Grow the World in Your Garden
Categories: Blog, Citrus, Edibles, Uncategorized
The beauty of where we live is that we are exposed to so many cultures by way of food. At Green Acres Nursery & Supply we offer seasonal varieties of fruit and vegetables that reflect the many cultures living in our community. Take a look at a few you may recognize, and learn about the culture behind them so you can grow the world in your garden.
The leaves, juice and zest are commonly used in Thai, Cambodian and Indonesian cooking. The zest is also used for cleaning.
- Full sun to part shade
- Hardy to 32 degrees F (protect with frost cloth below 32 degrees F)
- Fall harvest
- 8′-12′ tall
Li and Lang Jujube are commonly referred to as Chinese dates, and were originally imported to the United States in the early 1900’s. Many varieties are native to China, Japan and much of Southeast Asia. Prized for its flavor, the jujube if often eaten fresh, candied, as tea, or as jams or jellies.
- A warm, sunny location
- Lang is pollenized by Li or other jujubes
- Li is self-fertile
- Very low chilling requirement
- Early fall harvest
- Drought tolerant
Native to Southeast Asia, the spicy kick of Thai basil isn’t exclusive to Thai, Vietnamese and Cambodian cooking. Italian cooks incorporate this member of the mint family into traditional pesto recipes to add a taste of peppery licorice. Use the fresh leaves to infuse oil or vinegar, to make tea, or to incorporate with just about any meat dish that calls for basil.
- Sun for at least six hours per day
- Regular water
- Pinch before bloom to encourage more growth
- Summer harvest
Brought to North America by European settlers, the turnip now has culinary acclaim all around the world. Used in Indian and English cooking for hearty traditional meals, or pickled in Greek recipes for Clean Monday. Fermented turnips are traditional eats in Europe and Asia.
- Full sun
- Seeds can be planted in spring for summer crops or late summer for fall crops
- Thin new seedlings to provide four inches of space between plants
- Harvest for turnips and greens before first frost
One of our summer favorites! But did you know that watermelon cultivation goes back thousands of years in Eastern Europe? You’ll find hieroglyphic stories of watermelon harvests on the walls of ancient Egyptian buildings. Watermelon, a member of the gourd family, is native to the tropical parts of Africa. Fruit salad with watermelon, avocado and a few other fresh fruits, is a popular “after-chop” dessert in Western Africa.
- Full sun
- Plenty of space for the plants to grow
- Harvest in summer
- A tap and a thump for ripeness may not tell the whole story. Look for a duller color in the melon and if the part that’s laying on the soil is yellow, it’s likely ready to make it’s way into your summer picnic.
An origin in the Far East, Buddha’s hand is a symbol of good fortune, happiness and longevity in China. And, is given as a religious offering in Buddhist temples. While there is no pulp or juice, the odd-looking fruit has a zest that is packed with flavor. Used for any citrus recipe, but remember a little goes a long way. And, the sweet fragrance can freshen the scent of a room.
- Full sun
- Harvest in winter
- Protect from frost
- Can be grown in containers
- 6′-10′ tall