Eat Your Leafy Greens: Summerfest Komatsuna
Over the next few weeks or months (actually it will take years for me to show you all the leafy greens that I know), I am going to introduce you to some wonderful leafy green plants. These green can be eaten raw, fried or steamed. You can make a salad just out of different leafy greens and you will have amazing combinations of flavors and textures. You will not need any other vegetables to make your salad awesome.
The leafy green that I want to introduce you to today is called Komatsuna. The variety that I grow is Summerfest. Summerfest is a fantastic green for the dinner table. Actually I like to eat mine for breakfast. It is in the brassica family (cabbage) and is considered a Japanese green. It is grown widely in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Komatsuna gets its name from the Komatsugawa district, which includes Edogawa, Katsushika and Adachi wards. It was grown as early as the Edo Period starting in 1603.
This green can be grown year round in zones 7 and higher. It can also be grown in cold frames in zones 5 and 6. Like most Asian greens it will want to flower (bolt) in the heat of the summer. If you plant in succession planting then you will have a fresh crop every few weeks and can take out the older crop when it bolts. When grown in the cooler seasons the flavor is sweeter.
I like to plant my seeds close together so I get small leaves. I plant them 1 inch apart or closer and then thin them to one inch apart. I like to harvest the leaves every week and have them in the fridge ready to go when I get up. Harvest the leaves around the outside of the plant and let the center grow new leaves.
Being in the brassica family it is susceptible to Flea beetles, cabbage looper and aphids. I use ladybugs to eat the flea beetle and aphids. My first choice for flea beetles and cabbage loopers is BT Spray. Floating row covers have been reported to keep the pests off.
Being in the cabbage family the flavor is similar to Bok Choy. It is sometimes referred to as a “spinach mustard”. When picked small it is a great substitute for spinach. It can be used in any recipe as a substitute for spinach, cabbage, bok choy or kale.
When you grow your own unique leafy greens (like summerfest) not only are you in control of your vitamin and mineral intake, you are also saving lots of money, learning a life skill and having fun. Does it get any better than this? Yes it does, the flavors that you will create when you grow your own food will be over the top. You can harvest your greens at their peak and eat them within minutes of the harvest. Yes, this is as good as it gets! What greens are you growing in your Paleo garden? Have you tried anything new? Tell me in the comments below!
Until next time, may your garden be easy, fun, productive and always organic!
P.S The weekly leafy green is just a taste of what you can find in our latest online high performance gardening course- the Leafy Greens Container Course will show you how to grow 3 cups a day of the multicolored, nutrient dense greens you can find nowhere else. If you are ready to build the garden designed for the busy modern lifestyle check out our revolutionary online course.