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Navarrete-Tindall , Nadia [1], Weber, Paul [1], Bartelette, W. Sue [1], Jacome Alvarez, M. Isabel [2].

Protecting and Growing Allium tricoccum (wild leeks) as a Specialty Crop in Missouri.

Allium tricoccum (wild leeks) is an edible plant native to most of Eastern United States and Canada that grows naturally in deciduous forests. In Missouri, wild leeks are documented in 19 counties. Threat of overharvest in Eastern States like West Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia and New York has prompted adaptation of conservation measures. In Missouri, wild leeks are not as popular as in these states but the risk of depleting natural populations exists. Before this occurs, the Native Plants Program at Lincoln University is doing outreach and education using research based data done in other states. Part of this study includes evaluating wild leeks as specialty crops to discourage digging in the wild. Five farmers for the Central and Southeast region of Missouri are doing their own observations. Plant growth will be measured for 3 or more years at LU campus in raised beds, pots and field plots. Preliminary results on numbers of bulbs per plant and bulb size showed no differences for wild leeks grown in pots with three different soil media. Survival was close to 98% and animal disturbance and diseases were not observed. Wild leeks acceptability is being tested, in 2015, during food tasting sessions, volunteers tried and rated flavor, aroma, texture, appearance and acceptability of recipes with wild leeks.Average rates for flavor, texture, aroma, presentation and overall acceptability of five recipes containing wild leeks was 4.2 to 4.5, with 5.0 being excellent. More evaluations will be done in 2016. The best recipes are served in an annual event called Dining Wild to promote wild leeks and other native edibles in a full course meal. One of the expected outcomes is to make wild leeks available in farmers markets across Missouri by 2017. This study receives funding from the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the USDA.


1 - Lincoln University of Missouri, Cooperative Extension, 900 Chestnut Street, Jefferson City, MO, 65101, USA
2 - Lincoln University of Missouri, Cooperative Extension, 900 Chestnut Street, Jefferson City, MO, 65101, u

Keywords:
Native edible plants
niche crops
forest farming
Specialty Crops.

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Number:
Abstract ID:24
Candidate for Awards:None