Meandering way, way, way off the path

Every year we try seeds and/or plants that are uncommon to our area and uncommon in general, especially if they are edible or contribute to the edible garden itself.   It’s probably the classic example of our one-thing-leads-to-another approach.

A couple of years ago, we stumbled across Charlie Nardozzi’s Unusual Edible Berries column when we were looking for more info on the honeyberry we had ordered on a whim.  Some research on the 8 berries he mentions led us to plant 4 of them in our garden – goji, goumi, honeyberry, and seaberry.  In the process of researching these plants, we stumble once again, this time across Lee Reich‘s book,

We were growing some of the plants on his list – black currant, Nanking cherry and lowbush blueberry.  And we started sourcing others.  That took us to, among others, Trade Winds Fruit. Last year we ordered goumi, chaste tree (to use as a possible pepper substitute, and Schisandra.

This year we ordered more on December 29, 2010.  We order early from speciality seed houses because they often have limited supply and sometimes sell out.

  • Cornus mas – Cornelian Cherry (apparently sold out since it no longer appears on the website)
  • Hamamelis virginiana – Witch Hazel (apparently sold out since it no longer appears on the website)
  • Panax quinquifolium – American Ginseng (apparently sold out since it no longer appears on the website)
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3 Responses to Meandering way, way, way off the path

  1. Mike says:

    How exciting for you, that is an amazing amount of different plants, many of which I have never even heard of. I will have to keep an eye out for that book, it sounds like an interesting read. Now I have got to go see what in the world a raisin tree is all about.:)

  2. I love this! I have a berry garden also and have tried to collect a few rare ones. I have salal berries sent to me from BC. I don’t know if they will survive the winter herre but we will see. I also received jam made form the salal berries and it was delicious!

    I have a serviceberry (Saskatoon berry) also that seems to be doing well. I have gooseberries and a giant gooseberry, black mulberry, black elderberry, and Haskap honeyberries. I also have the usual currents, raspberries, strawberries and rhubarb.

    I have seeds for sea buckthorn and have some planted to wintersew outside. Some of the seed I am planting in the cold cellar for the rest of the winter. I know that it does grow nearby.

    • MikeH says:

      Two of the best sources that I’ve come across for unusual seeds are Gardens North and Trade Winds Fruit. Despite its name, Trade Winds often has items that are decidedly not tropical. The difficult thing that I find with these seeds is knowing how to germinate them. There are usually instructions but they’re also usually a bit sketchy.

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