Thursday, November 24, 2011


Chop Suey Greens
Tung Ho
Garland Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum coronarium
Glebonis coronaria.

So many names, all for one fabulous plant!

This is a great plant. For me it ticks all of the boxes.

Ornamental. So pretty! Who can resist those yellow flowers?

Tasty. The leaves and ray petals of this plant are delicious. The leaves have a savoury/floral flavour. They are best added at the end of cooking, or with warm broth poured over raw leaves to wilt them, or young leaves are great raw in salads or included in sushi. The flowers can be made into a pickle, eaten raw as a garnish, or used as a tea.

Beneficial. Most members of the daisy family have flowers that attract beneficial insects to the garden. Hoverflies, lacewings, bees. It flowers early, and for a really long time.

Healthy. According to one of my very favourite books, it is high in vitamin A and folate, and the flowers contain good levels of vitamin K. It is said to be anti-inflamatory and anti oxidant and the flowers apparently have anti tumour properties. The leaves have been used to treat stomach disorders and eliminate phlegm.

Easy to grow. I planted this once, and from there it has had babies here and there in the garden. It is an annual, but late plantings overwinter and flower early in Spring.

Funky. Here we grow food for fun. New flavours, textures and experiences are all found outside my door. Putting something new on the table always stimulates conversation as well as appetite.

Broad leaf form. Gorgeous barely wilted in a hot broth.
Fine leaf form. Lovely raw in salads.
We supply this plant as seed for you to sow, as plants (I have serrate leaf and large leaved varieties in pots for your garden), or as cut greens and flowers for the kitchen. It will grow seemingly anywhere, but give it good, composted soil (or great potting mix in a good sized pot), plenty of water and a good amount of sun and it will thrive.

Come and see us at Farm Gate this Sunday the 27th of November for your piece of shungiku action!

We'll also have the last of our tomato and tomatillo plants, loads of basil seedling punnets- holy, common, Greek and purple varieties, along with plenty of other herbs and garden goodies.

And some other things that made us happy this week....

Aphid hunter.

Turnips. Snowball, Purple-top-Milan, Des Vertus Marteau, Goldball.