Does anyone else here grow epazote?

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pepperhead212
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Re: Does anyone else here grow epazote?

#21

Post: # 7285Unread post pepperhead212
Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:15 pm

Definitely try the red epazote, if you can get the seeds (I got them at tradewindsfruit, but they are out of them). I saved a bunch this last season, though I always use cuttings.

I got hooked on epazote years ago, and found the green variety as a weed all over the area, and I had a patch behind my shed, and it just re-seeded itself every year. But one super cold winter (for this area, at least - low single digits) it seemed to kill the seeds - it never came up, and I didn't see the weeds around for quite a while. So I ordered that red epazote, and grew the stuff in a Jr EB the first season. Here's a photo showing the size the leaves got to (and I don't have small hands!):
ImageDSCF0299 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

It got too rootbound in the EB, so from then on, I planted it elsewhere. Every fall, I root some cuttings, and grow one in the hydroponics, then root some cuttings in the spring, to plant outside. The one in the hydro grows incredibly fast, with just one plant overgrowing things quickly. Here's a photo showing the plant just 3 weeks after planting a single stalk cutting:
ImageEpazote planted in hydroton by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageEpazote, just 3 weeks after planting a rooted cutting. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

And here it was overgrown a couple years ago, I think:
ImageEpazote by pepperhead212, on Flickr

The leaves don't get very red inside, under the lights, compared to outside. When that thing overgrows, I trim it back, about once a month, then take it up to the local Mexican grocery/restaurant. The first time I took it him, the owner couldn't believe it - he wanted to know where I got it, because it is the "really good stuff" - the best epazote, that he can't get for his restaurant, and even in Mexico you can't get it everywhere! I told him that I didn't want to throw it out, and I only use it occasionally, so I have to trim it about once every 4-5 weeks, getting a grocery bag full of it each time. He gives me deals any time I buy my ingredients there. Last week I took him a bag of it, and he opened it and smelled it and said "Oooohhhh - ecstasy!" Funny how some people like that smell so much - I think it's just anticipating the delicious food that will come from it. Curry leaves are another like that.
Woodbury, NJ zone 6B-7

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Re: Does anyone else here grow epazote?

#22

Post: # 7381Unread post Shule
Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:40 pm

Awesome. Thanks for the pictures and information. That's great to know about the restaurant!

I like the smell of it, personally, about as much as I like the smell of most other herbs. Speaking of the gasoline comparison, I love the smell of fresh gasoline, but I don't think it smells like epazote.

If you ever make sweet potato soup (not that I recommend sweet potato soup, as it's really sweet for soup), try cooking in some epazote! It doesn't particularly improve the flavor, but I'd love to hear about your experience, and how you feel while/after eating it.

I'm tempted to bake epazote into bread, eggs, and other stuff. I actually wonder if they ever add epazote to conchas. I think they're the first thing I thought of when I tasted epazote.
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pepperhead212
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Re: Does anyone else here grow epazote?

#23

Post: # 7411Unread post pepperhead212
Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:26 pm

Early on, the main recipes I used epazote in (all I could get back then was dried, until I saw it in weeds) were bean recipes, mostly black beans. When Bayless started publishing his books, I started getting recipes with much more epazote, often up to 1/4 c chopped epazote. I never had any of them that I didn't like!
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Re: Does anyone else here grow epazote?

#24

Post: # 22143Unread post TXTravis
Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:45 pm

Sorry to resurrect and oldish post, but I've been halfheartedly on the lookout for a good source of seeds since I took that cooking class in Mexico that one time. Any suggestions? Primary way we've used it/seen it used is in beans, and it adds that extra little bit of something they otherwise always lack. Pinto beans are a Texan staple, so I'd like to have this in my garden.
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Re: Does anyone else here grow epazote?

#25

Post: # 22161Unread post pepperhead212
Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:50 pm

I have some lambsquarters started from seed, and epazote of clones, from the hydroponics. Here is a photo taken of the okra, but it sort of shows the red epazote in those 3 front spots.
ImageLittle Lucys, showing size on 6-9 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Here's the start of the epazote in November:
ImageBasils and epazote, 11-1 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

And here's the same bed, still producing well in March:
ImageHydroponics herbs, 3-13-20, still doing great! by pepperhead212, on Flickr

I have a lot of the seeds for the red epazote, if anybody wants some.
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Re: Does anyone else here grow epazote?

