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For those who are in for a seed swap; here is my share list for this winter/ Als iemand zaden wil ruilen, hier is mijn lijst voor deze winter.

Hortus Brambonii seeds:

Boon ‘monastic coco’ (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Voor het tweede jaar op rij een heel zeldzame en niet commercieel verkrijgbare Engelse heirloom ‘pea bean’, die gegeten kan worden als groene peulen (een beetje als korte snijbonen), als vers gedopte boontjes of als droogboon met stevige smaak. Redelijk vroeg voor een droogboon, met zaden met een mooi bruinpaars yin-yang patroon (‘calypso’). De originele naam komt van het feit dat dit ras oorspronkelijk als gedroogde boon (‘coco’) gekweekt werd in kloosters (‘monastic’).
Bean ‘monastic coco‘ (Phaseolus vulgaris)
For the second year I4mhonored to be able to share this rare and not commercially available English heirloom ‘pea bean’, which can be eaten as green pods, as freshly shelled beans or as dried beans. It is fairly early for a drying bean, and the seeds have a decorative brown-purplish yin-yang (‘calypso’) pattern. The namce comes from the fact that this was a dry bean (‘coco’) grown in monasteries (‘monastic’)

Boon ‘Hidatsa’ (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Ook een niet makkelijk te vinden, ditmaal een van oorsprong Indiaans droogboontje dat op veel vlakken gelijkaardig is aan de ‘monastic coco’. De boontjes zijn misschien iets groter en half wit- half lichtbruin gevlekt van tekening, en zijn nog net iets vroeger rijp zelfs, maar verder is het evengoed een interessant staakboontje met heel smakelijke korte snijboon–vormige peulen die ook als verse dop-boon en droogboon lekker zijn, en bovendien ook heel mooi!
Bean ‘Hidatsa’ (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Another one that isn’t easy to find, this one being a heirloom from the native Americans. (‘Hidatsa’ is the name of the tribe that originally grew them). Quite similar to ‘monastic coco’ but with a different ‘painting’ on the beans (half white, half spotted with brown and grey), the beans are a tiny bit bigger and they grow maybe a little bit earlier even. Pole bean with very tasty green pods, with tasty beens that are good as freshly shelled bean and dry bean.

Boon ‘rattlesnake’ (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Een meer bekende ‘heirloom’, en ook een interessante staakboon,: de bleke peulen met paarse vegen zijn jong als snijboon bruikbaar, en ook de bruine gestreepte bonen zijn lekker als droogboon. Groeit goed in ons klimaat.
Bean ‘rattlesnake’ (Phaseolus vulgaris)
This is a less obscure but still very interesting heirloom pole bean. The pods are pale yellow wth sometimes purple spots, and quite tasty, and the brown striped seed are good as a dry bean. Grows well in our climate.

Tuinmelde ‘tricolor’ (Atriplex hortensis)
Een mooie meerkleurige variant van tuinmelde, dat even goed groeit als de gewone groene of rode varianten maar een stuopvallender is., Niet alleen mooi, maar natuurlijk ook een lekkere spinaziegroente. Oud erfgoedras verkregen via Belle epoque Meisse.
Aroche ‘tricolor’ (Atriplex hortensis)
A more decorative varity of aroche, with the same characteristics as the usual green or red version, but more eye-catching. But in the end it’s not an ornamental, but as a spinach-like leaf vegetable. Old heirloom, originally via Belle Epoque Meisse.

Gouden peultjes ‘golden sweet’ (pisum sativum)
Peultjes of sluimerwten, maar dan met een goudgele kleur. Ook de rest van de plant heeft een interessant kleurenpalet trouwens en valt zeker op in de moestuin. Hoge klimmende erwt, die dus ondersteuning nodig heeft bij het groeien. Als de erwten voorbij het peultjes-stadium geraken zijn ze ook eetbaar als doperwt of als gedroogde erwt.
Dit ras zou oorspronkelijk uit Indië komen en deze of een heel verwante variëteit zou door Gregor Mendel gebruikt geweest zijn bij het onderzoek waarbij de erfelijkheidswetten ontdekt werden.
Golden snowpeas ‘golden sweet’ (pisum sativum)
These are snowpeas with a golden yellow color. The rest of the plant also has interesting colors, and does surely stand out in a vegetable garden. It’s a high climbing type of pea, that needs a trellis to grow. If they get beyond the snowpea stage they peas can be eaten as freshly shelled peas too or as dried peas.
This race is said to originate in India, and this one or a very similar variety was used by Gregor Mendel when he discovered his laws of inheritance.

