Vitamin Greens

25 Mar


I find vitamin greens to be an excellent green, hardy and productive. As a brassica it is loaded with healthy nutrients, but has little of that brassica taste. You can grow it summer or winter around Willits. My winter crops of vitamin greens survived down to 17 degrees, and the summer crops were holding fine when all the lettuces and like were bolting like mad. This year’s winter “crop” is finally bolting in Mid-March after the warmest (and driest) winter on record, and I expect my volunteer summer greens to come in as these go out.

I originally planted it in a raised-bed but unbeknownst to me it dripped seed down on ground which was about 70% rock (ergo the raised bed), and sprouted and was doing fine. The next year it had grown into a modest patch, competing well with the weeds. It does get watered when needed. Small plants have also sprung up in other adjoining ground-level beds – not hard to weed if that is a problem. So it is a very nutritious, somewhat invasive weed. So long as it is a nutritious tasty green I feel, “Let it spread”, and where you don’t want it, just pull it out (it’s not hard to weed).

The leaves are soft and pliable but crinkly, that is, it is more like a loose-leaf mild-tasting cabbage, or a winter romaine lettuce. I in fact will use it as lettuce if it is a strong tasting sandwich. As potherb it steams down quickly, with a very mild flavor, and quite juicy.

Bill Bruneau, Bountiful Gardens

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