Articles in Category: Edible

Ribes odoratum 'Crandall'

on Wednesday, 27 February 2019. Posted in Plant of the Week, Berries Attract Wildlife, Fragrant Blooms, Attracts Pollinators, Fall Color, Shade Plants, Edible, Shrubs, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

'Crandall' Black Currant

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Here is a stellar plant that is beautiful, as well as edible and good for the birds.  This Black Currant is woefully under utilized, perhaps people haven't eaten a currant before or not visited the nursery when they are in bloom.  But come visit in April and you will see a drift of them planted in part shade in our drought tolerant display garden.    Ideally close enough to the rock pile for little hands to pick the fruit when they ripen in summer.  And beckoning you for a closer look with their clove scented, yellow blooms.  Appealing to hummingbirds and butterflies, the flowers develop into black, round fruit that are tart/sweet with a more mild currant flavor and especially high in Vitamin C.  My daughter loves to pick them fresh but they can be made into preserves or baked goods or dried.   Then the fall brings out gorgeous red fall color.  Most currants would appreciate a spot out of extreme heat but will tolerate full sun with good water.  Part shade or morning sun is ideal.  They will get 4-5' tall and wide.  Currants can be drought tolerant once established and do best in a well-draining but compost-rich soil.  They can be a great addition to a mixed use garden- full of edible and ornamental power!

Asian Persimmons

on Thursday, 01 March 2018. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Fall Color, Edible, Trees, Drought Tolerant

Persimmon trees

hachiya persimmon 1Persimmons are the fruit you didn't know you needed.  So decorative!  So versatile! And fall color as a bonus in an edible tree.  Asian Persimmons are the main type for home gardeners to grow, even though there are American Persimmons (just not as edible).   There are astringent types (used for cooking and eaten soft and fruits have a pointed bottom), and the non-astringent types (can be eaten fresh when firm or soft and fruits have a flat bottom).  See below for the main types we carry.  The non-astringent varieties can keep for 3 weeks at room temperature while the astringent varieties need to be used right away.  Dried Persimmon is a delectable treat that can add vitamin A and C and beta ceratine to your winter days.  Persimmons can be used in baked goods and there are lots of recipes out there showing ways to use this gorgeous fruit.

 

persimmonPersimmons are self fertile so you can get away with one tree and offer vibrant orange fall color.  They are one of the last fruits to harvest in the late fall, usually October even into November.   Trees can typically get 20-25' tall and wide and are not super fast growing.  They appreciate a well draining soil and full sun.   Most Asian Persimmons are hardy to zone 7.  Plase them so you can enjoy the glowing orange pumpkin like fruit hanging from bare branches in late fall.  

 

Edible Figs

on Wednesday, 31 January 2018. Posted in Edible, Deer Resistant, Trees, Shrubs, Drought Tolerant

Fig trees

If you’re thinking of adding some new fruiting trees and shrub to your yard this year to create an edible landscape, figs are a great place to start!

figsFigs are native to the Fertile Crescent region of the Middle East and thrive in our hot, dry summers. These rich, almost decadent-tasting fruits are also surprisingly undemanding, low-maintenance plants. They’re fast growing, begin bearing fruit at just two years old, and will often bear two crops a year. Few pests (including deer!) bother them. Figs also enjoy well-drained soil and only require deep, infrequent watering once they’re established.  One of their assets is that they are self fertile, being pollinated on the insde of the fruit by a special wasp.

Here in the Rogue Valley, figs tend to grow more as tall, multi-trunked shrubs than full-sized trees. That’s actually an asset for home gardeners, because it makes their fruit easier to harvest. Plants bear fruit primarily on year-old growth, and are most productive when pruned annually in mid-winter.  A harsh winter in the first few years of being planted can cause a fig to have some branch die back.  They are quick to rebound from the roots though once warm weather returns. Give them as much heat as possible to enhance their ripening.

figleavesWe carry a good assortment of figs at Shooting Star and always try to carry varieties that are more likely to ripen in our shorter heat season, compared to the Black Mission and other types that perform better in California. Our selection includes dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties like Olympian and Black Jack (perfect for small yards); Pacific Northwest specialties like Oregon Prolific, Desert King, and Osborne Prolific; and old favorites like Brown Turkey and Latturula (Italian Honey Fig- yum!)  See our fruit tree description list for more details on skin color and ripening..

