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Produce => Edible Plants => Topic started by: Vinlander on November 04, 2017, 13:43:50

Title: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Vinlander on November 04, 2017, 13:43:50
Now it's harvest time we are seeing testaments to all sorts of crops that aren't worth growing.

Stuff that is actually only useful as "famine food" and isn't doing any favours as "challenges"/"novelties"/"projects" for people with more money and time than sense.

Good luck to the latter - I used to dabble myself - but they can sap the morale of novice gardeners who would otherwise find the hobby properly fulfilling.

I think it's worth starting a blacklist while giving "different strokes" a chance to comment. I'll include a < for the many so called  "-substitutes" that are pointless because there are others 10x better, and ! for troublesome weeds.

Offthe top of my head I'd like to nominate:

Achocha
Apios americana <!
Asparagus pea
Magentaspreen <
Red orache <

Throw your rotten tomatoes here!.

Cheers.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: squeezyjohn on November 04, 2017, 14:06:51
Haha ... I don't completely agree with Achocha - but I thouroughly agree with Orach and Magentaspreen!

I'd like to add for consideration: cucamelons/melothrie which make a fiddly, meagre crop of sour, insipid, tiny cucumbers ... and oca, the much lauded lost Inca crop which make an abundance of tiny tubers that are too fiddly to wash, normally slug damaged and when cooked taste much less nice than a potato.  Oca also volunteers itself the next year as it's impossible to find them all and gives you yet another weed in that patch.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Paulh on November 04, 2017, 17:47:25
Varieties of fruit that are "perfect for growing in pots on the patio" or in hanging baskets.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: ed dibbles on November 04, 2017, 18:28:14
I would add celtuce to your list. It is easy enough to grow but of limited use. One of those veg you grow once and never grow again.

Achocha fall into that category for me. They are easy enough to grow but fiddly to prepare and the flavour unimpressive, to me at least. So they were only grown the once. The giant kind may be easier.

Oca has a good flavour so I definitely wouldn't put it in the famine food category. We use it in stews and roasted vegetables. There are usually enough larger ones to make the crop worthwhile however I agree about the volunteer problem. People go to such lengths to have new potatoes for december yet these are easier to grow than new spuds and are harvested at precisely the right time. :happy7:

Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: ACE on November 04, 2017, 19:33:46
tiger nuts, lovely head of grass but blank under the ground.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: squeezyjohn on November 04, 2017, 21:53:57
tiger nuts, lovely head of grass but blank under the ground.

My tiger nuts grew tubers ... but the yield of new nuts was smaller in weight than the amount I planted!  They're also impossible to clean.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Deb P on November 05, 2017, 09:36:33
Rats tail radish
Khol Rabi
Okra....too much effort for sod all result!
I would add all melons as they are my nemesis and I've tried all sorts of varieties in all sorts of settings and have yet to grow a melon bigger than a tennis ball. I can however grow Sharks fin melons bigger than basketballs but sadly they are not as nice to eat! And grow like Triffids!
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: gwynleg on November 05, 2017, 09:47:24
Deb, why kohl rabi?! I grew it once and didnt like it as a vegetable initially, then another allotment grower encouraged me to try again. If you slice them, toss in some olive oil and seasoning, then put them in the oven, they are wonderful!
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: BarriedaleNick on November 05, 2017, 10:03:03
I love Khol Rabi - great sliced in salads and stir fries and a nice early crop.
I cant grow celariac - all top and no trousers and they go direct to the compost bin.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Deb P on November 05, 2017, 10:10:23
I just think kohl rabbi is one of those things most people try growing at one time, then never grow again! I didn' t find it tasted of much even when eaten small, it was like eating a cabbage stalk!
I can grow celeriac however, they do well on my clay soil, they love moisture.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: squeezyjohn on November 05, 2017, 11:34:20
Couldn't disagree more. I grow more kohl rabi than any other brassica over a year since discovering the variety gigant which can get as big as a football and doesn't go woody.  Sweet and crispy when eaten raw without all the heat of a radish, tender and sweet like the stem of broccoli when steamed, boiled or stir-fried.  The edible bit gets far less damage from slugs and other pests.  Early plantings can give you plenty in May-June and later plantings can stand in the frost through winter for harvest as and when needed.  If it gets really bad you can harvest them and store in a cool place like a squash for over a month.  If you have too much of a glut it is a perfect texture replacement for swede or carrot in a traditional Branson-like pickle.

