A few years ago, I discovered the joy of Asian greens.. mustard and mizuna are particular stand-out's in our garden. They're cold tolerant - lasting until mid-winter in the cold frames and the mini-hoop tunnels and can be seeded again in late February for a super early spring harvest.
When he first tried a leaf of Garnet Giant mustard, my hubby joyfully exclaimed "It tastes just like sushi!" He's a bit of a wasabi addict and most mustards certainly have a 'bite' to the leaves. When picked young, they're great in mixed salads, but once they plants have matured, they're best stir-fried or lightly steamed to reduce the hot taste. Unless you like the 'spicier' side of life!
At first, it was a bit hard to find seed for greens like mustard, mizuna and tatsoi, but now, most seed catalogues offer a good selection of these cool season veggies. I tend to buy my Asian greens from Johnnys Seeds, which carries some of our favourites - Green Wave mustard (see photo of my hand picking a leaf), Garnet Giant (see baby seedlings at left) and purple and green mizunas (green mizuna below).
Green mizuna was the first Asian green that I pushed past the borders of late spring and summer. The frosted photo was taken a few years ago in early December after about a month of frosts. At that point, I hadn't been covering the mizuna, but have since learned that it will survive nicely under a simple season extender - cold frame, mini hoop tunnel or unheated greenhouse, for example.
The garden in late autumn is such a joy.. I love to stroll up in the morning before the sun has a chance to melt the ice crystals that are covering the kales and take a peek in the various structures, which shelter our bounty of greens and root crops. The sun is shining (finally after a week of rain!) and it's time for my morning garden stroll..