 

 

Figs are one of those fruits that don't keep well at the market, so you are lucky to have your own crop.  What can you do with the abundance of figs you’re already imagining harvesting? That’s where the fun really begins! Figs can be eaten fresh off the tree (make sure they are quite soft before picking), dried, or turned into a variety of tasty jams and preserves. But why stop there? Fire up your broiler or grill and try broiled figs stuffed with goat cheese and drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Or make your own dolmas!  See what we mean about decadent?

 

FIG VARIETIES FOR THE NW:

Fig 'Black Jack'

large, sweet purple skin w/strawberry flesh, semi-dwarf

 

Fig 'Black Spanish' **

dark purple skin w/sweet amber flesh, reliable & productive, naturally dwarf

 

Fig 'Brown Turkey' 

Med-lrg, sweet purplish/brown skin w/lt. pink flesh, big

 

Fig 'Desert King'

large, green skin w/strawberry flesh, can bear 2 crops

 

Fig 'Lattarula' (Italian Honey Fig) **

large, lt. green skin w/ amber flesh, can bear 2 crops

 

Fig 'Olympian'

Super hardy, purple skin w/red flesh, very sweet, dwarf

 

Fig 'Oregon Prolific' 

vigorous, yellow skin w/ white flesh, great for Pac. NW

 

Fig 'Osborne Prolific'

Purple brown skin w/sweet amber flesh, hardy & productive, good in PNW

 

Fig 'Peter's Honey' **

deliciously sweet, yellow/green skin w/amber flesh, likes hot/protected exposure

 

Fig 'Scott's Black'

Thin purple skin w/red flesh, sweet, closed eye

 

Fig 'Vern's Brown Turkey'  **

Brown skin w/amber flesh, sweet/flavorful, can produce 2 crops a season 

 

Prunus dulcis

on Tuesday, 07 March 2017. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Edible, Trees, Flowering Plants

Almond Trees

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There are many varieties of late blooming almonds if you were thinking our springs are too cold to grow these wonderful nuts.  Nuts are a beneficial addition to the home orchard because they have so many uses- in baking, butters, and roasting, and are easy to store.  Besides the crunchy and nutritious nuts, Almonds have beautiful and fragrant white to light pink flowers, usually coinciding with the ornamental plum and cherry blooms of early spring.  Like peaches, they will perform best in a protected spot; ideally away from cold winds or cold air sinks.  Hope for a fairly frost free spring for best flower and nut production!  However, almonds perform wonderfully in our summer heat.  Once established they require moderate water, a deep soak every couple of weeks is best; as all fruit trees like good drainage and no standing water.  The late blooming Almonds are cold hardy to negative 20 degrees once established, with 'All in One' being a little less cold hardy-  Zone 8 is best.  They will produce nuts typically 2-3 years after planting and are naturally semi-dwarf (typically 15-20' in height but can be pruned smaller), perfect for smaller yards.  Come early for the best selection!

The varieties we like are:

Blackberry 'Triple Crown'

on Saturday, 11 February 2017. Posted in Berries Attract Wildlife, Attracts Pollinators, Edible, Perennial

'Triple Crown' Blackberry

Blackberries2'Triple Crown' Blackberry will surprise you with its vigor, the size of its berries, and how long you harvest. Blackberries may be one of the easier berrries to grow if you are just starting out in the edible world, they aren't as picky about soil type as blueberries and raspberries, and don't need refreshed as often as strawberries.  They thrive in the heat and can tolerate clay soils better than other edibles.  The main thing they require is a sturdy trellis or structure to be trained against.  Most blackberries will spread to at least 5-6' wide and 4-6' tall depending on how you train them.   A well draining soil is best and we mulch well with straw to keep moisture in.  Make mounds or grow them on a berm if your drainage is not ideal.  'Triple Crown' is a thornless variety so it is easier to train and harvest. The berries are at least thumb sized and ripen over at least 6 weeks in mid to late summer.  Be sure to attract pollinators to your garden with other blooming perennials and shrubs so that the bees will find your blackberry flowers.  Bareroot plants are typically available in Feb-March and that is the best time to get them in the ground and established before summer heat.  A weekly deep soak is usually enough to keep these berries happy. Here is a post on how to prune them in the late winter.

See our Fruiting Plant list for other varieties we carry.