Saturday, October 11, 2008


We first started growing komatsuna greens a few years ago because they were described in the Johnny's Seed catalog as Asian summer greens. Many of the greens in the brassica family (cabbage, kale, collards, tatsoi) bolt or start flowering in the long days of summer. Komatsuna does not. In fact we have had some plants keep producing for a whole year. They will start flowering in late spring.
They grow great in the summer heat here in the south and they will withstand light freezes during our increasingly mild winters (a benefit of global warming i guess). At first we harvested them by cutting off the whole plant and letting it grow back from the middle. In the fall it took too long for them to grow back. Now we harvest the outer leaves like one does with collards, leaving the center to continue to grow. This summer, after several harvests we had a problem with bacteria getting into the cut stems and causing the plants to rot. I don't think we'll have that problem with our fall crop.
Our customers really love the flavor of these greens. Our neighbor Rodney was not familiar with them nor are many people (We do not know of anyone else who grows these). He asked if he could try a taste so we pulled off a leaf and we ate a piece of the thick fleshy stem. It was juicy, tender and delicious. Now we use the stems in place of celery (which takes too long to grow so we don't) and cook the greens as you would collards or kale. Robbyn, i think this would be a good green to add to your list of dual purpose greens. It should do well in zone 9.

Eat your vegetables, especially greens, you can't eat too many!


Robbyn said...

Wow, Duane, this does look promising! Are there any other greens I might not be familiar with that do well in these zones? The only ones I've really ever tasted are the mustards, collards, turnip and beets. Thanks for the heads-up!!

Country Girl said...

I came through your blog through Robbyn, very nice! I put you on my blog roll. I have never heard of that green before but we are forever learning new things. We do not live very far from Johnny's.

duane marcus Facebook me! said...

If you have not tried the white turnip called Haikurei by all means do so. We steam it and it is sweet and beautiful. I get also these seeds from Johnny's. Greens are good too. They are ready to harvest in about 40 days.
Country Girl, nice to make your acquaintance. I've put a link to your blog on mine as well.

mary said...

Wow, Duane... This is a great find for me. I had never heard of Komatsuna, and we live even further south than you do. I am adding this, plus the turnip, to my list of seeds to purchase; and I just added you to my blog as well.
Thanks! :)