Sunday, May 11, 2014

At H.E.A.R.T. in Lake Wales, Florida they cultivate moringa for the leaves not the drumsticks, so the trees freezing down completely each winter then recovering gives them tons of low bushy growth to harvest. Josh Jamison is also an advocate of white mulberry for its edible leaves and has posted cool links showing what WOULD have been actual trees instead being grown closely spaced and in rows as low dense bushes, all very heavily coppiced for easy harvest of the leaves. I am growing the one that he gave me atop my cat Angel's grave in my south food forest where I too will keep it cropped low. Yesterday I cut my center food forest moringa, which was close to 20 feet tall, down to this short stump less than a foot tall to see if I can duplicate the "bush effect" that they have at H.E.A.R.T. due to their very hard freezes taking their moringas to the soil line annually. I planted two cuttings on the west side of the center food forest, and one in the west bed I am clearing out after years of it being a messy, classic " John Starnes Catch All Storage Area" that is now home to a Palestine Lime, jaboticaba (in a buried 55 gallon Water Wise Container Garden), Estrella chaya, African Yellow Yam, and a newly planted chayote mailed to me as a gift. If all goes well, by early June this stump will be a bushy mass of tender new growth that I can add to batches of kimchi and cultured vegetables and soups and smoothies for a nutritional boost. One goal this year is to make a batch of kimchi entirely from moringa leaves, and after a few months of it fermenting I'll puree it with spices, roasted sesame oil, and coconut oil as a pungent, super nutritious spread to use on pita bread, meats, in salad dressings and on home made pan breads.

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