Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mary just called from St. Pete, she called the duck raising woman with that mystery leafy crop...turns out this woman and her hubby have taken two of my classes (I can see them in my mind's eye)...both are SUPER into self sufficiency in Pinellas Park, including meat, drying and so much more. Turns out it IS my second guess if NOT kenaf....a perennial form of Abelmoshus manihot, a VERY close relative of okra so the leaves are slimy when cooked. She got her original plant from ECHO and says to come over and help myself to cuttings! I love it when I don't have to obsess a long time to solve a plant mystery.......Mary set the stage for this by telling me over the phone, AS SHE ATE A LEAF, that it was in no way tangy, which ruled out kenaf and other edible mallows like Hibiscus radiata, H. acetosella, H. sabdariffa, etc. There are many forms of A. manihot bred for huge beautiful flowers that also have edible leaves, but I think those tend to be annuals. My student says this is truly perennial and has not flowered once in 1.5 years. I will make it a priority to go over and get cuttings, give her more cool plants (in the past we traded plants for two roosters she could not keep and that I ate as they were MEAN) and get this gem propagated for me and friends and the RFC, sell some too. My kenaf 'Everglades 41' seeds came yesterday...I paid for 150 but looks to be easily 200. Edible leaves also, summer crop like okra, will share seeds for us to sow late next spring.

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