Plant Power: Katuk

By: Paige Myers, Intern

The Power Plant is a section of the blog designated to sharing some the awesome plants we grow here on the farm!

This issue we’re talking about Katuk; a leafy green originally from  South/Southeast Asia which is also referred to as “tropical asparagus” and “sweet leaf bush.” Let’s start with Katuk seeds. While almost everything in the tropics grows at an alarming rate, the seeds of Katuk can take up to two or three months to germinate! Raising Katuk up to production takes a lot of patience and planning! Thankfully, we have a shortcut to this: woody stem cuttings of at least four inches long can be planted in soil, where they will grow roots and become a new plant.

Katuk - Copy

Once it gets going, Katuk can grow up to one foot each week if given the proper conditions (Hint: Katuk loves half or full sun, and lots o’ nitrogen in the soil!). Once they become mature plants, it is best to prune them back regularly to encourage the plants to grow into a bush, rather than a tall single stalk that is easily blown over.

After all this plant talk, it’s time to get down to business…why should we grow Katuk?!

The primary reason for growing Katuk on our farm is that it is a delicious plant! All parts—leaves, flowers, and berries—are edible. We usually eat the fresh leaves in our salads, but they can also be cooked up with oil or fat to make a tasty dish.

Luckily for us, Katuk is not only tasty but also really nutritious. Just ½ cup of fresh leaves supplies 22% of your daily Vitamin A requirement, while also packing in 138% of your Vitamin C requirement! Katuk also has between 6-8% protein in its leaves, which is impressive for plants.

While you may not be able to grow Katuk where you live, we hope you learned a thing or two about one of the power plants on our farm!

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