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Messages - Caesar

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1
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Jarilla chocola
« on: December 20, 2018, 11:51:39 PM »
After this morning's post, I dug up the tubers for 4 of the plants (I think I left a 5th one behind, but the top growth was already gone). I'm concerned about the possibility that I might have harmed my Hodgsonia by disturbing the root zone, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see. According to this forum post, it's normal for the plants to die back to the roots on a yearly basis, and also J. chocola prefers shade.

The root clusters were vaguely reminiscent of cassava, though much smaller. I washed a few and tasted one raw... The texture was like water chestnut, and it had a pleasant nuttiness and somewhat strong earthiness, both of which were masked by a sharp bitter aftertaste. The pleasant notes were outweighed by the unpleasant aftertaste.

I cooked the other washed roots in salty water for 30 minutes. The flavor was somewhat potato-like, distinct from the raw taste, but though less intense, the sharp aftertaste remained. I wish to emphasize that it was an aftertaste; it's not the first flavor to develop on the tongue, and it's felt at the back of the mouth just prior to swallowing; it's subtle in a way, but nevertheless feels sharp once you've taken notice of it. I wouldn't find them objectionable to eat infrequently in small quantities, but they're definitely not a favorite. The bulk of the flavor seemed promising, but that sharp aftertaste detracted from the experience.

I still have roots left over from all four plants. I'm not sure how they'll fare given that I've broken some of the clusters, and given how finicky the plants have been (the sixth tuber I had planted never re-sprouted, and I didn't find it on digging), but I might be willing to re-plant them to find out if they can be multiplied from broken tubers, and to see if I can get some fruit (I know I have a male and I suspect I have a female - the big one had solitary flower buds like on female papayas).

Photo gallery:


2
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Jarilla chocola
« on: December 20, 2018, 11:45:15 AM »
The plants are now dying off. I'm not sure if this is typical winter behavior (like with the yam vines and potato mint) or if they're literally dying (never to re-sprout from the tuber). Despite some initial flowering, I didn't get any fruit, and some of the plants showed signs of disease at one point. They seem a bit finicky, to be honest, and after this experience with them, I'm in no hurry to try again. I'm still interested in them, but I won't be giving them another shot until I have a better plot to grow them in. With any luck, perhaps these very same tubers will re-sprout in a few months time.



3
Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Re: Ensete ventricosum
« on: December 03, 2018, 02:28:44 PM »
I dug one up to inspect the corm. It's looking good! I hope it tastes as good as it looks. I'll be planting one out eventually to get a good-sized corm. The other one will stay in a small container while I try to force it to produce offsets.

Pics:


4
Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Pork Fat Nut: Hodgsonia macrocarpa
« on: December 03, 2018, 02:24:30 PM »
Hi all. I'm posting this thread to post my progress with this species. Perhaps it would be better posted on the fruit section? I'll let you all be the judge.

I got the seeds from Roy. I currently have 2 actively-growing vines, 1 maybe 2 in the early "stunted" stage, and 2 unaccounted for (I dare not dig them up under current circumstances). I went for 6 to up my chances of getting a male and a female. I might try to take cuttings if the vines branch, but it's too early for that at the moment.

They're sharing the container with several Jarilla chocola, and the trellis with the African Air Potatoes.

Pics:


5
Then the bulbils are edible, good! I'll be eating some bulbils from my vines in small quantities until I'm sure about them, but I really doubt mine is toxic.

And it's a shame about what happened to their bulbiferas. Was there no concoction they could've used against the beetles on their vines?

What were the cultivars of bulbifera that they were growing? And were they African types or Asian types?

6
Yes, he is eating the pentaphyllum and other member does too. I don't know the sources they used. If you or anyone uses Facebook the group page is here:

The bulbils too? Or just the tuber?

7
On a Facebook group I belong to a friend showed his pentaphylla:



Caesar check your PM, Ube bulbils are ready.

Pm sent.

They look just like mine. I wonder if it's the same strain. Where did they source theirs? Mine was from a Thai eBay vendor called "goodmice".

