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Surviving the Planet X Tribulation

Author Topic: Northern Permaculture  (Read 28701 times)

R.R. Book

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #255 on: August 15, 2019, 11:01:14 AM »
An old-fashioned English garden crop is Good King Henry, a.k.a. Lincolnshire Spinach, Latin name Chenepodium bonus-henricus. 



There are several positives about this plant:

*Food value: It provides several possibilities all at once - leafy greens, asparagus-like stalks, and seed tops that are essentially perennial quinoa. 

*Growth habit: It is a perennial crop which comes back every year, gradually establishing nice little rows or clumps of fairly uniform-sized plants around 18" in height.

*Preferences: It actually enjoys partial shade, unlike many crops which require full sun.

Negatives:

*Quinoa-like seed heads require some hand-processing to be usable, such as stripping seeds from stalks (simple), winnowing to remove chaff, and soaking to remove saponins (soap-like phytochemicals common to many edible and medicinal plants).

*Like annual spinach, it contains oxalates, especially in the leaves, which people prone to gout, stones and arthritis might want to avoid. 

*Started rootstock is somewhat rare now and generally must be mail-ordered from such sources as Richter's and Artemisia's Forest Garden Nursery in Canada, or Food Forest Farm, Perennial Pleasures, and Oikos Tree Crops in the States.  Richter's will also ship to the States in small or large quantities.  Numerous locations offer seeds, but they can be challenging to germinate.

Here's a grower in Denmark demonstrating how the seed heads are harvested and processed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mI1fuqzNg2s

PFAF link here:
https://pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Chenopodium+bonus-henricus


ilinda

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Re: Northern Permaculture
« Reply #256 on: August 15, 2019, 05:45:34 PM »
This looks so interesting that I'm going to find a source tonight!  There are few plants that offer so much:  fresh greens, high-quality edible seed, and it's perennial.  Almost too much to ask for in one plant.  Thanks for posting!

 

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