Great timing! An e-mail just came through on the OGL mailing list regarding
Moringa. Hope it's useful.
Terra Viva Organics
Organic garden seed, natural fertilizers & predatory insects
fwd'd courtesy of Amy of Marvelous Gardens>>>
but the following is out of the
Oregon Exotics Nursery catalog:
(Moringa Olefera) This tree is cultivated in Asia for its edible
fruits, flowers, leaves, seeds, and roots. The 15" long fruit pods
are served and make an excellent vegetable. The 3" long feathery
leaves and fragrant white flower clusters are eaten likewise or
picked along with the fruit pods and used in curries. From the
seeds an oil called 'Behen' is expressed which never goes rancid.
It is used in cooking, for salads, or for art work and a famous
watchmakers oil. The roots are commonly harvested and used
universally for their piquant horseradish-like spiciness. It is a
small soft wood tree with corky bark. From northwest India."
In Hawaii, one ethnic group uses the tree a lot. When you see the
tree, it is usually found at a "Filipino" home. I personally think
they are smart because it is a great tree. Branches can be cut off
of it and used for animal (pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, chickens,
etc.) forage . New shoots grow out, more than replacing the ones
that are used. In experiments in Africa, if my memory is correct,
if you have 10 of these trees, it can provide enough feed to take
care of a pig. Anyway I'm not sure about the number of trees
necessary. I believe I read this on some website on "Agroforestry."
It might have been 20 trees, but I was amazed that it wasn't a
much greater number.
Also, check out "ECHO" which stands for Educational Concerns for
Hunger Organization. Their URL is:
Their seed catalog adds the following:
"Moringa Tree (Moringa oleifera). These seeds have been the biggest
success in ECHO's seedbank, due to its many edible parts and its
ability to survive in arid regions. It is a vegetable tree. The
large frilly leaves can be broken off easily at the stem. The tiny
leaflets can then be quickly pulled off between the fingers. Tender
growing tips can be cooked stem and all. Boil as any spinach, then
eat with vinegar or your favorite sauce for greens. For more
recipes, look in Filipino cookbooks under malunggay.
In the extreme south the tree will probably live through the winter
but may be killed to the ground. Even where no freeze damage occurs
some people cut it back to about 4 feet each year to force the
leaves to be closer to the ground for ease of harvesting. Dr.
Peterson (developer of the 'Beta III' high carotene carrot) reported
that his moringa, started in the greenhouse, grew to 8 feet in
Wisconsin and seems to have potential as an annual vegetable up
there! When trees are about 3-4 feet tall they can be pulled out of
the ground and the roots grated and used like horseradish. Very
young pods can be cooked like asparagus. (You will not get pods in
Wisconsin.) Blossoms are also edible.
Seeds of the moringa should be planted about an inch deep. If the
growing season is short they can be planted inside and later
transplanted. Under ideal conditions with a long growing season the
tree can easily be 15 feet tall in a year. If grown for the leaves,
begin harvesting the growing tips when the plant is about 4 feet
tall. This will force side branches and form a bushy plant.
Otherwise it will become tall and lanky."
For even more info at ECHO, go on to the next URL.
Also, check out the writeup on M. stenopetela following the remarks
on "M. oleifera" in the above URL.
This tree, I believe, should be rated "excellent" as a multi-purpose
tree and it should surely be used to its greatest potential by all
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