Volunteers You Can Count On

digitS'

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It relates to the first post in the thread, @Branching Out . However, it isn't the same amaranth plant. That one is in almost an impossible situation in the middle of a stump.

There is a little bit of a bed surrounding the stump which has some herbs and, this year, it has some brassicas kept for seed. Also, the potted tomatoes & a pepper are located on one side. I don't recall an amaranth growing nearby in '22 but there is a volunteer offspring in the decaying center of the stump.

The plant is the recent picture is one left for seed in the little veggie garden beside the greenhouse. It was left to produce some seeds but has gotten rather out-of-hand, crowding the path between beds. As soon as there are a few seeds dropped, it will have to go.
 

Phaedra

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The volunteer tomatoes (cherry tomatoes, mainly)start ripening faster now, and they taste pretty good. :D
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Zeedman

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The plant is the recent picture is one left for seed in the little veggie garden beside the greenhouse. It was left to produce some seeds but has gotten rather out-of-hand, crowding the path between beds. As soon as there are a few seeds dropped, it will have to go.
That's like saying 'as soon as the hand grenade starts to go off, I'll throw it'. :lol:
 

digitS'

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Ah, @Zeedman , i know that you are right 🥲.

~ My volunteer Porters tomato is loaded with green fruit -- for a small plant and suffering some competition.

There is another volunteer in that squash patch but it only has some flowers on it. Yes, my volunteers have often been cherries, the fruit is easy to miss and they fall to the ground in the garden. Of course, if they are later beefsteaks, the plants may never give me much of an idea of the ultimate size of the fruit.

By the way the Porters looks, it will need another week of good weather and maybe 2 or 3 weeks if it turns out too cool. The forecast suggests that it may top 70°f (21°C) only a few of the coming days.. It was 41°f (5°C) this morning and is still in the 60's (18C±), mid-afternoon, with a blue sky & sunshine. Fortunately, tho it is windy now, there was almost no breeze in the garden for the running of the sprinklers this morning.
 

digitS'

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Here’s a volunteer that I have been able to count on:

IMG_0753.jpeg
Perilla. Now, what can I do with it?

I have never been able to determine how perilla is used to wrap sushi. It must be a different variety. Surely, the leaves are too small.

It is quite nice as an ornamental. In 2022, volunteers grew beside the deck and filled in the area rather completely. Since I store garden sprinklers with their white pvc pipe bases, it is a rather unsightly area -- not during that Summer. There was a huge number of volunteers this Spring and I moved this one here, to a rather ugly outside corner of the greenhouse. Now, it is blooming, which is not its most attractive stage but it's doing its job of covering the concrete foundation corner.

Steve, notice the smaller but similar amaranth in the lower right corner of the picture ;)
 

digitS'

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what does it taste like? :)
Well, I decided that I would go out and try it - for the first time.

One leaf, first impression was ... celery. Chewed on it as I returned to the front yard to close the gate, opened when mowing the lawn. Returned to the plant for another leaf ... celery. I grew cutting celery one year -- it probably had a little better flavor but I still didn't know what to do with it. Celery is an important ingredient around here for soups, etc. and I grow celeriac for its delicious contribution to mashed potatoes, especially. We aren't salad eaters. 🤔 Maybe we can slip it in with the lettuce in sandwiches.
 

flowerbug

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Well, I decided that I would go out and try it - for the first time.

One leaf, first impression was ... celery. Chewed on it as I returned to the front yard to close the gate, opened when mowing the lawn. Returned to the plant for another leaf ... celery.
...

thanks! useful to know if i ever get a chance to plant it and use it. i actually do like the leafy ends of celery from bunches that we buy i usually will eat those. i don't mind how bitter it is.


We aren't salad eaters. 🤔 Maybe we can slip it in with the lettuce in sandwiches.

haha! :)
 

Suzee

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This is the Fruits & Vegetables forum so I am talking about something for the table ... not the chair at the table ;).

As many gardeners, I have dill and cilantro volunteers. I'm happy about that and we DO use them, or, some of them since they can be very prolific (and even sow cilantro seed each year so as to extend the season).

It used to be that Orach was of real importance in the early garden. Bbuuuttt, even with Help, haven't found the variety that once volunteered each Spring from a mother plant, left in an out-of-the-way spot the year before. The property owner moved & sold that place after he had inherited it from his father, my gardening buddy. Since I didn't sneak over and steal a volunteer plant for seed, I was left trying to decide what it was! Some orach varieties are now bred for the ornamental garden. (Native Seed Search has a couple of varieties that I know nothing about and should be worth a try in '24 - LINK.)

Orach would be past its harvest season by now, even if it was slowed a little in the Spring with me moving volunteers around. This is a cousin in the family, runs to a somewhat longer harvest season and my vegetable volunteer for the table the last few years.

View attachment 58640
Amaranth is a very common plant for the flower garden. Unlike another cousin, Spinach, it isn't commonly eaten. Seeds for these amaranths which may volunteer most anywhere ;), were given to us by a friend, who received them from another friend. Where they came from originally is a mystery to me. They are, indeed, quite ornamental (often darker in color than this one). Purple like another of my favorite vegetables - beet greens, another cousin - after they are cooked and arrive on the plate.

Steve
growing here beside some Thai Hot peppers
View attachment 58641
My daughter growers amaranth and I have in the past, but have never eaten it! Now I’m curious.
 

digitS'

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@Suzee , there are various varieties, including some that aren't really purple. It's in the beet/chard family and tastes rather like that -- altho, I think DW's friend who gave us the seeds originally, collected seed from an ornamental :). She had eaten the leaves and recommended them as a vegetable ...

They are really quite good with even DW liking them. And, she doesn't really care for beets :rolleyes: .

Steve
 

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