Potential for Oriental Vegetables in Powys
by David Burridge
A pioneering trial of oriental crops has revealed some exciting new possibilities for both the home grower and commercial producer looking for varieties that will stand up to the Welsh climate.
Oriental vegetables have been grown in Britain for many years. Varieties such as Pak Choi, Chinese Cabbage, Mizuma Greens and Oriental Mustards are now grown on a regular basis and have become useful ingredients in salad packs and stir fry mixes. However, some vegetables are also still being imported from the Far East. There are now more varieties and types of oriental vegetables available than ever before, but the number grown commercially in Wales is quite small.
The growing trial aimed to identify oriental vegetables that could be grown in Powys; to examine the potential for extending the growing
season to year-round availability through use of heated propagation and polytunnels, and to explore the potential market of food service sector businesses in the locality.
The varieties below were trialed at the Walled garden, Doldowlod, in Powys as a Glasu-supported project.
CHRYSANTHEMUM GREENS – SHUNGIKU OR CHOP SUEY
THAI STEM LETTUCE – CELTUS
RED AND GREEN PERILLA – SHISO
ORIENTAL EDIBLE LEAF CARROT
CHINESE LEAF CELERY – KINTSAI
AMARANTH – GARNET RED
JAPANESE ONIONS – SPRING ONION (SHIMONITA) AND
BUNCHING ONION (KOSHIGAYA)
JAPANESE PARSLEY – MITSUBA
ORIENTAL BRASSICAS – CHINESE CABBAGE (CHINESE LEAVES),
PAK CHOI AND CHOY SUM
Full results of these trials are now available from Glasu at:
Each variety is fully described and there are growing notes, culinary information and full results of the individual trials.
If you would like to try growing these unusual vegetables, seed can be obtained from a number of sources, including:
and Edwin Tucker
(seeds for the trials were obtained from these sources)
Some varieties are also available from
The Organic gardening Catalogie
(see our Weblinks)
You could also look at
both of which we are using for our 2010 trials of pulses and grains.