Land Seaweed

Posted to Subscribers on 25 May 2011


Dear Subscribers,

There was one comment that my last update was a little too brief. Maybe the news is making me catatonic? Today I was questioning whether it's better to be a realist or to struggle to overcome all the challenges we face. The conclusion is that if we fail to make the required effort, the destructive forces will prevail. Still, I will continue to be brief!

As we now know, a staggering amount of pollution has entered our oceans, crude oil and Corexit last year, radioactive materials this year. Add to this the plastic, sewage, and heaven knows what and it's no wonder that various types of fish and turtles and shells are washing up on shore, everywhere from the Gulf of Mexico to Pakistan to the coasts of Japan and California. It is probably no longer safe to eat most harvests from the sea, including various plants that are used as food as well as soil enrichment products.

I can't remember how I stumbled on it, but I found something called "land seaweed". It's not really a seaweed, but it has more nutritional benefit than spinach and is crunchy in salads and softer when steamed or stir-fried. It is more juicy than fibrous. The seeds are edible but rarely found in enough quantity to make into a flour.

Oka hijiki is native to Asia and Siberia and grown as an annual from seeds. The seeds are known to be a little precarious so they need to be planted immediately or stored in a cool place. They should be sown directly into the ground when the temperature is around 21-27° C or 70°+ F. Oka hijiki tolerates really awful soil but wants sunlight. It grows about a foot tall and can be harvested until it flowers. It starts to flower when the days become shorter, but it likes the cold and can be grown in winter if somewhat protected. Oka hijiki is succulent and is a rich source of laminin, a protein needed by tissues. It can be cut several times during the growing season and the younger shoots are, of course, more tender. The shoots are a rich source of vitamin A as well as K and they provide abundant sources of calcium, potassium, and iron.

In sum, this unusual vegetable is easy to grow, interesting, and very healthy. If you care about your bones, your vision, and your intake of minerals, consider this addition to your garden! I just got in a new order of seeds and will be planting them myself when the rain stops!










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