Just a few Newbies!

Wahoo! I have found 2 (almost) unobtainable rare varieties! Will be the first to offer them here…

I have just recently acquired 2 of the newest members to my wonderful collection. yes yes, I said I will be slowing down, but I can’t help myself! I am still and will always be a hunter, gather AND gardener!

First I am very excited about obtaining the very rare AND truly original “RAM’S HORN” bean.

I’m NOT talking about the (other) wonderful pole variety with the same name , elongated kidney like shaped seeds, bearing a grey pebble stone base and charcoal stripes and swirls. Pods are huge and plants are super productive.

No! I am talking about the COW PEA…”Ram’s Horn” (aka “Pretzel Bean, Vigna unguiculata“) First mentioned in Henderson’s handbook of plants in 1881. Later intro. commercially in the US by W. Atlee Burpee in 1893. It grows as a twining 4 to 6 ft. vine, easy to train on poles or a trellis and excellent for vertical spaces! The nutritious contorted green pods can be eaten young as cooked snap beans or left to mature as dried beans and cooked like any common black-eyed pea. Also, cow peas are perfect for fixing nitrogen in the soil. Flowers are pink/lavender colored. Said to be drought and heat tolerant…perfect for our hot drish summers! I can hardly contain myself and get these into the ground…as soon as the snow leaves! They will be the highlight of my growing year…

AND the other that I have had the blessing of obtaining are “RAMPS“! (aka Allium tricoccum, Wild Garlic, Spring Onion, Ramson, Wild Leek, Wood Leek…etc!) A North American species of wild onion widespread across eastern Canada and the eastern US.

Allium tricoccum is a bulb-forming perennial with broad, smooth, light green leaves, often with deep purple or burgundy tints on the lower stems, and a scallion like stalk and bulb. Both the white lower leaf stalks and the broad green leaves are edible. The flower stalk appears after the leaves have died back, unlike the similar Allium ursinum in which leaves and flowers can be seen at the same time. Ramps grow in close groups strongly rooted just beneath the surface of the soil (c/o Wikipedia…)

Some years ago, quite by accident I brought some with me from a trip to Ontario. Silly me DID NOT realize what I had and slowly they disappeared, not liking where I planted them. SO…I am wiser now and have a fine batch of seeds in my possession again! So off to the germinator they go…

Keep you eyes peeled for offerings of these 2 wonderful varieties in the up coming year!

The Ram's Horn, Pretzel Cow Pea

The Ram’s Horn, Pretzel Cow Pea

Ramp Onion leaves

Ramp Onion leaves

Ramp Onion bulbs..

Ramp Onion bulbs..

 


4 Comments

Eileen Wosnack

AWESOME for both of them. And in good hands too. Eileen

Mandy Botincan

Many thanks! Mandy

nancyblokland

Please let me know when these wondrous seeds or plants become available for my CSA. Jamie Oliver has made me very curious about ramps. Nancy

Mandy Botincan

As soon as I know it…so will many others! Mandy


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