Edible Season: What To Look For At the Market

January 30, 2018
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ARUGULA A
ASPARAGUS M A
BEETS F M A
CABBAGE A
CHARD M A
GREEN ONIONS M A
HERBS F M A
KOHLRABI A
LEEKS F M A
LETTUCE M A
MIXED LEAFY GREENS F M A
—Collard, Kale, Mustard, Turnip
PEAS M A
—Sugar, Snap and Green
RADISHES F M A
STRAWBERRIES A
SCALLIONS F

Always in Season

HYDROPONICALLY GROWN VEGETABLES
ARTISAN CHEESES
—Cow, Goat, Sheep
LOCAL PASTURED EGGS
—Chicken, Duck, Quail
LOCAL MEATS
LOCAL MILK
—Cow, Goat, Sheep
HONEY
TILAPIA
TROUT

Growing Asian Greens

Generally speaking, Asian greens are easy to grow. Most are in the cabbage (Brassica) family, which for the Upstate means they’re fall or spring-planted. They can be either direct seeded or transplanted. Seeds should be planted ¼” deep and 2” apart.

Asian greens offer a wide range of times to maturity. Garland chrysanthemum can be picked in as few as 21 days. Mizuna and giant red mustard provide baby leaves for harvest within 30 – 40 days. Bok choy and flowering mustard take a little longer to mature. One of my favorites is Chinese Thick Stem mustard, from the Even’ Star series of cold-hardy vegetables; it’s a little more forgiving of poorly-drained clay soils. If you’re looking for a more ornamental variety that can be interplanted with ornamentals, the bright purple stems of the new Benihoushi mizuna from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed may fit the bill.

Both the leaves and the flowers of Asian greens can be eaten. In fact, if you allow your brassicas to flower in the spring instead of pulling them up when they bolt, their beautiful yellow flowers will also provide food for beneficial insects at a time when other sources of nourishment may be scarce.

Asian greens do best in soil with a pH of 6.0 – 6.5. If you don’t know your soil’s pH, be sure to take a soil test and have it analyzed at Clemson University: http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/other/soils/hgic1652.html

Although mustards can be planted as early as February 1st and cabbages as early as February 15th, it may be easier to remember that March 1st is a safe planting date for all your greens.

Article from Edible Upcountry at http://edibleupcountry.ediblecommunities.com/recipes/edible-season-what-look-market-0
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