I think everyone should try it.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Vinlander on November 05, 2017, 12:02:08
To sum up (ignoring the ones that some hate & some love): Rat Tail radish seem properly pointless - they need a lot of pod-picking over a very short period so you only need one or two plants. Better to plant a row of any other giant/winter radish, eat the good roots and let a few go to seed for the pods in Spring - they are just as good as the ratstail/munchen-bier type.

After that we get left with mostly stuff that I don't grow for various reasons - but not because they aren't worth eating.

Melons are a labour of love - I gave them up years ago because they are one of the few fruits that can be bought perfectly ripe at a reasonable price (and in London I can get special ones like Ananas). It was depressing to find my own were no better (often worse) in the same weeks when the ones in the shops were as cheap as they get.

Tiger Nuts offer a flavour that is very difficult to source - but before I try them again I'm waiting to hear from people who have tried them in a polytunnel. The same goes for Okra.

Kohl Rabi don't do well for me and I always cut the crisp core out of every brassica head, so I don't need much more of that tasty treat - not enough to make a special planting worthwhile, but I may give them another go.

Cheers.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: johhnyco15 on November 06, 2017, 13:39:22
radish and giant mustard really not my cup of tea in fact most spicy mixed winter  seeds oh and chicory
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: saddad on November 06, 2017, 16:44:24
Shark's fin make a great soup with some crabsticks. Kohl Rabi is great.. why no downs on Cucamelons which I felt were a complete waste of space..
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: squeezyjohn on November 06, 2017, 16:53:46
Shark's fin make a great soup with some crabsticks. Kohl Rabi is great.. why no downs on Cucamelons which I felt were a complete waste of space..

I gave cucamelons a down!  Sold as delicious little nuggets ... in reality a mouthful of sour vegetabley stuff.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: florence on November 06, 2017, 18:12:57
I agree - cucamelons - what a disappointment they were. Had one thinking it would be a tasty treat and it was vile.
Salsify has always seemed like a bit off a wasted effort as well.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Beersmith on November 06, 2017, 21:40:45
I was going to try a novelty next season, in the form of Agretti / Salsola.

Is it worth it? Or is this another straight to bin crop?

Cheers
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: squeezyjohn on November 06, 2017, 23:12:02
I couldn't get it to germinate (salsola)
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Silverleaf on November 07, 2017, 02:13:18
I wasnít impressed with cucamelons either, and asparagus peas looked cool but didnít produce much and didnít taste very good. But I like oca!
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Vinlander on November 07, 2017, 10:05:50
I couldn't get it to germinate (salsola)

Same here - mine were sold under the Japanese name to make them sound more exotic.

If you're after a crisp salty taste then rock samphire is easy and reliable with overtones of parsley.

Pink purslane has a slightly earthy & salty taste plus tiny candy striped flowers - both put it ahead of the other blander kinds - but I can only get it to germinate & grow in pots - it seems happiest in shared pots (it's too small to swamp anything).

Cheers.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: elhuerto on November 07, 2017, 12:50:26
Goji berries - lacking in flavour, spreads all over the place and spent more time digging out the roots than spitting out the berries (but only just). Agree on cucamelons too.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: terrier on November 07, 2017, 20:12:26
Oca and Salsify are shall I or shan't I crops, I grew Oca for the tasty foliage, what few roots I got were for growing next season and Salsify again seems to be more to eat above ground than below, the problem is getting the whole root out of the ground, every bit that breaks off grows a new plant next season.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: galina on November 07, 2017, 21:22:49
Deb, I certainly agree on ocra - can't make that one work either.  Melon much the same until this year when suddenly one variety just worked.  In the greenhouse - and the melon was Petit Gris de Rennes.  I've saved seeds and will grow them again.  Fully ripe they were just so delicious.  Also for the first time I have grown Kohl Rabi and they are great.  Cabbage type top leaves and nice crunchy bulbous below. 

I agree about sharks fin's melon  - they were huge this year.  Nice for making pickles and the Spanish make jam out of them.  The soup with crab sticks sounds great - will try that, thanks Saddad. 

