Everyone’s been waiting for them: the spring greens! And every year, we refine our collection of them (we’re like vegetable curators), growing the ones we think are the coolest around!
Here’s the roundup of spring greens we’re harvesting right now:
Look at that leaf size! And they get even larger. This is a really cool green called Senposai. It’s a cross between cabbage and a tender Japanese green called Komatsuna. It looks like a collard green but without any of the toughness. Senposai has a soft, pliable leaf with enough strength to contain your favourite wrap ingredients. It is perfect for wraps because you don’t need to cook it to make it easy to chew. It is also a delicious addition to any soup or stir-fry, just add it at the end because it doesn’t take long to cook. We are thrilled to be growing this one, last season was the first we were able to get our hands on the seeds!
This one is Tokyo Bekana. She is mild-mannered, sweet, and very bright. Just look at her lime green colouring! Tokyo Bekana offers the health benefits of the Brassica family with the look, mild flavour, and tenderness of a leaf lettuce. One of our favourites!
Here we’ve got Bok Choi, Yokatta-na (which is similar to Tatsoi but with more upright leaves), and Moulin Rouge Choi Sum with the fun purple stems. So great for spring salads…all their stems are crisp and crunchy and sweet. Kind of 2 vegetables in one with the tender leaves and crisp stems. Great for stir fries and make a killer spring kimchi! These can all be used as a substitute for spinach.
Spring is a good time to add some bite to your meals and this beautiful red mustard called Garnet Giant is perfect for that. When eaten raw, the flavour will wake up your taste buds after the long winter. When braised, the spiciness transforms to sweetness. There is no “green” more stunning than this garnet-coloured mustard!
Three varieties of kale! These are not the kales we grow during the main part of the season. These are ones we specifically love for spring harvest. Red Russian, White Russian, and Siberian.
Red Russian: This is an heirloom variety of kale that has lasted over time because the flavour and tenderness is exceptional. If your grandparents were kale-lovers, this just might have been the kale they loved so dearly.
White Russian: a winner of taste tests, sweet, and bred by organic farm breeding hero Frank Morton. This variety was released through the Open Source Seed Initiative which is working against the ownership and patenting of seeds.
Siberian: This one probably has the softest of leaves so may be the best for light raw salads or sandwiches (though all kales are great “massaged” with dressing to make one fabulous and flavourful salad).
Here is the Massaged Kale Salad recipe I contributed to our local River Hebert Co-Op Cookbook:
And the wild childs (well, properly, children…)! These 2 can’t contain themselves and their wild-looking leaves are a testament to this. Frizzy Lizzy and Mizuna have serrated leaves, adding a nice texture to any salad. Frizzy Lizzy is a beautiful purple, spicy girl, the spiciest spring greens we’ve got. And Mizuna is one of our mildest. They make a great pair!