What are the most interesting/ exotic things you ever tried/ contemplated growing?

Curry plant? Do you mean curry LEAF plant? Because there is something else called curry plant that is totally different …

Curry leaf plant or curry leaf tree is a member of the citrus family.

“curry plant” is a daisy-like plant that has no culinary use of which I am aware. It does have some “medicinal” uses.

For some unknown reason (probably that extra class of Pinot Grigio) I decided to plant almond trees. Fortunately I could only lay my hands on two–Hall’s Hardy Almonds. Word of advice–don’t do it.
The trees grew, the bees pollinated them, and we got a small crop of almonds (do 40 almonds qualify as a crop?). Those little devils are HARD! We ended up holding them in a vise and whacking with a hammer to break the shells. I used the entire crop in green beans almondine. They tasted fine but really aren’t worth the effort.
Almonds grown in California are a whole different tree, which I obviously didn’t know at the time.

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What about the harvest? Was it delicious?

I grew up in the Caribbean with a mother who’s green thumb was legendary in the neighborhood so everything from pigeon peas,long beans,okra, cassava,passion fruit,mango,guava,limes, Chinese coconut and a myriad of tropical fruits grew in our rather large back yard.
I do however miss our soursop tree and the tart ice cream that was a family favorite.

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Obviously I am envious of your childhood in the Caribbean with a mother like that. I miss my childhood in Southern California and a different but equally idyllic garden experience. I have never tasted loquats or pomegranates or avocados like the ones we had in our backyard growing up. I’m sure I never will. But it does inspire me to grow what I can here, where I can. It’s always so exciting to see the plants coming up each year.

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They remind me of water chestnuts. Very crisp without a distinct flavor so they take on seasonings easily. Unfortunately they start to soften and discolor within a day of harvesting. In Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini by Elizabeth Schneider she mentions a pickled crosnes which I hope to try this year.

This year I planted the Mycelium for Wine Cap mushrooms (Stropharia rugosoannulata) in a 400 sq ft area in my backyard, and a 1300 sq ft area in the back yard of a restaurant I consult to. In the last two weeks I harvested over 30 lbs from my backyard farm, and over 120 lbs from the restaurant farm.

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Not yet in my garden. 2 most wanted plants for next spring will be

  • Mertensia Maritima - Oysterleaf, I heard they taste really like oyster
  • Australian finger lime - “lime caviar”, the fresh vesicles have the effect of a burst of effervescent tangy flavour as they are chewed

Anybody tried them?

I grew West Indian Burr Gherkins in containers for a couple of years. They were really easy & were great pickled.

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Not exotic nor interesting, but next year I am going to outwit the squirrels by planting tomatoes that are not red when ripe. Hopefully I get to eat some of the tomatoes I planted…

Good luck! This year they began eating the unripe green tomatoes on my deck.- I never got a single one. I officially give up on tomatoes at this location.

It’s probably not exotic for folks across the pond, but I grow chillis every year with some success, as long as I can get them germinating on a windowsill (we have no greenhouse) by mid February, then the growing season is long enough for them to ripen. In successful years ( like this one), we still have fresh chillis at Christmas.

If you are thinking about asparagus, two things from experience. Don’t bother unless the bed you are planting it in drains really well. Secondly, once they grow the spears grow really fast and can go from perfect to eat to hard and woody in days. So because our allotment is far enough away that we only go up once a week, we often missed out on the perfect spears. Have now replanted the asparagus be with chard, although the odd spear still pokes through.

I think you can still plant red tomato, but pick them while the colours start to turn yellow…and have them ripen at indoor. Tomato needs heat to ripe, not light. Personally, I like black, yellow and green tomatoes more than the red ones. I saw recently there are some blues ones, yet to need find some delicious varieties to plant.

I have a chill plant still outdoor now (I read they can live 2 years), I’m thinking of wintering it this winter. Never did it, but let’s see if it will survive indoors.

I once tried growing a pear in a bottle. Utter failure.

That’s my kind of garden!

I found two half-dead finger limes at Home Depot last year and nursed them back to health. Then they got rootbound and didn’t look so hot. We transplanted them about a month ago and they’re finally showing signs of coming around. No blooms yet, though. I will say that they appear to be extremely frost-tender.

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I just bought a plant of Mertensia marítima this season. The leaves taste as if we are eating oysters… very strong “iodine”. It’s a plant originally grow near the sea even in salty water.

Food stuff. Herbs and bananas. There is a fungus plaguing citrus currently

I don’t know if it’s interesting to others and certainly not exotic but many years ago I planted potatoes. It was a lot of fun to have things growing underground.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold