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Friday Rookie Topic VI: Mustard Greens

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Friday Rookie Topic VI: Mustard Greens

Post  walshevak on 5/24/2012, 9:17 pm

Growing mustard greens is something that may be unfamiliar to many gardeners, but this spicy green is quick and easy to grow. It was always one of the first spring crops in my dad's garden.

I'm from the South and curly mustard greens cooked with ham hock or cured side meat have been a part of my diet for as long as I can remember, although these days I omit the meat when cooking. In another post, it was suggested that smoked turkey can be substituted for the ham hock. Traditionally, the greens were just cooked in a pot of boiling salty water until tender. These spicy, bitter greens complement pork and strong flavored or spicy sauced meats.

The term “mustard” is used to describe several plants in the Brassica and Sinapis genera which are used as sources of food. There are a number of different types of mustard which are cultivated for different products, including greens and leaves. The incredible diversity and flexibility of mustard plants can cause them to pop up in a wide variety of places, from traditional American Southern cuisine to fiery Indian curries. Mustards used for greens are Fordhook Fancy, Green Wave (long standing), Osaka Purple, Florida Broadleaf (most popular variety in the South), and Southern Giant Curled (curled type used in processing). Very many other excellent varieties and types are available with different leaf textures and colors. Consult seed catalogues for various conventional and other ethnic types.

 

Mustard greens are one of the earliest things to be direct sowed in my garden as they can go in a few weeks before the last frost and are super easy to grow. They are also an excellent part of the fall garden as they improve in flavor after a light frost. But until I started researching for this Rookie Topic I didn't focus on other aspects of growing mustard for the seeds and how healthy the greens are.

[url=http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=93]http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=93[/url]

.

So how to grow it. Plant the seed 9 to a square about 3 weeks before the last frost or start plants inside and set out transplants 2-3 weeks before the last frost. Begin to harvest when leaves are about the size of your hand. It is a cut and come again vegetable that cannot take heat and will bolt very quickly when the weather turns hot. I like to make at least 2 plantings a few weeks apart to insure a supply of tender, young leaves as the bitter flavor intensifies as the leaves get bigger.

[url=http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/vegetable/growing-mustard-greens.htm]http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/vegetable/growing-mustard-greens.htm[/url]
[url=http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/3477/how-to-grow-mustard/page/all]http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/3477/how-to-grow-mustard/page/all[/url].

an article on growing mustard for seeds for spice and for making your own mustard spread.

[url=http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/herb/growing-mustard-seed.htm]http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/herb/growing-mustard-seed.htm[/url]

Here is an Asian twist on cooking mustard greens.

Mustard Greens Recipe

Ingredients



1/2 cup thinly sliced onions

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 pound mustard greens, washed and torn into large pieces

2 to 3 Tbsp chicken broth or vegetable broth (vegetarian option)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil

Method

1
In a large sauté pan, sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat until the onions begin to brown and caramelize, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more, until fragrant.

2
Add the mustard greens and broth and cook until the mustard greens are just barely wilted. Toss with sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4.

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic VI: Mustard Greens

Post  RoOsTeR on 5/24/2012, 10:08 pm

Kay, thanks for a great rookie topic I love mustard greens, but have never grown them. I've taken and love the greens from radish and beets, but for some reason never thought much about planting greens. I love em with hot vinegar and thick pepper bacon Very Happy
Thanks again! I really enjoyed this topic and will for sure be planting some greens for fall Wink

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic VI: Mustard Greens

Post  RoOsTeR on 5/25/2012, 7:37 am

Walsh, what are some of your favorite or preferred greens?

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic VI: Mustard Greens

Post  walshevak on 5/25/2012, 8:48 am

Even when I was row gardening, I alway planted 7 top turnips (for the greens), curly mustard, and vates collards. Even my kids loved their greens.

Lived in Fairfax, VA (DC area) and planted the garden on Memorial Day weekend. Kentucky Wonder green beans, cukes and yellow squash on the fence, bell peppers, cayenne peppers (for hot pepper vinegar on the collards) and tomatos. Are my southern roots showing? Smile Notice all are either cut and come again or continuous producers. Never any root veggies that took up space and gave 1 harvest and only did broccoli one time for same reason. Don't know why I didn't plant kale because we all loved it. Now it is a must have.

Never bothered with spring crops of lettuce and spinach and hadn't heard of chard. Now all of those are must haves too. And I'm experimenting with some of the asian veggies. Purple mustard, malibar spinach and snow/sugar snap peas bok choy. Purple mustard will not come back to my garden but sugar snap peas and bok choy are a definate yes, and we will see on the malibar spinach.

Herbs have gotten a place also. Various basils, dill, oregano, rosemary, mint, and parsley.

Kay

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic VI: Mustard Greens

Post  curio on 5/25/2012, 9:28 am

I actually prefer the Seven Top turnip greens to most of the rest, with collards being a close second.
I do like mustard and kale if mixed in with at least one of the favorites. This is the first year I've planted kale, but have always had a bumper crop of turnip greens. This year, I have three squares to harvest from now, and a fourth just starting out (second leaves in place). I plan to succession plant one of the three when I harvest this crop. I have to pull them within the next few weeks so my squash plants can go in and not be shaded.

I like using hickory seasoning instead of the ham hocks in my beans and greens... but there is NOTHING to compare to the flavor of cooked bacon (with some of the drippings) used as a seasoning when it comes to flavor.

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic VI: Mustard Greens

Post  Daniel9999 on 5/25/2012, 9:48 am

I like my mustard greens with bacon and bit of finely minced canned chipotle.

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic VI: Mustard Greens

Post  mijejo on 5/25/2012, 2:11 pm

Kay, thank you for such an informative Rookie Topic. I especially appreciate the recipe, and even more so, that it includes a vegetarian option. I grow mustard. It is very hardy, and I love the colors and textures of the leaves in my garden. However, I do not know how to prepare it. Usually, people indicate that ham hocks or bacon are a requisite. Since understanding how the meat industry treats animals, I have chosen to no longer support their cruelty and abuse. Alas, it requires tenacity to learn new ways to cook old foods. Thanks to you, I have another option with mustard.

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic VI: Mustard Greens

Post  cheyannarach on 5/25/2012, 11:51 pm

Kay, I love your rookie topic and am curious about turnip greens, I do have turnips growing in the garden, do I just eat the greens Embarassed cooked or uncooked? I must get my hands on some of these mustard greens. Thanks for the topic and the awesome recipe!

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic VI: Mustard Greens

Post  subsonic on 5/26/2012, 2:10 am

the rookie topics are top notch, even for seasoned gardeners

keep them up as they are a valuable resource for everyone

kind of like SFG for dummies

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic VI: Mustard Greens

Post  walshevak on 5/26/2012, 11:22 am

@cheyannarach wrote:Kay, I love your rookie topic and am curious about turnip greens, I do have turnips growing in the garden, do I just eat the greens Embarassed cooked or uncooked? I must get my hands on some of these mustard greens. Thanks for the topic and the awesome recipe!

Treat the greens of turnips just like mustard greens. I don't recommend them raw, but if young enough maybe. I've never grown turnips for roots, although I love them. The Seven Top variety I use doesn't make a big root so try a different variety, purple top maybe. Also, because I'm growing for greens I sow them about an inch apart. If growing for turnips you would have to leave more root space.

When you harvest the root DO NOT THROW AWAY THE GREENS. Old southern way of cooking turnips includes a mix of greens and roots in the same pot with a little seasoning meat or bacon drippings.

I must tell a tale about my mother. We moved from the farm in NC to Kansas City, Mo in summer of 1949. (yes, I know I'm old) Not being used to shopping for veggies at a mid-west grocery story, she was always disappointed to only find the turnip roots. One day she was in the produce dept. and the guy was carefully cutting off all the turnip greens before putting the roots on the cooler for sale and throwing the greens in a box. My mother asked him what he was going to do with the greens and he said, toss em in the trash. Mom asked and received a big box of turnips greens FREE and learned to watch the produce guy as a lot of stuff we alway ate was being thrown out. Since Dad was in school (GI Bill) it often made a big difference in our food availability. Marked down overripe bananas make the best ice cream.

Kay

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic VI: Mustard Greens

Post  cheyannarach on 5/26/2012, 10:12 pm

That was a great story Kay, I am in KC right now sitting in front of the AC, ugh, the humidity is killing me. I am growing purple tops so I will deffinately hang on to the greens!

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic VI: Mustard Greens

Post  walshevak on 5/27/2012, 12:07 am

Well think about 1950. summer, the only things airconditioned were a few big department stores and the movie theater. Razz Admission was 25 cents for 3 movies, news reels, serials, from 12 noon til 5pm Sat afternoon. Tom Mix, Gene Autry, Tex Ritter, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Abbot and Costello, Superman, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers.

Cheap child sitter. But that quarter would pay for enough chicken for dinner for 3 to go with the garden veggies. so didn't get to go every Sat.

Kay















c

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic VI: Mustard Greens

Post  cheyannarach on 5/27/2012, 12:24 am

I couldn't imagine living here, especially with no AC, lol, I must be a wuss but I can hardly breath here.

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic VI: Mustard Greens

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