Does your friend eat the bulbils? Goodmice wouldn't say either way if they were poisonous or not, just that they didn't eat them.

That they are not eaten doesn't automatically mean they're poisonous. But at the same time, the tuber being edible doesn't mean the bulbils are too (with several poisonous yams, the tuber is less toxic and can be made edible, but the bulbils stay toxic). And D. pentaphylla is one of those species that has edible and toxic types, closely related to D. dumetorum and D. hispida. Steaming is a pretty mild way to cook, and Goodmice told me they eat it steamed, so I suspect mine is a rather toxin-free strain, but I'm still reluctant to try the bulbils. I want to cook a sample at harvest time and have it Lab tested, but I've no local labs able to test it, that I'm aware of.

8
Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Re: Ensete ventricosum
« on: November 24, 2018, 03:16:00 PM »
Two viable seeds, one to harvest, one to multiply. Could've been better, but it'll do for my current experiment. Now I gotta find a good place for them, 'cause I doubt I can get a worthwhile crop in a tiny pot. They're looking good so far.




10
I harvested a prematurely senescent Chinese Yam last week (I had accidentally lopped off the growing tip early in the season). The root remained small because it didn't get a good chance to grow. I hadn't planned on eating it, but my mother wanted to try it, so we cooked it up. It was good! Very mild, like an excellent D. alata.



I left three other D. polystachya vines growing in the pail, with a pair of Apios americana... Too many plants, not enough space (I never learn, do I?). I separated another pair into a small pot to figure out what to do with them later.

I also discovered that air potatoes are best eaten freshly-plucked, more on that on the Air Potato thread.

I'm still waiting on the D. pentaphylla to sprout, but I hadn't planted them immediately, they've only been in the ground for a week. They probably still have dormancy.

My D. dodecaneura arrived safe and sound, and I managed to separate out 7 plants and 10 tubers (2 small, 8 tiny). They were thoroughly pot-bound but healthy, and I noticed what seemed to be stolons from which the different plants and tubers sprouted. I've never seen a yam vine produce offsets by stolons so I find this highly curious. I'll report more on this detail next growing season.


11
Important note about the air potato: for best flavor, eat them fresh!

My mother boiled up a batch of big air potatoes that had been sitting on the table for about a month. They were darker green on the inside and leached a lot of brown stuff into the water (¿tannins?). While still half decent in flavor, I wasn't very enthusiastic about eating them. The bitter notes were stronger and the taste less appealing.

Here's the batch as it cooked:




My grandmother, on the other hand, plucked a couple of fresh bulbils today and boiled them up on the spot. They were paler on the inside and barely leached stuff into the water. On tasting them (even with the dark green layer under the skin), they were very good, better than the first ones of the season (which were on the table for a week). They tasted like potato!

So for best flavor, it's better to pluck as needed rather than letting them fall off or storing them.

12
I read up on this plant a few months ago and decided to give it a shot; I'm waiting on my plant in the mail right now. Edible leaves and potato-like rhizomes, plus a prolific profusion of aerial bulbils that I was fascinated by (not unlike the bulbil-bearing yams; it seems like a great way to harvest roots without digging). The only drawback (and a big one at that) is its potential for invasiveness, so please... Handle with care. Responsible management is important.

The leaves are said to resemble those of its close relative, Malabar Spinach (the other Binahong, Basella alba), with a similar - possibly stronger - flavor and a mucilaginous quality. The rhizomes are also thoroughly (¿distastefully?) mucilaginous if eaten raw, like its other relative Ulluco (Ullucus tuberosus), but with a mild starchy flavor instead of the typical dirt beetroot flavor of Ulluco; they're said to resemble potato when baked. (As an interesting tangent, I've read that Ulluco greens are far superior to its relatives, and indeed superior to genuine Spinach, yet for some reason they barely receive recognition.)

