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I want to grow capers

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hawkypork starts with ...
I am wondering if anyone is growing capers. And does anyone know where I might find a couple of bushes in Perth?

thanks
Haakon
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Fremantle
15th December 2010 2:32pm
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John says...
Herbs r us at the wanneroo markets sometimes have them. Not sure about any where else.
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Perth
15th December 2010 4:27pm
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Jantina says...
Diggers sells the plants, not sure if you can import them to WA.
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Jantina
Mt. Gambier S.A.
15th December 2010 10:37pm
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Brad says...
anyone ever tried nusturtium buds? I've read they can be pickled similar to capers and there are recipes online, but never known anyone to try it
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Brad2
G hill,Perth
20th December 2010 11:59pm
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micarle says...
My Gran used to put the flowers bud in salads all the time but i guess you could pickle them aswell brad
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micarle
 
21st December 2010 9:15am
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CJ says...
Hi there, I got my plants from Dawson's in Forrestfield a couple of months back. They were tucked in with the fruit trees.
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Perth
21st December 2010 12:10pm
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speedy says...
Hi Hawkypork,
I grow capers,
I've been picking buds for the last 3 weeks.
and pickled some of the spring shoots in vinegar for putting into salads about a month ago.
slow season so far with cooler weather though.
I have fresh (last season's) seeds if you want to try some.

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Nth Vic
22nd December 2010 9:10am
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MaryT says...
Sorry Speedy I only just picked up your email. Have replied. Hope you still have seeds for me to try.
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MaryT
Sydney
1st January 2011 8:11pm
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MaryT says...
Thank you, speedy, for the seeds which arrived this afternoon. I am sending you some stamps as a thank you. I will plant them right now.
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MaryT
Sydney
11th February 2011 3:31pm
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Baz says...
I grow capers commercially, have about 260 plants and this year have picked about 150kg and going up every year as plants get larger. Caper seeds are very hard to germinate, (first effort was 1 from 400) however I now get about 90%. Supply plants to all the Eastern states but not WA (Quaranteen). Last October Sydney Morning Herald nominated us as 1 of the top 5 foods in SA. Our brand is Kolophon Capers - Google us.
Always happy to answer questions re capers. Cheers, Barry
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Baz1
Riverland SA
3rd March 2011 3:13pm
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MaryT says...
I am still hoping that the seeds from Speedy will germinate, though it's been three weeks...
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MaryT
Sydney
3rd March 2011 5:51pm
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JK says...
I found Capers being sold at a Garden Centre near Daglish Train Station on the Fremantle line, but that was about a year back,
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JK
Perth
4th March 2011 2:48am
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Brad says...
Ok baz so what do we do to get them to germinate?
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Brad2
G Hill,Perth
5th March 2011 10:42am
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Baz says...
Old seeds, you need to break the dormancy, the most successful I have been is the Turkish uni method of soaking in Conc Sulphuric Acid (be very careful) for a few minutes to start to breakdown the hard lignum coating of the seed. Sometimes hot water (65C) helps but not always. The only method which works consistently is very fresh seeds(straight from the pod still coated with the flesh) into damp seed raising mix. Keep damp for up to 9 months, Some seeds germinate in a month, others up to 9 months, then I throw the trays out and start again.
I actually hand polinate the flowers on the bush I want as mother and keep an eye on them , and grab them the day they split. Not as hard as it sounds if you mark the berries with a peg and we are in the patch every morning. If the seed dries out, germination is a lot harder. Typical desert plant, it will germinate when it wants to and that may be in a hundred years or more.
Seeds found in old tombs (3000 years old)in the Gobi desert were still viable.
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Baz1
Riverland SA
9th March 2011 8:52am
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MaryT says...
SPEEDY I HAVE TWO SPROUTS! Not bad from seeds planted 11 February this year - much sooner than the 100 - 3000 years Baz warned us about. Hope they thrive! Thanks Speedy for preparing the seeds ahead so all I had to do was to pop them into their cells. Very happy.
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MaryT
Sydney
16th March 2011 2:03pm
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snottiegobble says...
Not interested myself, but noticed caper bushes for sale at Bunnings, Busselton this week.
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Bunbury/Busso(smack in the middle)
18th March 2011 2:11am
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speedy says...
Good to hear that Mary,
I was just going through my seedstash today and found another batch of last years caper seed.
It made me wonder how all the seeds went that I sent out.

there seem to be two impediments to the germination of caper seeds.

The first is to getting moisture through the seedcoat.
any of the following treatments could work.
Sulphuric acid carbonises it,
hot water cracks it open or softens it
and rubbing them across a sheet of sandpaper on the table (what I used) physically removes part of it.

The second is the need to stratify the seeds.
ie. to go through a winter while moist.
You can sow them out as Baz sugested and wait
or put them in moist peat for 2-3 months in the fridge should do it then sow them out into their seedraising containers
or the use of Giberellic acid (I used it at about 500ppm) to overcome the dormancy and shortcut it
to germinate relatively quickly without having to wait too long.

Having said all that though, it is nice to see seeds that you've sown down months previously wake up and germinate in the spring.
I like the surprise with some long germination seeds when they decide that conditions are right to do their thing.


good luck with them ;-)
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Speedy
Northern Vic.
21st March 2011 10:42pm
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Original Post was last edited: 21st March 2011 10:52pm
MaryT says...
Hey Speedy, only one of the two seedlings survived (the other disappeared?) and I brought it indoors a month ago. Now there are two new sprouts next to it!!
Thanks again!
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MaryT
Sydney
23rd June 2011 11:00pm
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Speedy says...
Good stuff, maybe even more will germinate yet.
no matter what treatments we use to try to get plants/seeds to grow,
sometimes they just want to do things in their own time. :-)

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Speedy
Nthn Vic.
27th June 2011 12:55am
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MaryT says...
So true, Speedy. That is mighty humbling.
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MaryT
Sydney
27th June 2011 4:02pm
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Baz says...
Hi everyone, a couple of bits of news, our website is up, kolophoncapers.com.au, and have a look in the July issue of Delicious Magazine. One of our chefs nominated us and we did very well. Cheers, Baz
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Baz2
Riverland, SA
28th June 2011 12:04am
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snottiegobble says...
Lovely display Baz, & the flowers are nice too :)
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busso (smackin the middle)
28th June 2011 12:12pm
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Dave says...
Great stuff Baz, did you say you were going into retirement? I guess things are just warming up for you : )
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Dave
Dandenongs
29th June 2011 11:15am
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Baz says...
It started as a hobby and now we have reached the national finals of the Delicious magazine produce awards. We are both flying high.

www.kolophoncapers.com.au
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Baz2
Riverland, SA
2nd July 2011 1:11am
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crystal valley says...
We have 25 plants in from Brian Noonan in SA. They are progressing but 1/2 doing better than other 1/2...PH of soil may be out of whack.
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crystal valley
SW WA
18th April 2012 3:57pm
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astrochun says...
has anyone tried to use heated germination trays to get the process started before spring ?
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astrochun
Hawthorn
7th May 2013 11:19am
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linnie says...
Hello Baz and others. I've just stumbled upon this conversation whilst trying to track down some caper plants for my son-in-law. I Usually do most of my buying from Daleys as I'm nearby, but they don't have any caper plants as far as I can see.

I looked at your website, and congratulations to you for all that is going ahead with your business, but I couldn't find any plants or seeds for sale. Is there any way I could adopt a few seeds from you Baz? It would be amazing if I could get my hands on a caper bush whichever way i can... Thank you. :-)
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linnie
CAWONGLA,2474,NSW
13th December 2014 10:32pm
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