 inch wide.  The fruit is heavy, thick-walled, and will turn from green to red if allowed to mature on the plant.  The plant will grow to just over 2 feet tall and many seed companies boast large yields in about 65 days.
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Mouse Mellon

Tiny, 1 x 1/2 in. light-green fruits with darker mottling look like watermelons for a doll house. The flesh is white, crisp, crunchy with a slight lemony tartness. The flavor is closer to a cucumber than a melon. One person described them as,"Cucumber with a bit of watermelon rind and a squeeze of lemon juice." It is said that the missing crunch can make people go off diets.
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Lemon Cucumber

Yellow-colored, spherical, the dimensions of an ample fist. Yep, these types of cucumbers appear like lemons (significantly, that’s a image of cucumbers, lemon cucumbers, not really lemons). These are sweet, without having that nasty side that a majority of cucumbers have got, thin skins, minimum gentle seeds, as well as tasty. They’re delicious raw, however create tasty pickles as well. 
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Strawberry Spinach
One of the more interesting plants we grow, or should I say, grows itself is strawberry spinach, also called strawberry blite, beet berry, Indian paint, and a number of other names. The plant is very cold hardy but will thrive in the hottest weather. With a long taproot it can get by on very little water, of course the more water it gets the larger the fruit. 

Ground Chery 
The typical Physalis fruit is similar to a firm tomato (in texture), and like strawberries or other fruit in flavor; they have a mild, refreshing acidity. 

Litchi Tomatoes

Because the plant itself is covered with thorns, it is sometimes used as a hedge plant to discourage animals from wandering into vegetable gardens — not a bad idea.
The fruits ripen dark red and are round and somewhat bullet-shaped, tapering to a blunt point. The interior flesh is yellow and full of tiny flat seeds that are arranged much the same way as seeds in a cherry tomato. Thus, when eaten out of hand, the raw fruit has the mouth feeling of raspberries. The actual flavor is tart and refreshing, quite similar to a sour cherry, for which it can be used as a relatively good substitute in pies.

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Moringa Oleifera and Moringa Stenopetala 

Moringa, native to parts of Africa and Asia, is the sole genus in the flowering plant family Moringaceae.

The most widely cultivated species is Moringa oleifera, a multipurpose tree native to the foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India and cultivated throughout the tropics. M. stenopetala, an African species, is also widely grown, but to a much lesser extent than M. oleifera.
Moringa grows quickly in many types of environments.

Much of the plant is edible by humans or by farm animals. The leaves are rich in protein, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C and minerals

Do you have more that you would like me to add to this list?

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