[permaculture] buckwheats

Rick Valley bamboogrove at cmug.com
Mon Apr 28 11:36:16 EDT 2003

> From: "georg parlow" <georg at websuxxess.com>

> fagopyrum cymosum

What I've gotten from a kinship view on the buckwheats- Fagopyrum,
Polygonum, Fallopia et al, is *generally* edible seeds, good nectar,
nutrient accumulators (Potassium, I read) and hollow stems (=good habitat
for little guys in compost) Many also have edible and/or herbal herbage.
It's a great family and I'm always growing and using some members of it.
Polygonum hydropiper- Candee (my phonetic spelling of the Cambodian common
name) a water-loving paddy plant- aromatic, sort of like cilantro in taste.
Or Polygonum aviculare, carpetweed, on every city street in N. Am (and
Eurasia I hear) I've seen pigeons feeding on the seeds, and it's in the
Chinese pharmacopeia with a bunch of other buckwheats.
The N. American Eriogonums love drylands; I bet some would make great
invasives elsewhere, and at the least they are wonderful nectary plants.
The BIG Japanese & Kamchatkan knotweeds are invasive- but they do make great
compost & mulch (when seed free and not the basal stem, which can root) and
the bees love 'em. A chicken yard is one non-chemical way to eliminate them.
More than half of the "How do I kill bamboo" Q's I've gotten are refering to
them- the hollow stem causes the misnaming.
I grow the annual Fagopyrum tataricum- a hulless buckwheat from the
Acadians, here I can get a crop following garlic harvest or before planting
winter brassicas in August.
And if any of the 'mercans on the list are old enough to remember the Little
Rascals show (black and white TV) did you know that Buckwheat converted to
Islam? Now he's Karim of Wheat.

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