I tried lablab beans this year and they did nothing but flower a bit.  Disappointing.  On the other hand the achocha very fabulous. 

I tried Salsola Soda a few years back.  Didn't germinate either.  I complained and got another packet.  The seeds have to be very, very fresh.  Seeds don't last at all.  Second attempt germinated very well and grew quickly too into biggish plants.  Unfortunately we didn't then like the flavour much, pity.   

I actually like cucamelons very much, nice crunchy snacky little bits, halved in a salad, very nice.  But mostly snacked out of hand in the greenhouse.  I have also pickled them instead of cucumber and that worked well too.

Every radish has nice crunchy seed pods, not just Rat's Tail.  Just that Rat's tail bypasses the root stage.  Any of the longish rooted radishes has long seed pods and those make delicious salad ingredients.  Round radishes tend to have shorter seed pods but the longer seedpods are better to munch on.  :wave: 

Rats tail radish
Khol Rabi
Okra....too much effort for sod all result!
I would add all melons as they are my nemesis and I've tried all sorts of varieties in all sorts of settings and have yet to grow a melon bigger than a tennis ball. I can however grow Sharks fin melons bigger than basketballs but sadly they are not as nice to eat! And grow like Triffids!

Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Vinlander on November 08, 2017, 12:44:28
Just noticed Florence doesn't like salsify - well I wouldn't eat it raw...

However I love everything else about it.

It is absolutely trouble free - even the volunteers are no trouble - I can't see how any crop that you eat before it flowers can ever be a real pest - as soon as it is big enough to annoy it's big enough to eat.

It's good in soups and stews but outstanding roasted and the flavour is unique - nearly - scorzonera is almost the same except it has more pests so the bigger and blacker it gets the more likely you are going to actually have to peel it and perform surgery. Worse, it won't stand waterlogging that parsnips and salsify don't even notice.

Also the flowers of scorzonera are boring compared to the rich purple blooms of salsify (Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon) - https://rockcottageyear.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/dsc_0071.jpg

I don't want to rant, but whatever you think about the French they know about food and they love salsify - they even buy it bottled. It's pricey though - presumably for eating out of season.

Cheers.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: galina on November 08, 2017, 17:30:43
Ahh Vinlander, but Scorzonera has one huge feature in its favour.  Salsify is annual and you can't eat the roots in the second year.  On less than ideal, stony and clayey soils the roots don't get that big in a year.  Scorzonera on the other hand can be left for a second year, tucked away in a corner and then the roots are huge.   I love both of them but there is much more food from scorzonera. 

Having said this, I spaced my salsify roots well, then harvested only from the largest in an attempt to get better roots and that has worked fairly well.  Still nowhere near as big as my two year old scorzonera, but definitely bigger.

The foliage of both can be eaten as spring greens, but I prefer to cook them, not eat them as lettuce substitute like some suggest.  I have not yet tried it, but apparently breaded and deep fried flower buds are a real delicacy.  :wave:
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: squeezyjohn on November 08, 2017, 21:38:16
I don't want to rant, but whatever you think about the French they know about food and they love salsify - they even buy it bottled

I've been served some dreadful stuff in France including tripe ... and they make tea using a microwave.  Nuff said!
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: George the Pigman on November 09, 2017, 19:01:32
Well I definitely agree about cucamelons, goji berries and okra.
I found the yield of Kohl Rabi, scorzonera and salsify was so poor that I eventually gave up. Also gave up on Florence Fennel and eventually on Celeriac. I gave up on Kiwi Fruit and eventually Hamburg Parsley
Asparagus Pea for me is borderline-you have to pick the pods early otherwise they turn hard and inedible.
Rat Tailed Radish I don't find a problem. We have a good crop each year and they are lovely to give a bite to salads.

Though I suppose a lot depends on your local climate and soil.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: squeezyjohn on November 09, 2017, 20:13:37
I suppose a lot of what can make a crop not worth it is down to the soil and climate on your plot - that seems to be a sub-category here.