Siermais ‘glass gem corn’ (Zea mays) (2013)
De ‘mooiste mais ter wereld’ volgens sommigen, en een hype op bepaalde internet-sites (google de naam maar), maar heeft een heel lang seizoen nodig en dus niet helemaal geschikt voor ons klimaat. Ook bruikbaar voor maismeel.
‘glass gem corn’ (Zea mays) (2013)
This is said to be ‘the most beautiful corn in the world by some, and quite hyped on certain internet sites (just google the name) but it requires a long growing season and isn’t that adapted to our climate. Useful for corn meal.

Boomspinazie ‘magentaspreen‘ (Chenopodium giganteum)
Mooie en fors groeiende ganzenvoetsoort die heel lekker is als spinazie, en waar je een hele zomer oogst aan hebt als hij eenmaal op gang is tot hij begint te bloeien. Wordt vlotjes meer dan twee meter hoog in goede zomers! Lichtkiemer, dus zaden nooit met grond bedekken.
Tree spinach ‘mangetanspreen’ (Chenopodium giganteum)
Beautiful and prolifically growing goosefoot that can be used as a tasty spinach. It will yield a lot throughout the summer untill it starts blooming, and can grow over 2 meter in a good summer. It needs light to germinate, so never cover the seeds.

Epazote (Chenopodium ambrosioides)
De andere Nederlandse naam is heel bedrieglijk ‘welriekende ganzenvoet’, maar onder de Mexicaanse naam wordt hij gebruikt in de Mexicaanse keuken als een keukenkruid in bonenschotels dat de verteerbaarheid van bonen verbeterd. De plant heeft een zeer sterke geur die door sommigen te sterk gevonden wordt.
Epazote (Chenopodium ambrosioides)
This plant is used as a herb in the Mexican cuisine and is said to make beans easier to digest. The plant has a very strong smell, that isn’t liked by everyone.

Tuinboon ‘black Russian’ (Vicia faba) (2013)
Een tuinboon met middelgrote diep paarse zaden, die bij drogen bijna zwart worden. Groeit goed hier. (Verkregen via Belle Epoque Meisse.)
Fava bean ‘black russian’ (Vicia faba) (2013)
A Fava bean with medium-sized dark purple seeds, that turn to almost black when dried. Grows very well in our climate. (Originally via Belle Epoque Meisse)

Ik heb ook nog wat knollen van oca (Oxalis tuberosus) en op verzoek ook aardpeer ‘knobbelmonster’ (Helianthus tuberosus) en enkele andere onbenoemde rassen.
I also have soe oca-tubers (Oxalis tuberosus) and Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) ‘knobbelmonster’ and un-named races by request.

Andere eigen zaden/other own seeds:

Atriplex hortensis orache (green or red) tuinmelde

Chenopodium album lambsquarters/melganzenvoet

Chenopodium pallidicaule – caniwa

Chrysanthemum coronarium shungiku/edble chrysanthemum

Cucurbita maxima ‘Hokkaido green’ pumpkin/pompoen

Cucurbita maxima ‘Hokkaido red kuri’ pumpkin/pompoen

Diplotaxis tenuiufolium perennial aragula/doorlevende raketsla

Helianthus tuberosus Jerusalem artichoke/aardpeer August flowering mix (real seed! selection for tuber quality needed)

Malva moschata musk mallow/muskuskaasjeskruis

Malva sylvestris common mallow/groot kaasjeskruid

Malva verticillata Chinese mallow leaves/dessertbladen

Lapsana communis nipplewort/akkerkool

Passiflora edulis ‘granadilla’

Pastinaca pastinaak/parsley

Phaseolus coccineus ‘scarlet runner’ pronkboon

Phaseolus vulgaris ‘wieringer’ dwarf beans/lage bonen (Dutch heirloom)

Tragopogon porrifolus salsify/haverwortel

Zea mays ‘glass gem’ blue selection corn/mais

Zea mays ‘painted mountain’ corn/mais

Zea mays ‘painted mountain’ morado very dark selection corn/mais

Other seed I can share include:

Amarantus cruentus (?) seed amaranth

Amaranthus gangeticus (?) red leaf amaranth

Atremisia absintum wormwood/absint-alsem

Beta vulgaris ‘chioggia’ striped beets/gestreepte bietjes.

