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 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
Attachment UnavailableThis attachment may have been removed or the person who shared it may not have permission to share it with you.
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 1 more commentsMichael Adler I don't know. Ask McTimberwolf08.09.2014 at 11:00 pm
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
Maria Minno Please keep an eye out for this butterfly:
01.09.2014 at 11:31 pm

Katuk


Katuk aka Sweet Leaf Bush (Sauropus androgynus) is a staple vegetable in Borneo where it grows as an understory tree in the lowland rainforests.

Soil:
Reported to tolerate acid soils, our soil is circum-neutral and they like it. We recommend lime just in case.
Water: Needs plenty, can tolerate brief flooding. Cannot tolerate dry.
Sun: Prefers shade, but can probably tolerate full sun if given plenty of water.
Cold: Will freeze in the winter, but should come back from the stump.
Pruning: Keep pruned to 3-6 feet tall.
Propagation: Easily propagated by cuttings of older wood stems. Strip the leaves and stick it in the ground in the shade. It probably needs cross pollination to produce seeds and all our plants are clones of one individual.
Pests: None known.
Other problems: Tends to grow tall and lanky and then fall over. Growth slows in the winter and the taste is poor until it resumes vigor with warm weather.

Harvesting and preparation:
The leaves and flowers have a pea like flavor. In Borneo, it is often fertilized and irrigated under shade to produce fast growing tips that are very similar to asparagus. According to  it should probably be cooked, though it is also eaten raw.
It has a pleasant peanut-like taste when eaten raw and the cooked leaves taste excellent as spinach. The plant is sold everywhere in Malaysia and nearby countries, where it is grown as an edible hedge. Malaysian scientists have developed a technique for forcing the shoot tips to grow extra long and tender by applying plenty of manure, water and (sometimes) shade. The 5-inch shoot tips (locally called “sayor manis”) are sold to upscale restaurants and also exported to Japan, and possibly elsewhere, as “tropical asparagus.” I ate these in a hotel in Malaysia and they were outstanding. The chef stir-fried them for one minute.

katuk_plantkatuk_leaveskatuktips_










See also:
http://www.eattheweeds.com/edible-katuk-sauropus-androgynus-2/
http://www.herbsarespecial.com.au/free-herb-information/sweet-leaf.html
http://pixen.wordpress.com/2007/03/09/pak-wan-leaves-pak-whan-pa/
https://www.flickr.com/search?sort=relevance&text=Sauropus%20androgynus

Cecilia’s Notes
… October 9th 2011

  1.  Originally from Borneo its natural habitat is as an understory shrub. It grows in the tropical rain forest, where 120” of rain a year was the average. It prefers a hot, humid climate.
  2. Prefers partial shade, with ample irrigation. Able to withstand some temporary flooding.
  3. Grows 6 – 7 ‘ tall, but will get spindly and fall over if allowed to get this tall. Best if kept pruned between 3 – 6 ‘ tall.
  4. Can be grown as a hedge, and will produce well for you if pruned regularly. Prolific grower.
  5. Prefers a pH of 7, but will tolerate acid soils..
  6. Will die back in the winter in N. Central Florida, but will usually return in the Spring, unless confronted with a very cold winter.
  7. It is known as tropical asparagus and can be eaten raw or cooked (like spinach). Its raw flavor is reminiscent of fresh peas or peanuts.
  8. It’s among a few flora containing Vitamin K.
  9. Said to increase breast milk in nursing mothers.
  10. Plants are easy to propagate from cuttings. It is more difficult to propagate from seeds. It could take up to 6 months for seeds to germinate.
  11. The nutritional value of Katuk is impressive. The following compares its nutritional values with that of Spinach. Actual quantity per ½ cup serving of fresh leaves.
Spinach % Daily Value USDA, 2000 Calorie Diet
Protein: 4.9 g Katuk – 0.43 g: 9.8% Katuk / 0.9% Spinach
Calcium: 51 mg Katuk – 15 mg: 5.1% Katuk / 1.5% Spinach
Iron: 2.7 mg  Katuk – 0.4 mg: 15% Katuk / 2.3% Spinach
Vitamin A: 1122 IU - Katuk 1407 IU: 22% Katuk / 27.6% Spinach
Vitamin C: 83 mg  Katuk – 4.2 mg: 138% Katuk / 7% Spinach

pdf – Katuk information sheet to print out. 

16 comments to Katuk

  • Marvin

    Thank you for the information. A friend just gave us a katuk plantlet and we are wanting to give it optimal growing environment. We live in the rainforest on upcountry slople of (Big Island, Hawaii) Kilauea Volcano, elevation 500m; subtropical with over 200″ rain annually.

    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated, as our goals here are to propogate plants to help feed our island population. So far, in our six years here, we have developed green crops and fruit to feed ourselves well; with our (almost) total vegetarian diet, we have NOT purchased produce for over four years.

