Thursday, January 27, 2011

Homegrown Walnut Substitute

When someone told me that impatiens glandulifera seeds taste just like walnuts, I said, "really, really? Hmmmm....I will have to see that for myself!" and so I have!

They do taste like walnuts! They do! They do! I am so excited about this discovery! I can grow my own nuts, well, sort of...

I put some in my pumpkin muffins and they were delicious!

This opens a new door for people with nut allergies. You can now have so called "banana nut" muffins! Not only that, they are virtually free and you can grow them in your own yard.

Mine get about 4-6' tall and have been known to reach 8'! They like moist shade. It's an impatiens, but not the little ones that you buy cheap in every garden center in the spring. This is closer to the jewelweed, Impatiens capensis, with the same "touch-me-not" seed pods. If you grow them, you will learn to close your entire hand over the ripe seed pod before touching it. Spread them out to dry well before saving them for baking.

To plant the seeds, just sprinkle on the ground in the fall. They need a cold, moist winter and sunlight to germinate. They are prolific reseeders!If you buy them now, just sprinkle on the ground, on top of the snow, where you want them to grow. When the snow melts they will come in contact with the soil and grow.

Warning: these can be very invasive! Mine are controlled by collecting most of the seeds.

They are also beautiful flowers for the back of the shade garden.

The big, fuzzy yellow bumblebees love them - and so do I!

I sell these in My Farm Store.


Michelle said...

Oh wow!! I am excited too & looking forward to buying some of your seed this year.

Wretha said...

These can become very invasive, so be careful where and how you plant them, apparently their seedpods explode when disturbed sending seeds up to 23 feet away.


Wretha said...

Not trying to scare anyone off from buying these from you, just want people to be informed.


Granny said...

That's exciting news. How late can they be spread and still grow this year? I hope to buy some of the seed from you very soon.

If I would grow them on the north side of my little garden shed they should do well.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

They can be invasive but I find that they don't reseed everywhere. They won't grow in a place that is too dry or overgrown. Mine seem to stay where they are. They don't spread into the lawn. Also, their root systems are very shallow and easy to pull up.

Someone else made a comment about them being invasive, here, too. I don't know where that comment went, probably into the Spam folder due to some links or something, but I get all posts in my email, so I did see it.

I have only seen them in one place in the wild in this area.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

I am not sure how long a cold period they need. My standard is 90 days, if possible. You might get away with less. They are annuals, so don't start coming up until the weather and ground warms.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Wouldn't it be nice of people went to the wild to harvest these seeds for food and therefore cut down the wild invasive population?

I thought the same thing of zebra mussels. These are just as edible as other mussels and becoming a nuisance. Why not use them as a food source?

Most people these days are too comfortable in their habit of buying everything from the store and wouldn't be comfortable eating something harvest by hand from the wild.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

I have added a warning about the invasiveness. nb

The Japanese Redneck said...

That's interesting.

MikeH said...

I thought the same thing of zebra mussels. These are just as edible as other mussels and becoming a nuisance. Why not use them as a food source?

Be careful. Zebra mussels are filter feeders, i.e, they filter their food (algae) from the water.

[Z]ebra mussels are well-suited to accumulate contaminants such as metals, PCBs, and petroleum hydrocarbons from water and suspended sediments, but tissue concentrations of whole mussels are generally low.

Depending on where they are, they may be accumulating chemicals from the water.