March 2005

Gourmet Greens – Amaranthus spp., Brassica spp., Lepidium spp Etc..



Origin: World




Healthy, tasty, full of nutrition and rich in dietary fiber, Gourmet Greens are wonderful. Not only are they easy to grow, even in northern climates, with the aid of cold frames, cloches, and greenhouses; many can be grown year-round. 

For all of you sick of digging out from the latest snowstorm, the promise of fresh, tender greens has to be irresistible. So although the list is long, there are three Gourmet Greens which I think deserve special notice especially at this time of the year.

Young Amaranth (Amaranthus spp.) plants are rich in protein, especially the amino acid lysine, as well as other vitamins, minerals and dietary fibers. The seeds are also quite healthy additions  to breads, hot cereals and muffins.  

Mustard Greens (Brassica juncea) are a staple of oriental cuisines, adding color and zest to any salad when young. Cold tolerant, they are a good source of protein, thiamin, riboflavin, dietary fiber, vitamins A, C and B6.

Although a mustard family member, Cress (Lepidium sativum) is among the earliest to germinate. Its peppery sweet taste can add a unique touch to any salad. And again, Cress is another plant rich in calcium, phosphate and vitamins A and C.    

 Not only are Gourmet Greens an economical way to diversify your garden, they can also enrich you and your pet's diet.




Growing Tip:

For a steady harvest of gourmet greens, try sowing successively at two week intervals from early spring through late summer.