Ottawa Area Farmers are Rooting for Spring
When the eagerly awaited local spring greens start unfurling, there might be a bit of a purple haze across the land, running to shades of blue, red and even a surprising bit of black.
Here are some of the jewel-coloured, vitamin-rich new crops that are popping up this season.
Multi-coloured mustard greens:
>Dark Purple Mizuna mustard greens are spicy, possess a delicate texture and will add colour to spring salads.
“We’re starting several new specialty greens in our greenhouses, including such mustard greens as Garnet Giant and Purple Osaka,” says Leela Ramachandran of Bluegrass Farm, near Smiths Falls.
At Bryson Farms, near Shawville, Que., they’re adding Dark Purple Mizuna and Red Splendor mustard greens to the mix. “They are spicy, possess a delicate texture, have lots of colour and give ‘lift’ to a salad mix,” says Bryson Farms’ Stuart Collins.
Red romaine, blue kale:
>Bluegrass Farm is adding red mini romaine lettuce, top, to its lineup this spring.
Bluegrass Farm, which is organic and innovative with wood-fired under-floor heating in its greenhouses, is also trying out red mini romaine lettuces this spring. “The contrasting green and red mini romaines are beautiful and make a dramatic salad,” says Ramachandran. Her Bluegrass Farm is also introducing blue kale, which is rich in Vitamin A. “Not all kale is green. We like to offer a mixed bag with several kinds of cooking greens and are always looking to add more colour.”