Rocket
             

Arno King

 

   

Rocket must be one of the most popular of all green vegetables, rising in popularity over the last twenty years to become the salad green of choice at every restaurant. However this is not a new vegetable, but one that was popularly eaten throughout Europe, particularly during the times of the Greek and Roman Empires.

Its demise during Victorian times was as quick and complete as its recent rise. We can thank peasant Italian gardeners for continuing to grow improved cultivars of this plant and bringing it back to the attention of cooks and gardeners around the world.

Rocket, also known as Ruchetta, Rucola (Italian), Roquette (French) and Arugula (a Sicilian dialect – for some obscure reason the name adopted in the US), is in fact a catch all name for a variety of different salad greens. The one thing they have in common is their peppery nutty flavour, use as a salad greens, being native to southern Europe and belonging to the cabbage family (Brassicaceae).

 
From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Six
 
 
Salad Rocket has creamy white flowers with purple veins.
 
Subscribe Now!
 
 
Corn Zea mays
             

Claire Bickle

 
   

History: Corn or Maize?
Corn is one of the oldest cultivated plants on earth. It originates in the Andean region of South America, but was widely grown from the Southern United States, through Mexico, Central America and throughout South America when Columbus first arrived. It has been grown in the region since prehistoric times.

Today Sweet Corn and Maize are grown and used as a staple food source and cereal all around the world.

Also covered is:

  • Culture
  • Success
  • Prop roots
  • Get bigger cobs
  • Pests
  • Harvesting and eating
  • Popular Cultivars
  • Other uses
 
From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Six
 
 
Corn seedlings are easy and quick to grow.
 
Subscribe Now!
 
 
Mulberries - a child's favourite
             

Barbara Beerling

 


 

   

Mulberries (Morus sp.) belong to the family Moraceae, which also includes figs and breadfruit. Originating in the Middle East, the Mulberry tree is now widespread in many other countries, where the fruit is prized for its sweetness. The ripe fruit is not only eaten fresh, but used in pies, cordials, wines and tea. It has been grown in Asia and Europe for hundreds of years.

The species Morus alba from the eastern and southern region of China, has been cultivated exclusively for its leaves, which when fed to silkworms, produces superior quality silk.

Botanically, the Mulberry is not a berry but an aggregate fruit (like a swollen blackberry) which grows on a large spreading deciduous tree. In time, the tree can reach from 5 to 10 metres tall with a spread of 5 to 15 m, depending on the species and cultivars grown. Controlling the growth by pruning while the tree is dormant will keep the tree manageable.

Topics touched briefly are:

  • Cultivation
  • Propagation
  • Mulberry Types
    • Black Mulberry (Morus nigra)
    • Dwarf Black Mulberry (Morus nigra)
    • Shahtoot Mulberry (Morus macroura)
    • Red Mulberry (Morus rubra 'Hicks Fancy')
    • White Mulberry (Morus alba)
    • Weeping Mulberry (Morus alba 'Pendula')
  • Fruit

Don't miss our little recipe for Stewed Mulberries!

 
From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Six
 
 
Black Mulberry, White Mulberry and Red Shahtoot.
 
Subscribe Now!
 
 
Silkworms
             

Paul Plant

   
  Print This Page

 

   

The White Mulberry Tree (Morus albus) provides benefits other than just fruit. For centuries this humble tree has been the underpinning food source for the silk industry.

The art of silk production is known as Sericulture. China records silk production as early as 4000 and 3000 BC and has many archaeological artefacts displaying silkworm designs.

Silk is now cultivated and woven in many countries throughout Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, the Middle East and Europe, with China and Thailand respected by many as producing silk of the highest quality. China and India are currently the leading exporters of silk.

 
From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Twenty Six
 
 
Trays of cocoons waiting for processing.
 
Its amazing how far a cocoon can stretch. Bundles being stretched for a silk quilt.
 
Subscribe Now!
     
 
Ph/Fax 07 5447 6300 | PO Box 406, Eumundi QLD 4562 Australia
© 2005-2015 Subtropicalia Media Pty Ltd T/A Subtropical Gardening – All Rights Reserved   ABN 79 113 106 862