Wednesday, 13 June 2012

The New Adventure!!!

At the end of April I put an order in at Thompson & Morgan .

This is what I ordered!

On the 4th of May, my postman handed me a parcel bearing the Thompson and Morgan logo on.  After talking to him for a little while and wishing him a lovely day!  I took my white parcel into the living room.

I was so exitced it felt like it was Christmas. I opened up my little parcel to find inside the New Zealand Yam's Oca had arrived. My Fuchsia's to arrived a week later, they are now all planted up in the garden.

Picture's below of the Oca.

 I first heard of the New Zealand yam (Oca) on  The Alan Titchmarsh Show.
After Alan had done his gardening tips of the day.  Alan then went on to talk about the edible garden show, and to talk to one of the stars of the show Botanist James Wong. 
James was on to give a bit of a taste of what to expect from the show. With some new and cool things to grow. Some think a little different to what we all normally grow in the UK.

Did you know: There are about 15-20 things we grow on a regularly basics. But there are 6000 thing's we can grow out door's in the UK.  A most you would think are tropical, exotic and you had no idea you could grow in the UK.  (Source: J.Wong)

The six plant's James talked about was.

  1. Kiwi - Cocktail (Actinidia Issai)
  2. Oca - New Zealand Yams
  3. Shark Fin Melon
  4. Stevia
  5. Electric Daisy
  6. Sweet potato
(Please note I have research some of the information below)

The Kiwi - Cocktail (Actinidia Issai) have edible skin and double the sugar on the in-side.  You can harvest upto 400 fruit per plant.  The Actinidia Issai comes from Sibera and is a Hardy. Also the Actinidia Issai can handle temperature down to minus 35.

Oca New Zealand Yam's  you can eat root like a radish or cook it like a potato.  Also you can use the leaves in a salad too!  The Oca is also bligty resistant!

Shark Fin Melon  is commonly used in a soup. If you cut the melon in half and cook the flesh.  The flesh separates out a bit like a spaghetti squash.  The melon as the same texture as Shark fin in Shark fin soup. You might also think the shark fin melon would taste of fish. But actually the shark fin melon tastes of melon and cucumber. In Spain and Latin America the people make sweets and jams from the melon. Also you can harvest up to 4 melons from one single plant.

Stevia  are 300 times sweeter than sugar and have 0kcals. You might of already heard of Stevia - as there are sweeter's out that use the plant e.g: Truvia (Which I sometimes use).  You can buy the plugs and seeds from Suttons

Electric Daisy  (Sechuan Buttons) is a member of the daisy family.  If your brave enough to try a electric daisy. The daisy is like licking a 9v battery. ( Not sure if I want to try this one)

Sweet Potato is not a potato. This root vegetable is a member of the Ipomoea family, the same as the popular flowering climber Morning Glory.  (source: Thompson & Morgan)
You can buy sweet potato slips from most good places.  The sweet potato 'slips' are tubers cut into large piece then placed into water and left to spout leaves, then separated and left to root.  Until now that was the only way you could grow sweet potato. But now Sutton Seeds have developed an sweet potato plant...


On Thursday 10th of May I decided to pot up the New Zealand yams (Oca).
 But first I wanted to get some new plant pot's to put the Oca in, so I went down to my local Wilkos store.
  Once I had return from Wilkos, straight out side I went with my new plant pot's and the Oca!

I put the wrong date on the label! :(

The Oca I had was small with a three medium size one, so I potted them all. Gave them a nice soak of water and sat them in the greenhouse.  I wanted to put them on my windsill in my bedroom, but the plant pot's are a tag bit to big to fit on!  While the Oca where out in the green house the frost came and I kind of worried a little! But there was no need to worrie, on the 29th of May I had little green leaves popping up.

Since the picture above the Oca have grow that much I have been hmm and arr in when to plant them and how too.  I got some advice from one of the guys at T&M on how to plant them.
Some mad reason I thought you would have to treat them like potatos. Do not know why I thought that.

So on the 9th of June I decided to plant them out side.

So I found one of my potato sack planter's that I had left over from planting my potato's and got some pebbles to cover the holes.  Then I opened up my last sack of compost and tipped the compost into the planter.  I then planted the Oca, I also had a bit of compost left in another bag.  So I used the last bit to fill in any gaps.

Please find picture below

I will keep you all upto date...
Please let me know what you think?

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