I would urge anyone who has given up on kohl rabi because of poor yield to try the variety "Gigant" one last time before giving up on it completely.  Not only are the heads up to 10 times the size of other types, the flesh is also sweeter and crisper with no woodiness (at least on my plot).  I used to feel the same way about florence fennel but I've got a lovely crop coming on outdoors that were sown in to modules at the beginning of August and planted out in September ... they seem to grow much bigger and better in the cool temperatures and wet weather of Autumn.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Seacarrot on November 11, 2017, 13:31:08
I Tried Brokali this year - the blurb said.... This variety is a cross between broccoli and kale, which is why the spelling is as it is.

Atlantis will produce small but well formed heads of delicious sweet green with long tender shoots and is a cross between Chinese and European Broccoli.

I had a few nice plants, which quickly bolted into full flower, then smothered in White fly, so the lot got composted. The End.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Beersmith on November 11, 2017, 23:02:18
Salsify has been mentioned a couple of times but curiously the criticism seems to relate to poor yields. I've never found it difficult to produce decent yields. Also it tastes pretty good too. The real problem and the reason I stopped growing it was it's digestibility.  To be blunt it makes you fart. And how! Volumes of gas you would not believe.

Apologies if that is too much information for some.

Cheers

P.S I strongly disagree that celeriac or Florence fennel should fall into the straight to bin category. Neither difficult to grow and both taste great.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Vinlander on November 12, 2017, 00:29:15
Salsify has been mentioned a couple of times but curiously the criticism seems to relate to poor yields. I've never found it difficult to produce decent yields. Also it tastes pretty good too. The real problem and the reason I stopped growing it was it's digestibility.  To be blunt it makes you fart. And how! Volumes of gas you would not believe

Ah, now there's a story - the thing that makes the gas is a sort of sugar (polysaccharide) called inulin. Lots of plants use it to store energy, but it is almost indigestible in our non-specialist digestive systems (I'm pretty sure true herbivores have no problem).

So basically you have a sugar appearing in your lower digestive system because your body has ignored it.

For the bacteria down there it's Xmas and a gazillion other excuses for a party and the result is gas and a bacterial population explosion.

As it happens, this can make your guts more healthy - more friendly bacteria and everything moving more quickly - lots of benefits to your overall health including less cancer etc.

The same things and benefits happen when you eat plant fibres, so nutritionists confusingly refer to "soluble fibre" meaning stuff like inulin (that aren't fibre they just have the same effects).

Now here's the punchline - it is the latest "wonder food" and lots and lots of companies are dying to sell you their inulin extracts for between £13 and £50 a kilo!

Fresh jerusalem artichoke can contain about 10-18g of inulin per kilo (depending on how you read the wiki page) so they would like to charge you about £10 for what you can harvest by planting one root in one square foot of land and waiting 6 or 7 months.

The powder is certain to make you fart just as much, but either they recommend a tiny (and probably useless) dose or it isn't actually what they say it is (which is also useless).

Basically, if like me you've had an allotment for a year or more and you like root veg, then you will have got used to it and will be reaping the health benefits - I have no problem at all with salsify, but if you lived on mostly McGarbage etc. it would be a big shock, and you could probably put those kind of people into low earth orbit by feeding them jerusalem artichokes (where they'd suffocate instead of dying of cancer).

Cheers.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Beersmith on November 12, 2017, 14:50:07
Vinlander,

Very interesting comments.

I'm not a veggie but only eat meat 3-4 times a week and consume quite a lot of fruit and veg. Sadly I've never been able to adapt to salsify. I could try a long term trial to adjust but fear Mrs Beersmith would sue for divorce before I succeeded.  Interesting mention of Jerusalem artichokes - same problem.

Cheers
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Silverleaf on November 13, 2017, 00:27:57
I think some people never get used to inulin no matter how much they eat.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Plot 18 on November 13, 2017, 09:06:49
Yes, many people are intolerant, some even classify it as an allergy....
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Vinlander on November 14, 2017, 11:16:39
Yes, many people are intolerant, some even classify it as an allergy....

That's ironic, since inulin has been used and is still recommended to make stuff sweet for diabetics - no bitter taste and no possibility of it being banned (so far every artificial sweetener has proved to be evil - many, maybe all, can actually cause diabetes).

Nobody who eats root/stem storage vegetables can avoid it completely - but if it's possible to tone it down by breeding then it could increase the varieties available to people who find it a problem.

I'd actually eat more artichokes than potatoes if it could be tamed without "throwing the flavour out with the bathwater". I prefer the flavour to potatoes - and no blight problem.

