1st up is Wrinkled Crinkled Cress- a cute little wonder that germinated in a day- and that was in a raised bed in the greenhouse (the experimental bed that I put on top of a bench). It has a spicy, hot taste to it and is a nice green color- a perfect addition to my spring salad mix. In the fall I'll sow some late to see how well it does over winter.
This little baby is ready to harvest as baby in 21 days- so I'll be sowing this one every 10-14 days. I sow them thick in a 2" band instead of a row. The radish-like flavor is good in salad or sandwiches- according to the packet. It is also hardy! Cress Lepidium sativum
Next up is Hon Tsai Tai- and don't ask me how to say it ;). Ready in 37 days this crop is similar to broccoli raab, but has dart purple stems and the leaf veins. It should be harvested when the flower buds are just about to open, but I was thinning. Mine don't have that brilliant purple color in the stems yet- but I'm hoping it will as it gets older. Good in salads or stir frys. Moderately hardy Brassica rapa var chinesis
And lastly, my favorite Shanghai Green Pac Choy. 45 days to maturity, this is a baby to mid-sized green choy. So cute and tasty whole in stir frys! Hardy annual. Harvest each leaf at whatever size you want or cut the whole plant at soil level. Asian Greens Brassica rapa var chinesis
In the near future I'm hoping to get my 'Crop Info' page going- any crop I really like will go here- with all the information you'd need to start your own. In time, I suppose.
I wanted to throw in another crop- not new this year, but last. Frisee Endive. I usually don't care for the bitter greens, but this one isn't too bad. I tied up a few of them (blanching) to get the insides nice and white- like you find in salad mix bags at the produce store. Worked out pretty good- I'm hoping the others, since I'll be harvesting them later, will be whiter.
And finally an experiment- I have a variety that grows so fast and before I know it it's huge. For anyone that's had my salad mixes you know I prefer leaving everything whole leaf- preferably baby leaves- if not at least whole so they last longer. The variety Merveille des Quatre Saisons or Marvel of 4 Seasons is a beauty of a bouquet- that is for sure, but one that I need to harvest as a whole plant- but how do I get it to the local produce store I sometimes give my stuff to for sale, without is wilting on the way? I'm not sure if you've seen the lettuce that comes in a tight, round, plastic container that has it's roots wrapped up under it or not- but I thought I'd experiment. I took on Marvel and also another one called Emerald Oak (another beauty) and pulled them out root and all in early morning. Using the hose I cleaned off the roots really well. Then I wrapped the roots up around themselves in a ball and stored it in a container that has holes in the bottom of it- adding a little water underneath. This container is supposed to keep your produce nice and although I prefer to keep my greens in a bag- with as much air removed as I can, it doesn't do too bad at keeping things crisp.
Marvel of 4 Seasons lettuce
Well, they stayed crisp all day and into the evening, plenty of time to get it to the produce store- but by morning Marvel had lost it- Emerald Oak looked fine, however. It was a good experiment.
And what a beautiful bouquet!
In other news the Claytonia is done for the season- my neighbor's chickens love it so I pulled the remaining ones out and gave them to them. A great hardy winter crop!
The Magenta Spreen is getting bigger- but I did see a few aphids on it. It sort-of has a sour taste like a mild lemon, kinda. Not really that appealing to me, but it adds so much to a salad picked whole like this- with that bright magenta color! That color rubs off on your fingers too- it's like a powder and will wash off so taking care with washing is a must. That makes it a crop that takes too much time to process- so I may only add it not and again.
That's all for now- Happy gardening!