To kick off this week’s Tendrils, my round-up of planty goodness elsewhere on the web, we’ve got a video of how to harvest wild rice, which comes from Idaho. There are more videos of the process available, which you can find on the Wild Harvests website.
Earlier in the year there was a series of devastating earthquakes in Nepal, and we looked at how much we had in common with the Nepalese people, who are gardeners, like us. In a thought-provoking follow-up for National Geographic, Kelsey Nowakowski explains that a lot of seed stores were destroyed in the tragedy, and why it’s important that they’re replaced with locally-adapted varieties: Why Getting Nepal the Right Seeds After the Earthquakes Matters.
And the ongoing conflict in Syria has caused the first withdrawal from Svalbard, the ‘doomsday’ seed vault in the Arctic. NPR brings us up-to-date on Reclaiming Syria’s Seeds From An Icy Arctic Vault, which is available as audio as well as text.
Feast your eyes on Indian black carrots (kali gajar), grown by the team at 500 tasty sandwiches from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.
James Wong was talking about mini ‘cocktail’ kiwi fruits in the Observer last weekend. He mentions Actinidia arguta, which produces smaller, sweeter, fuzz-free kiwi fruits than the kind we are familiar with. The plants are hardier, too, making it more reliable. He recommends the self-fertile variety ‘Issai’, a climbing plant, but doesn’t name any suppliers.
They are quite widely available in the UK. T&M have two varieties, listed as ‘tara vines‘. Suttons have Issai. Kore Wild Fruit nursery have an unnamed hardy kiwi variety. And Lubera have an exciting selection of ‘grape kiwis‘.
For a different challenge, you could try growing A. chinensis from seed from Seeds of Italy. This species is not self-fertile, so you’ll need to ensure you end up with a male to pollinate your female(s) – so don’t throw away any ‘spare’ young plants too early. It has ‘fruits the size of a walnut’ 🙂
If you’ve found something good you’d like to share, then why not leave the link in the comments?