    Aloha, Marvijn

  • ChayaMan

    Leaf Miners a problem here in Central Florida (9b). Any solutions, anyone?

    Grows especially well when sprayed with Moringa oleifera leaf juice, diluted 1:36 with water as a foliar spray!

    Moringa spray = “Just Another of Nature’s Best-Kept Secrets!” :) Check it out!

  • I just recieved my first Katuk plant(4 cuttings) from a friend in our rare fruit club. I should be able to have some growing this summer.

  • Chacha Mantagge

    How can I get a katuk plant cuttings to grow?

  • This is from Michael:
    Katuk cuttings can be rooted as easily as most other rootable cuttings, using standard procedures.
    Getting them to do much growing afterwords is another story. They might just like it more tropical than we have in Gainesville.

  • Linda

    Does anyone know how I could get a cutting in Mexico. A friend of mine used to grow it but I
    do not know where to get it now???
    I am on the costalegre near Manzanillo, Colima
    Thanks.

  • hi patricia … i am not sure this link is a good one …. it takes you to an animal rights website ….

  • Mary Kay

    I am growing katuk on the east side of my deep-south Florida house. It didn’t grow much the first year, but with this summer’s EXTRA heavy rain (2013)it is really taking off! Lots of water may be the key to getting it to grow best. You might be able to get cuttings from Echonet.org if you email and ask for them.

  • Floria

    I am from Sarawak (East Malaysia) on the Island of Borneo but now living in Houston, TX. I bought some for veges.. from the Asian Stores here, tried to plant them few times but most were dead. Last year, I tried again, only 3 made it through the winter. Arrhh.. I love this veges. This year my friend from Florida sent me lots of stem cuttings. First batch, didn’t make it due to the extreme heat of summer we have here. Second Batch, about 10 came up and are now about 5-6 inches tall. What I am worried is that, they will die during the winter. :( How can I keep them alive for next year?

  • i don’t know floria … i suggest you post this comment on our facebook group wall – we have a lot of members and at least one of them may be able to answer your question: please join our group if you haven’t already done so! https://www.facebook.com/groups/edibleplantproject/

  • We also have trouble with the Katuk. We’re no longer promoting it. It doesn’t like the winters here and doesn’t like sun either. We keep ours in the shade. It often looks sickly, and we’ve taken to calling it “kaput.” It propagates well from cuttings, and seeds if they’re fresh enough. If you want them to survive the winter, you must make sure they don’t freze.

  • John

    Floria,

    Make sure your Katuk is planted in a well draining soil. If there is standing water during the cold, the root will rot. The roots are shallow and spreads wide. I too have it planted in Houston area. Once your plant matures, it will spread by roots. I don’t do anything special, it comes back every year from the stems and root. If you get died back from the freeze, wait till spring to cut back the dead stem. You want the mature stems, because it will grow back faster. These growth will be like a bush. From the root, you will get fast single young edible shoots. You will want to cut these when they are about 2 ft high to cause branching. The new plant from root can come up several feet away from the main plant. Since the root are shallow, you can put a border two inches into the ground to stop the spreading.
    Since yours are only 6 inches tall, I suggest you dig it up and put in a pot. The root will be shallow. They may not survive cold temperature and water. Put the plant in the garage from December to March. Don’t let the soil dry, but not wet either. Pretend it is a sponge. If you drop the pot, and water comes out, it is too wet. Our Houston area clay soil is near neutral pH, do not put lime in there. You will kill your plant.
    The trick in propagating Katuk is to use the most mature stems you can find. The stem you get at the grocery store is too young to get fast mature plants. Grow the plants in shade. That is usually the east side of your house wall during the summer. Water it everyday during the summer to keep the plant tender. If your plant does not live through the winter, let me know.

  • Lee

    Mary Kay– I also am in south Fla….my Katuk is doing ok in a pot …about 3 ft tall, but I want to grow more from cuttings. Have you used that process?…Do I just cut off a lower branch and place in wet soil in a pot? We are new to this..any suggestion would help.
    Thank you

  • John, Thanks so much for all the tips for propagating Katuk. I was given seven cuttings last fall and none of them rooted. I just bought two Katuk plants from Edible Plants and it looks like one of them is not leafing out but one of them has tiny little buds. I would love to have a whole hedge of Katuk since I really like the taste. Much better than Moringa but Moringa is much easier to propagate from seeds.

  • We grow katuk, have hundreds of plants. Every time I cut off a stem, I strip the leaves off, cut it into 3 pieces and stick it back in the ground. Leaf cutter ants loved it in the beginning and I guess they ate their fill, nothing bothers it now. We eat it as a spinach and raw as a salad, or just pick and eat. It goes into pasta, rice, stews, soups, sandwiches, eggs, stir fry, katuk pesto, into bread dough and on pizza…. Love it!!

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