Brassica carinata ‘Texcel greens’ kale/bladkool

Brassica juncea lea mustard/bladmosterd

Brassica oleracea ‘chou de Jalhay’ rare heirloom asparagus kale from Wallonia/zeldzame Waalse gebleekte bladkool/

Capsicum ‘thai very hot’

Cucumis sativus ‘little green of paris’ pickle cucumber/augurk

Cucurbuta moschata butternut squash/pompoen

Hibiscus sabdariffa roselle

Lepidium sativum peppercress/tuinkers

Perilla ‘britton’ shiso

Sinapsis album mustard seed/mosterdzaad

(And small quantities of Hablitzia and Withania)

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(Dutch version here)

This winter I’ve been seed-swapping around a bit, and that means I’ve also obtained some things that were unknown to me, from all over the world… One of these things is something called ‘garden huckleberries’, a type of edible annual berry-bearing plants that seem to enjoy a naming confusion in both common english names and scientific name. The seeds, of which I only have a zwarte nachtschade1few, arrived from 2 different sources, as ‘Solanum burbankii’ and ‘Solanum melanocerasus’ (and the seeds do look a bit different as well), but if you look those up on google they seem to have a lot of synonyms too. S. burnakii is also known as S. retroflexum and wonderberry or sunberry, and S. melonanocerasum is sometimes seen as a subspecies of S. nigrum, the infamous black nightshade, a plant both resemble and are close related too.

But wait, we’re talking about edible berries here. Wasn’t the infamous black nightshade one of those legendary poisonous plants? That’s what everybody knows, right?

That’s what I have believed all of my life, and what a lot of people think. But is it true? Some people seem to doubt it. (read the linked article!!) And upon looking further it seems that both the (ripe) berries and the leaves of S. nigrum and its close relatives (sometimes lumped together as the ‘Solanum nigrum complex) are eaten by people in Asia, Africa and Nprth-America and even Europe. The ripe berries (unripe berries are considered poisonous) are eaten raw or processed as a fruit, and the leaves are eaten as spinach, sometimes explicitly after getting rid of the boiling water.

So there’s 2 possibilities about the edibility of this poisonous plant: 1. there are indeed very poisonous plants in the S. nigrum complex, and some of which are fine to eat, depending on the type, or 2. S. nigrum and its close relatives are all edible, but we think they are not. Most sources seem to think (2) but some people like Sam Thayer (who did a lot of research for his linked paper) seem to think that the plant isn’t that poisonous after all… After all it is a foodsource on all Northern continents in a lot of non-Western cultures..

It seems that people also confuse the black nightshade with the deathly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), which is one of the most deadly plants of Europe and surrounding areas. And coincidently, according to Thayer, people eat a lot of black nightshade all the time all over the world and do not die, but here in Europe we do not eat it at all, and regard it as poisonous, while the last 50 years no-one has died of poisoning with the plant, and most cases of earlier poisoning are likely to be Atropa-poisoning…

And yet, I’m still not going to eat wild black nightshade berries, but I’m going to give those garden varieties a try this year. Not that I expect too much of them, it seems that not everybody is that enthusiastic about the taste, but I’ll try a few plants of both ‘garden huckleberry’ varieties to see if the berries are indeed useful for desserts…

And no, I’m not ready to eat Solanum spinach at all… I’m okay with amaranth and pumpkin leaf and other versions of horta, but no nightshade please…

So here’s my question for the readers: Anyone here who knows more about the edible uses of S. nigrum plants, or who has seeds of edible strains used for spinach or with very tasty berries? Or anyone who knows of poisoning cases?

Bram

Someone posted this picture on Facebook; so I gave it a try:

At the right side we find Maple (Acer ssp.), Ash (Fraxinus ssp.), Fir (Abies ssp), Oak (Quercus ssp.) Birch (Betulus ssp.), Buckthorn (Rhamnus ssp.) or similar species.

I need more details (like the continent they’re from and other stuff) to be more precise in naming…. also I think number 5 is something we simply don’t have over here, the leaves are not in proportion for a birch actually. Maybe some unknown Aspen-like poplar (Populus, subgenus populus ssp.)?

At the left side we don’t find only plants, but here is my try: some kind of diatom alga (class Bacillariophyceae) , badly drawn leek (Allium porrum forma cartoonised), the common Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) a weirdly shaped thread alga (possibly Spirogyra ssp., but I’m in need of an expert here) a flatworm (phylum Platyhelminthes) and the cultivated apple (Malus domesticus, which can also be translated as ‘evil tamed’)

Since I’m not that sure of naming all of these correctly, what do you people think? Any specialists out there who can help me?

Bram