Tereza Okava wrote:
If you haven't tried malabar spinach, you might want to. I've found it finicky to get started the first time but then it comes back forever and ever, it doesn't seem to get affected by mildew or any bugs, tolerates drought.
I agree with everything you just said but in my case it was a horrible mistake. I planted malabar spinach thinking it was spinach. I've watched in fascinated horror as this beautiful, vigorous vine has completely taken over my raised bed, covering the chicken wire to the point that it is choking out all other life in the bed. And I have a feeling I am going to be fighting its remnants for years to come.
Beautiful, hardy, edible plant but you better make damn sure you want a tall, lush, sunblocking vine in that location forever. NOT the south end of your raised bed.
Rob Lineberger wrote:I have a feeling I am going to be fighting its remnants for years to come.
Yes, it is vigorous for sure, gotta keep an eye on it like you'd watch a kid in the kitchen with a rack of cooling cookies. There will definitely be volunteers next year, but I find they`re slow enough starting out that you should be able to catch them before things get too bad if you keep an eye out every few weeks. But note: the birds (at least here) love the seeds, and the volunteers might not pop up where you expect them to.
I've been learning there are lots of greens we toss in North America, but could consume. A friend said in Vietnam, she ate amaranth leaves growing up. We love fiddleheads in Eastern Canada (the young tops of Ostrich ferns). Since they are a bit bitter, we often add a splash of vinegar (I like balsamic). I wonder if the acid alters oxalates? I have just eaten broccoli leaves (steamed). After a few rounds of frost they are lovely sweet.
Last spring I thinned the sweet corn when it was a little over a ft. tall. I washed it roots and all and juiced it for my wife and I along with other wild edibles and grape leaves. We are still alive and well.
On a side note, I had some ears that I left for seed, I took some dried hard corn kernels and put them in a greased skillet on the stovetop and made parched corn. Leave it on medium heat and they will swell up instead of being all wrinkled and they become round. As a survival food it lasts a long time and can easily be eaten like that or ground up (a lot easier to grind) and put in soups or stews or just water and seasonings and sweetener to make a tasty mush. It alone has enough nutrition to live on for several months. The Indians used this extensively for winter survival or long journeys.