Cheers.

Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: rowbow on November 15, 2017, 11:02:36
Yes, many people are intolerant, some even classify it as an allergy....

That's ironic, since inulin has been used and is still recommended to make stuff sweet for diabetics - no bitter taste and no possibility of it being banned (so far every artificial sweetener has proved to be evil - many, maybe all, can actually cause diabetes).

Nobody who eats root/stem storage vegetables can avoid it completely - but if it's possible to tone it down by breeding then it could increase the varieties available to people who find it a problem.

I'd actually eat more artichokes than potatoes if it could be tamed without "throwing the flavour out with the bathwater". I prefer the flavour to potatoes - and no blight problem.

Cheers.

One of my friends gave me some oca tubers, they taste like new potatoes with a hint of lemon, easy to grow not affected by blight.  :icon_cheers: (no side effects)
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: George the Pigman on November 15, 2017, 20:20:23
I've had the same experience with Jerusalem Fartichokes. Unfortunately if you have irritable bowel syndrome or diverticular disease these non-fermented polysaccharides like inulin can cause lots of problems - the gas triggering attacks. I developed the latter condition a few years ago so they are all now definitely off the menu for me.

Thanks for the tip about Gigant Kohl Rabi - I'll have a go at that next year.
Also for the tip of growing the Florence Fennel in the Autumn. It makes sense. They need to be kept moist at all times otherwise they bolt. I love Florence Fennel - and its supposed to be good for controlling gas!!
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Vinlander on November 17, 2017, 10:41:39
That reminds me - other ways of taming Fartichokes have turned up on this forum.

1) Roasting them unpeeled (scrubbed) and whole until they turn into delicious bags of sweet smoky savoury mush - this just means putting them in with the potatoes at the start of the roast (I recommend guinea fowl over chicken for the taste that chickens used to have, organic chicken is a massive improvement but isn't as close).

Putting them in later with the parsnips doesn't cut it.

This method (for me) removes the pain entirely by making them no worse than the parsnips; so I haven't tried going slower and longer, but anyone who has a problem should try it... whatever the chemistry is (?), it works better with a long slow roast.

2) Winter Savory has been recommended by TV experts for Fartichokes, and though Wiki doesn't mention this it does say it is a traditional cure for flatulence.  My bush died before I heard this so I'm looking for a new one to give it a go.  That would hopefully make it possible to 'fix' the problem of quick cooking so I could make them into soup -  it's probably the best soup in the world.

I haven't tried putting the normal quick soup into a slow cooker for hours - I really must try that - certainly less work than doing a special roast for soup (though it's so different from roasting it might not work).

Cheers.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: John85 on November 19, 2017, 15:00:52
How do you rate pepino?
Worth growing?
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: galina on November 19, 2017, 17:28:19
 :BangHead:
How do you rate pepino?
Worth growing?

Probably very nice, but I couldn't grow it.  A bit like melon but even more difficult I think. Haven't tried a second time 
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: ed dibbles on November 19, 2017, 19:17:18
The time I grew pepino I sowed seeds the first year they flowered around august set fruit but didn't ripen in time. The plants were overwintered with a view to earlier flowering the second year so more time to ripen the fruit.

But it didn't work out as they again flowered late and failed to ripen.

One to put down to experience never to be repeated. :happy7:

Another grower may have more luck of course.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: winecap on November 19, 2017, 21:15:38
Regarding pepino, I had a good yield perhaps three years ago with cuttings I took from a plant that my friend bought in Lidl. I grew them in the greenhouse and had perhaps ten decent sized fruits which I vaguely remember ripened quite late. After that the plants didn't make it through the winter, so I tried again with seed and now I have plants that for the second year running have produced nothing. They have just now managed to produce flower buds. Will try for one more year, but am starting to think that some strains are better than others.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Vinlander on November 20, 2017, 11:22:33
I got two named Pepino clones from Clive Simms many years ago before he retired ("Otovalo" was the most productive for me), and they were one of my favourite "long shots".

They fruited every year but only ripened properly in good "Indian Summers" - the fruit is good but isn't actually outstanding. Shop melons are better, but I didn't have a polytunnel then.

