It is officially gardening season in Northeast Missouri, and each day I dip into my large seed storage container and start a few varieties indoors and direct sow a few more in the garden. I’ve sourced most of my seeds this year from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I love that their entire collection of seed is non-GMO and non-treated, and their variety is amazing (not to mention the added bonus that they are a Missouri-based company)! I was introduced to their seed catalog last year and spent many, many hours pouring over their incredible selection, carefully deciding which varieties to plant. I was particularly smitten with their heirloom melons, and wrote about my five favorite Baker Creek varieties here.
Right now, I am focused on growing greens. When spring rolls around, I am almost certain to plant lettuce, kale, swiss chard, and collards. But this spring, I’m feeling a bit sassy, so I’m throwing a few more favorites into the mix. Baker Creek’s selection of greens is just as impressive as their melons or tomatoes. In addition to standards such as lettuce, mesclun, or kale, you can find more unique seeds such as Salad Burnet, Pepper Cress, or Red Orach.
I’ve selected five of my favorite spring greens to share with you today. These five greens are easy to grow, and will add a little diversity and flavor to your salad blend. Baker Creek has also generously donated a spring seed assortment that I will be giving away to one reader, so be sure to enter the giveaway below!
Mizuna is a delicious and tender Japanese green that you can eat raw in a salad blend, or cook like spinach. I love to graze on it straight out of the garden. I have both green Mizuna and Red Streaked Mizuna started in my garden.
Corn salad forms small rosettes of greens, as is one of the first greens of the spring. Some sow corn salad seeds in the fall, but I have been sowing starting in mid-winter, hoping for a nice mid-spring harvest.
A 6 month old Ella Rose munches on dandelion greens.
You’ll probably think me crazy, but I am actually starting dandelion seeds this spring! Our property has plenty of invasive fescue, but not a single dandelion. I miss their gorgeous blooms, and Brian loves their slightly bitter greens. Dandelions are high in iron, calcium, and potassium, and wonderful in salads.
A low crawling and spreading “weed,” purslane is high in Vitamin E and Omega 3 Fatty Acids. It also makes an amazing salad. Last summer, our neighbor Julia brought over a salad made of purslane, tomato and feta. I was instantly hooked on this combination, and for the rest of the summer, I bought purslane by the pound from a local organic farmer.
Arugula has to be one of my favorite greens. I love the somewhat spicy flavor, and use it in salads and pesto. It even tastes great cooked – I’ve been to several gourmet pizza restaurants that serve up arugula-proscuitto pizza. Yum!
Baker Creek has donated this beautiful selection of early spring greens for me to share with one lucky reader. Please enter in the widget below (US addresses only, please). Happy spring planting!