Burdock, Watanabe Early
Delicious root vegetable and medicinal food. A staple in Japanese cuisine, often served braised with soy sauce and a bit of sugar or honey to accentuate its nutty, rich flavor, somewhat like artichoke. (Lots of unami, that rich meaty flavor that English doesn't have a word for.) Roots are very long and narrow. This variety is earlier and shorter than Takinogawa, so you don't need a backhoe to dig them. (Short in this case means 2 feet rather than 3.) The easiest way to grow them if you have heavy rocky soil is in a large tub--at the end of the season tip the whole thing over on a tarp and pick up the long, straight roots. Just brush them off and don't wash them til time to use them. With the dirt clinging to them, they store well. 95 days 80 seeds
Also used for detoxifying the system, as a drawing poultice, and in tea mixtures. Considered anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, balancing to the blood sugar. Makes a great base for a non-caffeinated chai.