Planting Healthy Hibiscus, Delicious Yacon and Nutritious Sunchokes

 Thai red roselle roselle 


Last week as we was scheming to plant a Roselle, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Mother Earth News editor Cheryl Long common this criticism from a reader, “there was an essay about hibiscus flower tea obscure blood pressure. we followed a recipe and after 1 month my BP is normal! Even with meds we remained during 155/98 and have had trips to a ER over it, though now it is 117/71, normal!” At a Southern Exposure Seed Exchange farm, we adore flourishing a day length neutral aria of Thai Red Roselle for a lovely summer drink, a tasty cranberry like jam or salsa and sour leaves to supplement to summer salads as good as a blood vigour obscure properties. You can review my essay to learn how to grow your possess Roselle.

more honeyed potato slipssweet potato ginseng 


Our new approved honeyed potato grower Clif Slade stopped by a plantation currently to dump off All Purple and Porto Rico honeyed potato slips for our
initial shipment. Clif used to be an prolongation representative in Surrey County for many years, and he was full of useful tips on flourishing these fanciful plants. I’ve always famous it was critical to wait for a dirt to be comfortable adequate before planting, though how warm? And how do you

Cliff says his daddy always planted honeyed potatoes on Memorial Day weekend, though a some-more systematic approach is to exam initial with a soil  thermometer. When a dirt has been 65 degrees for a week, it’s comfortable adequate (testing any day during 10 am.) 

For any week progressing that we plant your honeyed potatoes, we can remove 100 bushels per week. Sweet potatoes can produce 500 bushels per acre, though that’s reduced to 400 bushels if we plant a week too early, 300 bushels a week earlier, and so on (other things being equal, like fertility, inputs, and moisture.)

Cliff also reminded us that mature honeyed potatoes don’t do  good with cold soil. If ice hits, get them out of a belligerent right away! Harvest that same day and heal them in a comfortable place (80-90 degrees if we can get it that warm) with high steam (80 or 90%).

jerusalem artickokes rootsjerusalem artichokes  


Another base we’re planting right now is sunchokes. Also called Jerusalem artichokes, they’re tubers of a sunflower-relative. Raw, they’re frail like H2O chestnuts. They have turn renouned in new times since a sugars in these honeyed roots are inulin, a form that doesn’t spike your glycemic index. we consider these perennials are a easiest-to-grow succulent base in a gardens. They have unequivocally low fertility  requirements, and they’re happy and disease-free by feverishness and drought.

Sunchokes are ready for collect around November. In milder areas, we can store them in a belligerent and collect as indispensable all winter. In a north people customarily collect before tough freezes and store in a base cellar. Just be certain that by May you’ve got your sunchokes re-planted during your preferred spacing. This will safeguard a plants make good vast roots for subsequent year’s harvest.

yacon saladyacon 


We’re perplexing to spread a news about yacon, a sweet, succulent high-yielding berry from a Andes, that’s a relations of sunchokes, though most sweeter. We flay them and eat them raw, out of palm like a fruit, though they’re also excellent sliced in salads. Served this way, we’ve had people mistake them for pears. Both yacon and Jerusalem Atichokes enclose inulin that helps keep blood sugarine stable, so they’re good for people who have diabetes.

We got a seedstock from food author and Mother Earth News contributing editor William Woys Weaver as good as seed saver Michael Youngs, who grows these subtropical plants in upstate New York – they’re not photo-period sensitive. They store unusually well: Michael takes them to work as a break all winter. Simply collect yacon in a tumble before frost, and we find they’ll keep until spring. Yacon creates dual kinds of tubers – an middle ring of tiny roots that should be saved for planting, and deeper down in a dirt a incomparable succulent roots (each one 6 to 12 inches long!) We are anticipating for a vast adequate stand of both a Violet skinned, orange fleshed Marada from William Woys Weaver and a frail honeyed White yacon from Mike Youngs to offer in a 2013 catalog. Who says we can’t have your yacon and eat it too?

Thanks for interlude by and we wish you’ll come behind mostly to see what we’re flourishing and cooking.


Ira Wallace lives and gardens during Acorn Community Farm home of  Southern Exposure Seed Exchange where she coordinates accumulation preference and seed growers. Southern Exposure offers 700+varieties of Non-GMO, open pollinated and organic seeds. Ira is also a co-organizer of the  Heritage Harvest Festival during Monticello. She serves on a house of a Organic Seed Alliance and is a visit presenter during a Mother Earth News Fairs  and many other events throughout a Southeast. Her initial book a “The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in a Southeast” will be accessible in 2013