Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I did it - I ate some sweet potato leaves!

I have been hearing about how tasty sweet potato shoots and leaves are, (not regular potato leaves - they are poisonous) then even saw them for sale at the local saturday market.  So armed with my scissors I trimmed back my sweet potato patch, and laid the shoots and leaves gently in the steamer.  Wow!  how tasty they were - not at all slimy (a lot of what is referred to as spinach-like  here can be very slimy)  definitely will be having that on the menu a bit more often!
It is very hot and humid at the moment - not as much rain as expected, but we have had a few good downpours. My tropical wet season vegetables are showing their stuff:  this is the pigeon pea that I innoculated so that when trimmed back they wil release nitrogen into the soil.

This is the amaranth - have never tried it, but it sounded such an interesting plant.  the seeds were so tiny and difficult to sow evenly.  I nibbled on a leaf and it was pretty tasteless - maybe they need to get a little bigger.  I am not sure how to harvest them - I am hoping I can trim the tops to eat and they will branch out. Anyone got any advice?  I also want to taste the grains and save some seeds, but not sure I am going to be harvesting enough to bake with it! 

Here is the loofah vine starting to flower:

Then the jicama, or yam bean as they are called here.  They say when the flower dies the tuber starts to form - I am imagining it will start to poke out of the ground similar to a sweet potato.  It looks a little like a pea flower, but they only grow in cold weather here.

Here is a pod starting to form - by the way the plant, flower and pod are poisonous, but I am looking forward to some nice crunchy jicama soon!

So thats it for today as I sit inside my air conditioned office - way too hot to go out in the middle of the day unless it is to jump into the pool for a swim!

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