Miranda Castro
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29.09.2014 at 11:58 pm
Barbara Volk Thanks for adding me. I am in West Virginia and am a huge believer of edible gardening. I will be building my green house next summer,and in the mean time have a very sunny room to bring in the plants that won't survive the winter here.01.10.2014 at 01:41 pm
Michael Adler Hey, I just heard the Co-op is looking for a new home for the two fig trees growing in their planters. They were originally from us, but are much largerSee More now. They should be cut back when transplanted, unless it's early next spring, when they don't have any leaves. It will still take a lot of watering to get them settled.See Less
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08.09.2014 at 09:48 pm
Michael Adler I think they were Texas blue giant and maybe a jelly.08.09.2014 at 09:49 pmAnnette Gilley Do they need to be moved right away? I would love to adopt at least one of them.08.09.2014 at 10:59 pmview 2 more commentsMichael Adler I don't know. Ask McTimberwolf08.09.2014 at 11:00 pmSusannah Grace Darbyshire Are they still available?26.09.2014 at 09:42 pm
Michael Adler Hey, I was thinking of trying to harvest callaloo seeds again today, after work, since we have nice weather and might not again for a while. Can anyoneSee More help? I know it's short notice, but thought I'd try. I really need a helper to hold the bin up while I shake the seedheads into it and vice-versa.See Less18.09.2014 at 05:09 pm
Valerie Anderson :/18.09.2014 at 07:58 pmMichael Adler Thanks Maureen for helping!18.09.2014 at 08:55 pm1view 1 more commentsEdulis Exsto Is this posted on all the agriculture club sites & the meet up? Can we start? Anyone want to Twitter for us?19.09.2014 at 07:48 pm
Michael Adler I didn't send out one of these last week because I expected plenty of help at the nursery, as I do again this Sunday, but I like to keep you in the loop,See More for those of you who read these things.

Delta Nu Zeta is sending some members to us this Sunday. We will probably pull weeds, collect seeds, and maybe plant a thing or two.

Anyone else is still welcome to come, but I might have a hard time finding enough things for everyone to do. If anyone else would like to help coordinate volunteers, on the other hand, that might be useful.

Michael

P.S. Here is a report from the last couple weeks:

9/7/14: After my usual rounds checking on everything, Annette came to help. I don't remember everything we did, but there was some weed-pulling and we went to the garden and harvested lots of black callaloo by shaking it into a large bin. We also planted most of the yellow strawberry guava seeds we extracted the week before, into three large pots and covered them with screen. We only had three pieces of fiberglass screen, and nothing to cut the metal screen with, so we had some seeds left over.

9/10/14: Chris Neilubowicz helped load. Aunt Maggie and Joey helped set up the booth. I gave an interview to a group from FYCS working on a class project on nonprofits, and they planned to come volunteer at the nursery on Sundday. Some also helped with the sale. Brian helped at the booth a lot and also gave an interview. Gabriella stopped by for a bit too. Joey helped unload the plants at the nursery.

9/14/14: I started by mixing up some scythe organic herbicide and spraying lots of Chamaesyce weeds around the nursery. After that, the group from FYCS came. We went to the garden at Siembra to harvest callaloo seeds, but as soon as I was showing them how, we started getting rained on. We took shelter inside Siembra's seedling greenhouse and made friends with a fence lizard. When the rain stopped, we went back to the nursery and I started them on weeding and cutting free the pots that were growing into the ground. I pulled one away to help me plant the last yellow strawberry guava seeds and then we up-potted our last yellow strawberry guava plant. The group left. I up-potted two more strawberry guavas, cleaned and tested the greenhouse heater, investigated why the second row of the main plant area was looking very dry, and discovered a kink in the hose. I ran the sprinklers on them and planted 8 sugar canes.See Less
17.09.2014 at 11:36 pm
Faith Carr Love the update! Good stuff.18.09.2014 at 07:50 am
Bailey Abda Hey people,
I just moved here from Tampa and am looking to get more involved in the permie/herbal/gardening community.
Any suggestions/events, etc would
See More be greatly appreciated!See Less
16.09.2014 at 11:19 am
Michael Adler Is anyone interested in leading a volunteer group one Saturday or week day evening? A pre-pharmacy organization has offered to help, but I'm not availableSee More most of those times.See Less08.09.2014 at 10:57 pm
Michael Adler Anyone interested in volunteering or interning with nextjenclimate.org to promote climate issues in the upcoming election please contact Trenton BrooksSee More brooks_trenton@yahoo.comSee Less04.09.2014 at 06:50 pm

Chaya


Chaya or spinach tree or Tree Spinach (Cnidoscolus chayamansa) is actually about twice as nutritious as spinach. It is a good source of nutrients including protein, calcium, iron, potassium, and vitamin C. It is a fast growing dense shrub, native to Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. It grows to about 6-8 feet tall.

Soil: Tolerates most soil conditions, but might dislike acid. Liming and fertilizing should benefit Chaya. The leaves contain a lot of protein, calcium, and potassium, so the soil must have it for the plant to extract, if it is to be healthy. (Nitrogen to make protein)
Water: well to somewhat well drained. Tolerates brief flooding and droughts
Sun: full is best, tolerates shade
Cold: Can be killed by a hard freeze, but will usually resprout from the roots. Mulch the base to protect it.
Pruning: Unnecessary, but sometimes used to control height. Crowded internal branches can be removed for propagation or aesthetics.
Propagation: Easily propagated by stem cuttings.
Pests: none
Other problems: It can be slow to get going.

Harvesting, storage, and preparation: Most recommendations say not to harvest until the second year, because the plants are slow to establish before they can grow quickly. Our plants seem to take very quickly to our special potting mix. Never harvest more than 50% of the leaves, except from stems cut for propagation. Leaves must be cooked to release cyanide, which evaporates. Apparently aluminum cookware can cause a diarrhea-causing reaction with the cyanide compounds when cooking. We are not sure if this is true. On principle it’s wise to cook all fruits and vegetables in non-aluminum pans because of their high acidity.
chaya1small-copychaya21
















More photos on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/search?sort=relevance&text=Cnidoscolus%20chayamansa
More information, including recipes: http://thematrix.sureste.com/cityview/merida2/articulos/chaya.htm

pdf – Chaya Information Sheet (to print out)


3 comments to Chaya

  • Brian

    Hey everyone,
    So, I planted on of these at the Health Department in Belle Glade ~2 years ago. It’s about 5-6 ft now. I have not tried this until this weekend. I boiled it 2x, then I added them to some mashed potatoes. Not bad.

    For some reason, our ECHO link doesn’t work. This does.

    http://echotech.org/mambo/images/DocMan/Chaya07.pdf

    FYI for nutrition
    http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1996/V3-516.html

  • Natalie L.

    I have one for 3 to 4 years that i started from cutting. it just grow by itself in poor sandy soil and part shade with very little watering. I use it like cooked spinach or collards greens and add in in soup or curry. tolarate light frost, drought.

  • Jeanne Ridings Delacruz

    A friend gave me a plant, 12 inches long. I planted in poor soil but building it up. It grew to 6 feet. The branches easily break. I just make a hole and plant them all over, here and there. So far 4 are growing. They do not take much room and are delicious. I mix my greens and cook in coconut milk and spices, so good. Thank you for the pictures and the name. I did not know. The samoan people love this and eat a lot. Aloha from hawaii Jeanne

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