As for the bulbils, this is the part where it gets mildly frustrating and confusing. In most of the sites I read through, they were barely acknowledged as anything other than propagation material. If recognized as anything else, it was usually as medicinal: they've been proven to have anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer and hepatoprotective qualities, and they may also increase nitric oxide levels in the brain (a minor red flag for me, but I'll get back to that later). A few places went so far as to call them inedible without elaborating further, but that didn't make sense to me at all. The leaves, "roots" and even tender stems (shoots?) are all said to be edible, so why would a tender tuber-like bulbil not be as edible as the rest of the plant? Consider me biased, but I had to find a site that called them edible (or at the very least one that addressed the discrepancy). I found it, with this link stating that the bulbils can be roasted and eaten like chestnuts. So with that bit of info, I do intend to experiment with cooking the bulbils, as I will with the rhizomes.

Regarding the three medicinal traits (mentioned in passing here), I don't think they would detract from the edibility of the bulbils. Regarding the nitric oxide, I'm a bit more wary but also ignorant. Does cooking reduce or eliminate its precursor? (ancordin). Is nitric oxide a bad thing to have in the brain, or something neutral? The article in question (summarized in Green Deane's page here) seemed to imply that it wasn't a problem (something about low cytotoxicity?), but I may have misread that.

Whatever the case, I hope to have fun with this species. Perhaps I should call it Basell Yam... It's a tuberous vine even if it isn't a yam, and it's technically not a potato either.

Further links:

1 - http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=7980

2 - http://radix4roots.blogspot.com/2012/04/anredera-its-binahong-time.html

3 - https://www.milkwood.net/2014/07/25/madeira-vine-an-ironic-harvest/

13
I ordered a Dioscorea dodecaneura/discolor from this place: link. It'll be shipped next week, and I suspect it'll arrive before week's end.

Also trying again with D. pentaphylla, same vendor. Before buying, I asked the vendor about the harvest season and if they had fresh bulbils. They did, and they arrived in great shape! This time next year, I'll have Pentaphylla bulbils for distribution. As for dodecaneura, I'll have to figure out how to propagate it... Maybe layering?

Pentaphylla pics:


This ones are edible? I never saw them...  ;D

The Five-leaf Yam has edible and poisonous varieties. This one is being sold as edible, and the vendor eats them steamed. She also said she doesn't eat the bulbils, but couldn't explicitly confirm if they were toxic or merely ignored by the people. I'd like to cook a bulbil sample when they start producing and send it to a laboratory for analysis, but I haven't found a local lab yet that could analyze it.


And here are the two dioscorea bulbifera bulbs that i got from Cesar. They are big... 250g each and will be planted next spring!  ;D



I'm glad they arrived in good condition! I was a bit worried, this was my first time shipping international. But it looks like they had no trouble.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aeUxNkmJwQ

In the audio and text description it sounds like they're referring to several different species. The species shown looks like an alata. Interesting how different species are used in different ways depending on where you are.

14
If it weren't for the color, I'd say you got a "Feo" alata. "Florido" types are much easier to peel, being rounded, broad and cylindrical, not lobed (unless grown in heavy clay). I eat them all the same way, boiled, mashed and buttered. It looks like you got a tasty one!

The skin looks slightly tender, like it was picked young. The vine got its start late in the season, right? Not much time to grow. Did you save the little root?
Hi! Yes maby i harvest too soon... yes i saved them. That more round ones i don't know... they are good to eat? Do you have bulbs from this one? This is a new world opening... very excited!  ;D

Nah, you harvested on time, the vine just had a short growing season this year.

The round ones are good. Kind of like your description, it's a neutral taste. Of all the yams, alatas are the softest, and can fall apart in the water if overcooked (thus the name "water yam"). The best ones will be fiber-free. Decent ones will be full of soft, tender fibers. The worst ones have distastefully-noticeable fibers (at least that's my opinion, the folks here enjoy most yams even if they have a preference). I haven't had a bad one in a long time, so I'm not sure if it's related to variety or other factors.

I have "Florido". They're the most common yam here in the markets, together with my favorite, the Guinea Yam (drier, starchier). We propagate them the same way, by planting the top piece after cutting it off of the rest of the tuber; they rarely produce bulbils, if at all. There's also plenty of feral alatas in the mountains. I have a bulbil-bearing one that has taken over the back hillside. I think it's yellowish inside, with purple-tinged skin. I haven't tasted it in a while, but I'm growing one in a tub, so I will soon.