It's enjoyable and a great talking point, but the main reason I kept them going was they were so easy to overwinter from cuttings - I've never seen a faster more enthusiastic rooter (I grow a wide range of veg but just a very few flowers, and even then I lean towards edible ornamentals like pot marigolds).

Unfortunately Pepinos are moderately hardy too so I became lazy and complacent - I relaxed into just leaving a few plants in the greenhouse and taking cuttings in the spring - until the surprise winter of 2010/11 killed the lot.

I recently gave up on trying to find named plants (why pay through the nose for a plant that might just be a seedling?), but it sounds like the Lidl one actually came from a selected strain.

I'm sure the species is well-selected in South America, (the Chavins etc. seem to have been red-hot on selection), but they aren't adapted to our day-length, so it's pointless expecting much from anything except the very best croppers.

I tried seeds in Jan this year with heat and LEDs before planting them in my polytunnel. They flowered well but late - no sign of  fruiting at all and then the frost stopped them. They are still alive and rooting so I'm quite happy to assess them next year - they will probably fruit and then I can decide whether they need proper selecting and breeding before becoming worthwhile again.

This means I could have validated cuttings this time next year - or more likely I'll need to spend 10 years breeding them first...

I'm still hoping proper named clones will turn up if people keep buying novelties and the industry continues to thrash about trying to find them - it seems like totally uninformed thrashing but maybe "Pepino" will turn up on one of the monkeys' typewriters? Unfortunately the novelty industry is only interested in the quick buck - cheap seedlings will kill the product for another 10 years :BangHead:.

Cheers.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: John85 on November 25, 2017, 18:25:01
Thank you all .Very useful informations.
I guess I'll stick to melons
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Digeroo on November 25, 2017, 18:56:27
Sweet potato, best compost any plants Asap so you do not waste time trying to get a crop off them.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Robert_Brenchley on December 16, 2017, 20:28:14
I've tried oca every which way; I like the taste, but can't get a crop!
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: squeezyjohn on December 16, 2017, 21:43:00
I've tried oca every which way; I like the taste, but can't get a crop!

That's funny, I can get a crop, but I don't like the taste and I've tried cooking them every which way!  Well I say I can get a crop, I can if the slugs don't beat me to it.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Vinlander on December 17, 2017, 11:58:32
Don't forget that oca are edible raw, where the lemony taste comes through better, so they can bulk out salads, slaws and even fruit salads (though yacon is better for the latter, because that sweet smoky taste is almost unique).

I always get a small oca crop in late Sep/early Oct, but if I leave them in to get a good crop they get so many holes they are useless. Fortunately that doesn't happen when I grow them at home.

I think the difference is that I've never grown potatoes at home, and I'm pretty sure the previous owner didn't grow anything edible.

I've tried burying the whole oca plant when hard frosts arrive before they have bulked up, and they did bulk up better than the plants that were cut down by frosts - but they still got attacked. If I didn't have a safe soil to grow them I'd try digging the whole plant up, then rinse it and clamp it in clean soil/spent compost.

Potatoes are also edible and tasty raw.

In fact I prefer them raw to boiled or steamed, (that includes the abomination that is a potato "baked" in foil - it's not baked! it's boiled in it's own watery juice :BangHead: :BangHead: :BangHead:).

I don't know why raw is such a minority taste - I think it's just the thought of the bitterness (and poison) in green ones that has put off the majority who've never tried.

If you dutifully destroy all the tubers too small to cook, you are missing the treat of just rubbing them clean and popping them into your mouth -  a delicious snack - often when you need one most.

Cheers.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: squeezyjohn on December 17, 2017, 13:23:47
Potatoes are also edible and tasty raw.

In fact I prefer them raw to boiled or steamed, (that includes the abomination that is a potato "baked" in foil - it's not baked! it's boiled in it's own watery juice :BangHead: :BangHead: :BangHead:).

I don't know why raw is such a minority taste - I think it's just the thought of the bitterness (and poison) in green ones that has put off the majority who've never tried.

If you dutifully destroy all the tubers too small to cook, you are missing the treat of just rubbing them clean and popping them into your mouth -  a delicious snack - often when you need one most.