#26

Post: # 31943Unread post pepperhead212
Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:31 pm

I got the epazote in the hydroponics for this off-season - that took a little longer to root than some others, but once it sets, it will need trimming more often than anything, except maybe the peppermint.
ImageEpazote rooted, ready to go into the clay pellets. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageEpazote clone set in the clay pellets, 10-04-20 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Re: Does anyone else here grow epazote?

#27

Post: # 33317Unread post pepperhead212
Sat Oct 31, 2020 1:22 pm

That hydro epazote is over 8" now, with another branch started at the base of every leaf.
ImageEpazote in the hydro, 10-31 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

And I was amazed that the 34° night last night didn't kill it, but it still looks great!
ImageRed Epazote, after 34° night. by pepperhead212, on Flickr


And here's one of my Earthboxes that sat right behind the plants in the front row, showing how they re-seed itself. Yet, I have never had the seeds last through the winter, and pop up in the spring, like the green epazote used to. I always take some cuttings from the hydro plant, come spring, though the seeds do save well, and obviously, plant well!
ImageRed Epazote, growing as weeds in the okra earthbox. by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Re: Does anyone else here grow epazote?

#28

Post: # 53126Unread post pepperhead212
Sun Aug 29, 2021 3:05 pm

This year was the first year I found a volunteer red epazote! I always assumed that the seeds were killed by cold, unlike the regular green, which re-seeds with no problem! And no flowers on the original plant yet, so it's definitely from previous seed. I think it may be because the winter was mild - only down to 17° a couple of times, while it usually gets to the single digits at least a couple of times. And it came up through the landscape fabric!
ImageVolunteer red epazote, about 18 inches tall. 8-29 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

This year I was a little behind starting this, but it is taking off now. The main plant is about 30 inches tall, so I pinched off the growth point, and immediately the axilliary buds at the base of every leaf started growing! In just 2 days, most are over 2" long, with a few leaves each.
ImageRed Epazote, about 30 inches tall, starting to branch out. 8-29 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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mama_lor
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Re: Does anyone else here grow epazote?

#29

Post: # 53156Unread post mama_lor
Mon Aug 30, 2021 6:05 am

I've learned the hard way that real mexican food doesn't seem for me even though everyone praises it. Starting with coriander leaves, which have the same main component as the aptly named stink bug. Recently I tried real tortillas made with nixtamalized corn (one main aromatic component after this process is the same as the 'foxy' aroma of concord grapes, which I find pleasant but I guess here it might be too strong). These were downright repulsive.
I kinda wanted to try epazote but I'm starting to have a feeling after reading this thread.
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Re: Does anyone else here grow epazote?

#30

Post: # 53196Unread post pepperhead212
Mon Aug 30, 2021 10:16 pm

Everyone's taste is different! I think there are a lot more of those genes, like the cilantro gene, that makes things taste totally different to some. Some people simply don't like a lot of these authentic ingredients - I see this even more with some of the Asian ingredients. Usually, I don't tell people what's in dishes, until they tell me whether they like it or not! And I definitely don't let them sample or smell the ingredients, unless I already know they are like me...but then, most people that eat here are the adventurous type.
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Re: Does anyone else here grow epazote?

#31

Post: # 53211Unread post worth1
Tue Aug 31, 2021 6:15 am

mama_lor wrote:
Mon Aug 30, 2021 6:05 am
I've learned the hard way that real mexican food doesn't seem for me even though everyone praises it. Starting with coriander leaves, which have the same main component as the aptly named stink bug. Recently I tried real tortillas made with nixtamalized corn (one main aromatic component after this process is the same as the 'foxy' aroma of concord grapes, which I find pleasant but I guess here it might be too strong). These were downright repulsive.
I kinda wanted to try epazote but I'm starting to have a feeling after reading this thread.
Saying real Mexican food is like saying real American or to be more correct real USA food since Mexico is part of North America.
It's a Huge country with many varieties of flavors and ingredients.
But I know what you mean with the stereotypecle food we see here in restaurants.
Its like going to Italy and seeing all the food they eat besides pizza and pasta.
Or Germany and seeing things besides sausage and sauerkraut.
Cesars salad came from Mexico.
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