Our New Autumn Edibles

MustardAlong with the traditional fall crops, such as broccoli and edible cabbages, this year we decided to add a line of fancy Asian and European greens as well. They look good, taste good, and have an interesting backstory, so your vegetable table will feature some unique selections to browse.

If you are interested in purchasing any of our autumn edible crops, be sure to call John or Rachel to request them. Our production run was limited.

In alphabetical order:

Amaranth Redleaf

Amaranth is a broad leaf green popular in Chinese and Vietnamese stir-fries and soups. The distinctive black or red center mark will sometimes tint a clear broth. Also grown as an ornamental crop, it’s used like ipomeas, although it doesn’t trail as much.



Basil ‘Amethyst’ is a Genovese style basil with a very dark purple hue. It’s basil, so it will be very tender in the garden and in the kitchen. Use it to make a Purple Pesto. Cut off the blooms to avoid a bitter aftertaste.


Bull Blood Beets

Bull’s Blood Beet is an heirloom that does surprisingly well in hot, dry soils with uneven watering. Its sweet, crunchy roots are best when harvested as baby beets. Leaves are very glossy and dark, making it a dramatic ornamental border in the garden. It can also be used as a high-contrast green in mixed salads. Plants will supply winter greenery until the snow cover cuts off the light.



Mustards: We have three kinds of edible mustards that also have ornamental value:

  • ‘Garden Giant’ has mild flavor and broad salad-style leaves. Baby leaves are very tender; use mature leaves in soups and stir-fries.
  • ‘Ruby Streak’ is the prettiest of the baby mustards we sell. The extra-frilly leaves will darken to red as the weather cools. Mild and tender at any size, this variety is best as a baby leaf.
  • ‘Scarlet Frills’ is a Japanese purple mustard. It works as a salad green or as a garnish to top vegetables, potatoes or meat. Leaves are very lacy and have a mildly spicy bite. Mature leaves have the sharpest flavor, so they are perfect for livening up clear soups like chicken broth.



Radicchio ‘Fiero’ is the red gourmet salad green that grows in a tight ball like a small cabbage. Its sharp flavor adds a kick to fancy mixed green salads.



Shiso ‘Britton’ is a two-toned Asian leaf: green on the top and red on the bottom. The flavor is mild like basil with a slight hint of mint, so it adds a little touch of sweetness to a salad mix. While small leaves work well in salads, larger leaves can actually be used as sushi wraps.



Shiso ‘Red’ is that mystery leaf you sometimes see holding the wasabi in sushi restaurants. Older gardeners will remember it as Beefsteak Plant because of its dark purple hues. When brined in vinegar, ‘Red’ gives the pickled plum its distinctive color. It has a very sharp flavor.



Swiss Chard ‘Rhubarb Red’ is one of several rainbow-colored chards to hit the market recently. This one has dramatic red stems that contrast with its pale green leaves.


By now, you can see our approach to vegetables is very similar to our approach to accents and ornamentals. We like striking colors, distinctive personalities, and an interesting, diverse selection. It’s fun to garden, and we think more people will garden if they have fun plants to grow.