No matter how rationally I try to think about this new information, my brain cannot process it without coming up with the response "that's just plain weird!"
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: squeezyjohn on December 17, 2017, 13:28:33
Don't forget that oca are edible raw, where the lemony taste comes through better, so they can bulk out salads, slaws and even fruit salads (though yacon is better for the latter, because that sweet smoky taste is almost unique).

I always get a small oca crop in late Sep/early Oct, but if I leave them in to get a good crop they get so many holes they are useless. Fortunately that doesn't happen when I grow them at home.

I think the difference is that I've never grown potatoes at home, and I'm pretty sure the previous owner didn't grow anything edible.

I've tried burying the whole oca plant when hard frosts arrive before they have bulked up, and they did bulk up better than the plants that were cut down by frosts - but they still got attacked. If I didn't have a safe soil to grow them I'd try digging the whole plant up, then rinse it and clamp it in clean soil/spent compost.

I wonder if we employed the "growing potatoes in big buckets" method for oca they could be better protected from slugs and also potentially protected from frosts while they bulk up using straw.  I'm kind of converted to growing my spuds this way next year after a pretty successful trial.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Silverleaf on December 17, 2017, 15:09:03
Raw oca has a floury kind of mouthfeel to it which I donít like, presumably itís the uncooked starch in it. Potatoes are even worse! The taste is fine but I donít like the texture.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: ed dibbles on December 17, 2017, 18:40:41
Quote
I wonder if we employed the "growing potatoes in big buckets" method for oca they could be better protected from slugs and also potentially protected from frosts while they bulk up using straw.  I'm kind of converted to growing my spuds this way next year after a pretty successful trial.

This could be a worthwhile experiment and would certainly solve the volunteer problem. You would probably need to play around to get the right size of container but if it works you may have an answer to clean oca cultivation.

Mine will be dug tomorrow. :happy7:
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Vinlander on December 18, 2017, 09:56:20
I don't know why raw potato is such a minority taste - I think it's just the thought of the bitterness (and poison) in green ones that has put off the majority who've never tried.
No matter how rationally I try to think about this new information, my brain cannot process it without coming up with the response "that's just plain weird!"

I think it's just how you're brought up - 1) my Ma liked raw potato and when she was cutting chips she would always pass a few around, 2) my worst experience of bullying when I was a child was being forced to eat grey lumpy mashed potato by some zealot running the school dinners hall who objected to any child rejecting the genuinely appalling food.

Another example of 1) is that I've never met anyone rational (ie. not a fashion victim) who likes plain boiled corn polenta but wasn't fed it as a child... A good example of 2) is that the original pre-Columbus recipe for sweet-chestnut-based polenta is an entirely different experience, but some people's great-grandparents in Sardinia who got used to eating it as famine food apparently grew to hate it so much they avoided it for the rest of their lives.

QED.

Cheers.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Silverleaf on December 18, 2017, 15:45:51
And lobster used to be hated by many in the US because it was seen as ďpoor people foodĒ (often given to prisoners) which youíd only eat when you were starving and there was nothing else. Now itís mostly prized as a delicacy (although I canít see what all the fuss is about myself).
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Pescador on December 18, 2017, 18:32:09
The same was said of salmon in UK. One of the earliest agreements between farmers and the agricultural workers union stated that salmon must not be provided more than 3(?) times a week. The farmers would use it as cheap food as it was found in most rivers running through the country, and was easily caught as cheap food!!
Regarding lobster, I enjoy it, but would much prefer crab which normally is significantly cheaper.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Paulh on December 18, 2017, 20:42:48
Oysters historically were a cheap food for the masses in the UK, from the Romans up to Victorian times.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: Silverleaf on December 19, 2017, 00:55:17
Iíd happily eat salmon every day if I could, but I havenít found many creatures with a shell thatíre worth the work of getting them out of that shell!

Itís probably a texture thing. Iím really weird about texture so something has to taste absolutely amazing to get me over that, so Iím usually disappointed by non-fish seafood where the flavour is pretty subtle.
Title: Re: "Novelties" = best picked straight into into the compost bin.
Post by: saddad on December 19, 2017, 08:03:43
When I was doing my MA in Local and Regional History in Nottingham about 1990 one of the documents we had to transcribe, from a form of secretary hand which has some different letter formations which make it tricky to read to modern eyes, was a complaint by the apprentices that they were literally fed-up with Smoked Salmon and could they be given beef occasionally!