It’s been an unusually warm winter with temperatures averaging 72°~85°F (that’s 22~29°C) and my cool weather greens have been comatose ~ yes, they’ve actually stopped growing. But warm weather plants, like the Moringa Oleifera trees? They haven’t shed their leaves at all but have instead gone rampant with leaf-growth.
Pics of a couple of trees & I have 8!
I decided to do more coppicing and save the leaves for consumption. Incidentally to save space, the leaves can be dried and powdered, then it becomes 7 times lighter and less bulky for storage.
Dried slowly & naturally on tea-towels by sunlight through windows.
Now comes the interesting part …
Grind into powder using a coffee grinder.
That green dust is loaded with nutrients and instead of taking multi-vitamin pills, I put that with my morning cereal.
Moringa with muesli ~ yum yum!
Oh! don’t forget the Soy Milk over that.
I am a Moringa Oleifera buff, yes, I cook it, add it to salads, use it as green manure and feed my wriggling pets in my worm-bin with it.
After my recent visit to ECHO Farm (where it is greatly promoted; do watch the video, it’s very informative), I’ve been inspired to try something new.
So, out to the backyard I went, for some moringa-leaf harvest. As this is going to be my 1st attempt, I resisted cutting off too much.
Rinsed them and placed them in colanders to be sun dried. It’s summer, so what better time to do this?
August 10th ~ from this …
Exactly 4 weeks ago I cut down a lanky Moringa plant as the leaves were getting beyond reach. The cut-off “trunk” was then cut into 2 pieces and replanted ~ much easier and faster than growing from seeds.
They have re-grown beautifully and will soon be providing me with ample leaves within easy reach for kitchen use. Some can be left on the soil to rot but that is not my preference – at this point in time.
A cutting, now in a 7-gal pot
Original lanky “trunk”
Now that it’s spring, and with summer rainstorms soon to come, it is time to coppice a couple more of my young Moringa “trees” to regrow them around the property lines for future green manure.
Today I remembered to bring my camera to the kitchen.
I usually cook my Moringa Oleifera leaves in curries, rice dishes, soups & strir-fries but today (again) I decided on my favourite home-style fast food… Omelette! The last portion of Moringa leaves from the tree which was coppiced on Saturday, was used ~ none left.
Moringa leaves pulled from leaf-stalks.
Add Spring Onions to Leaves
Home Grown Tomatoes
Sprinkle Romano Cheese
The nutrients from Moringa Oleifera and the other home grown vegetables combined are excellent for lacto-ovo vegetarians (which I am not).
… and now back to helping hubby re-do our side lawn, soon to be another edible plant patch, but “in disguise”. (Ugh! I hate county-imposed meaningless lawns on my property.)
The weather today is superb for “re-arranging” my food forest so 1st job was to trim and re-plant my Moringa Oleifera trees. Their growth slowed during winter but leaves’ production was still enough to allow me some harvest. Rather than to re-grow from seeds, I chose to use cut-offs to get some thick stems for dual purpose.
Bald trunk Moringa trees
Result of “Snip”
I further cut the stem into 2 cuttings (3ft long & 1.5ins diameter), so I will now have 2 extra thick stemmed plants growing in pots which will also act as supports and companions for tomatoes and beans.
In 6 gal pot
Joining tomato & beans
I have already used some of the harvested leaves in my omelet for lunch…
and am preparing Garlic & Ginger Rice with Moringa leaves for tonight’s dinner.
G & G Rice with Moringa Leaves
This Site has great information of its history & nutritional value & Discovery Channel has a documentary on it.
I have 3 Moringa Oleifera mini-trees growing around the house and the more I learn about them, the more I feel like sowing more seeds. If I can’t eat all of them, hey! I’ll share them with my soil microbes because they make good green manure too.
Moringa Oleifera mini-tree in the backyard
In Singapore, I used to eat some leaves in curries but the pods, called Drumsticks, are more commonly used. You kinda split the 2″ pieces of pod shells and finger-dig the gel and small “beans” within that’s laced with curry sauce… ooh… they’re good.
It was only 2 years ago when I watched a short video of a young man in Orlando, FL who converted his garden into a food-forest that reminded me of this plant and as I learned more about its nutrients, growth patterns, etc., that got me keen to have this plant as a food supplement ~ in my own backyard!
The Moringa leaves’ size and shape
I’ve cut some to put in salads, omelettes, curries… but I sometimes just chew a few to get that green chlorophyll taste which is quite nice.
Good green garden snack
I’m not a Nutritionist so if you need more information watch: