Sugar Loaf Greens
Sugar Loaf is also known as Chicory; sweet loaf; or green loaf.
I have been exploring this type of vegetable since June 2013.
Through the first experience I found this salad is the one; and only special kind.
If you are trying for the first time; you may wish to know this green's habits before you start.
First Project Discoveries
This vegetable plant has light green thin leaves; and it can be transplanted many times. It grows very slow. If it is grown in the open ground the roots can be long and deep. It can be grown in any containers; and or plastic bags. The leafy head close and open how many times; is depends on the temperature and rain falls. It can grow over the winter.
I want to know how much I can do with one little Chicory seed; so I have done the second project here below:
Period: From 30th January 2014 to 24th October 2015
Duration: 632 days Growing season: Late winter to Early Autumn
Sugar Loaf Plant's Development
Four seeds were Selected and placed in 4 separated coconut fibre cakes
indoor at 20°C heated room temperature (top picture 1&2) on
30-1-2014. The first seed was sprouted on 6th February (picture 3). Four young plants appeared on 22nd February (picture 4). Transferred 3 plants outdoor on 1st April at mid-day temperature 23°C;
and the 4th plant was transplanted on 24th April at mid-day temperature
at 25°C (picture 5-8). Three plants have grown bigger on 5-8-2014 (below picture 9-11).
On 10th October when the temperature went low; 2 plants ware transferred to the hanging pots at the north side of the garden; with an airy plastic cover (picture 12 above); to get ready for the winter. Move the 3rd plant to hanging container on 3rd November (picture 13). During the whole winter season I feed a little water; and opened the plastic to air them for a few minutes; when there was sunshine. After winter, on 10-5-2015 all plants have been expanded (picture 14-16).
Harvested one on 14-5-2015 and cut off the top to taste (below picture 17-19); the greens were bitter.
At this point, you can choose to set the living roots in a container for further explorer (picture 20); or put it in the compost bin right away. The choice is yours!
Surprisingly; a small plant appeared on 4-6-2015 (picture 21); and it slowly grown into many side shoots and flower buds (picture 22-24).
On 6-7-2015 While the tops of the flower buds were turning red (above picture 25); the side shoots were increasing at the same time (picture 26). The first wide opened sweet blue flower was born on 10-7-2015; and the full bloomed was on 23rd July (picture 27-28). The whole of September we rely totally on the nature. On first day of Oct most of the seeds were ready for harvest (picture 29). On 10-10-2015 the last flower appeared (picture 30). On 24-10-2015 pull out the whole dried up plant; and collected all the organic seeds for next year (picture 31-32).
If you want to taste it raw; please eat them when they are young and tender. All over freezing winter greens are bitter; however you can sweeten them with onions while cooking. The dried plant you may extract the fibres for garden crafts; if you wish to try making something beautiful from it. You can dry the sweet looking blue flowers for tea.
Try planting sugar loaf yourself?
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