There's loads of yam varieties. The local Ag. Research Station has many that I don't. I can't wait to pay them a visit. I hope to come back with a few esculentas and some of the rarer Guinea types.

15
Searched fairdinkumseeds.com for the species you are trying to find. Alass he has none. However great guy I've dealt with many times. He has connects too perhaps he might be able to help you source some seeds. Know he's good for finding rare things if you can strike his interests.

I tried him a while back, same results. Apparently he's been looking for it for a while now. Here's hoping he finds it soon. I also asked about the Australian yam, no luck.

16
If it weren't for the color, I'd say you got a "Feo" alata. "Florido" types are much easier to peel, being rounded, broad and cylindrical, not lobed (unless grown in heavy clay). I eat them all the same way, boiled, mashed and buttered. It looks like you got a tasty one!

The skin looks slightly tender, like it was picked young. The vine got its start late in the season, right? Not much time to grow. Did you save the little root?

17
I ordered a Dioscorea dodecaneura/discolor from this place: link. It'll be shipped next week, and I suspect it'll arrive before week's end.

Also trying again with D. pentaphylla, same vendor. Before buying, I asked the vendor about the harvest season and if they had fresh bulbils. They did, and they arrived in great shape! This time next year, I'll have Pentaphylla bulbils for distribution. As for dodecaneura, I'll have to figure out how to propagate it... Maybe layering?

Pentaphylla pics:



18
The Lerén harvest is done and all pieces have been sold off. I've set aside a couple to grow them again, and some others reserved for some folks that wanted some but couldn't have them shipped at the moment. That's it for this year, thanks for the interest.

19
Nice links! The purple ones seem even rarer and harder to find than the normal ones. All the types shown in the links are African types. There's purple Asian types as well. We need to find all of them!

I'm keen on trying more recipes myself, I'm gonna cook a few more this weekend to see what I can do with them. They really are good, kinda like a mix of yam and potato in flavor, not like full yam. It's weird, 'cause I thought they were called air "potatoes" based on appearance alone, but apparently taste is a factor as well.

*

Important note: there's a reason plants need proper spacing. I didn't get any Lerén to taste this year, and hardly any potato mint. Too much of both growing in the same pot, competing. The Lerén in particular was hungry and vigorous in root (while the potato mint was vigorous in foliage). I'm hoping to get a better harvest from the mints at my grandmothers house. Let's see how it goes.

20
The seeds are gone. I wasn't sure how to handle recalcitrant seeds, and they got moldy in the moistened coco fiber I kept them in. Sorry for the inconvenience everyone.

21
Hi all. I have a few dozen breadfruit nuts from a fruit that was harvested today. Most sprouted within the fruit and already have a small taproot. Good for nuts or for grafting other Artocarpus.

The price is 10 seeds for $3

Shipped in media.


Gallery:

Processing the seeds:


Total seed count:


A cooked batch from an underripe fruit:

22
Hi! I have A. camansi seeds now if you're still interested, the fruit was harvested today.

23
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Jarilla chocola
« on: November 04, 2018, 12:39:25 AM »

The Hodgsonia vine is finally putting on some growth, I was beginning to worry.


When did you get your hodgsonia seeds? Mine in the summer still have to germinate, I think I have screwed up something.

Mine arrived on August 6. I think they took a couple of weeks to sprout, but then they spent a very long time in a weird state, with long-ish ground-hugging woody-seeming stems and strange growing tips that almost looked fasciated (and often dried up). This is the first time I've seen one sporting a proper vine (spotted it last week), and it's the only one that's done so thus far. Out of 6 seeds, 4 had sprouted. Not sure how many remain alive, I stopped digging around in that tub once the Jarilla grew bushy.

24
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Jarilla chocola
« on: November 03, 2018, 07:02:19 PM »
They're starting to flower now. I think the one in the pic is a male.





The Hodgsonia vine is finally putting on some growth, I was beginning to worry.


25
I'm selling some air potatoes now, with a few other things, in the vegetable buy/sell/trade section. Link here: http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=30268.0

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