Saturday, June 6, 2009

First salad of spring

I'm lucky. I live in a wealthy society, in a modern era in which I can get fresh greens all year long. These include nice, tasty mixed salad greens in the middle of February.

That said, they pale in comparison to last week's salad of fresh greens. It was the first salad of the year from my garden, and it was wonderful. The greens were full of flavour, especially the peppery arugula (which is known in the UK by the much cooler name "rocket") and the mustard greens. The leaves on my standard mustard greens develop a slightly hairy texture when they get bigger than a couple inches across, but the giant red mustard greens don't seem to do so.

The radishes are abundant. I've two varieties, and the first ones are a rich purple on the outside, creamy white on the inside, with a mild flavour. They were well-suited to the salad, which my six-year-old son shared. I can't wait until he pulls up his first purple carrot.

Readers: the squirrels are wreaking havoc on some parts of my garden. Companion planting will probably help, and I got a lot of good advice from How to Grow More Vegetables, but those companions are just sprouting. Any tips?

For my season's initial ideas for the garden and some handy links (including an interactive planting calendar), click here.


KarenInTo said...

Lush! I envy you. I do have some dandelion greens I could, like Mark Twain with cauliflower, cook up and throw out. Were the rhododendrons just a nice touch for the post, or are the flowers edible?

Craig Saunders said...

The rhodos are just eye candy. They're near the head of one of the beds. When I moved in last year and hacked through the six-foot weeds, there was the rhododendron. As if to thank me, it immediately came out in full and glorious bloom.

To the best of my knowledge, you can't eat rhododendron flowers. I'm no expert on edible flowers, but have a few in the garden that I'll use, including chives and nasturtiums.

There's an edible flowers list here: