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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

GREENS

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)

VIETNAMESE CORIANDER

JAPANESE PARSLEY – MITSUBA

ORIENTAL BRASSICAS – CHINESE CABBAGE (CHINESE LEAVES),

PAK CHOI AND CHOY SUM

JAPANESE/CHINESE RADISH

ORIENTAL BURDOCK

Full results of these trials are now available from Glasu at:

http://www.glasu.org.uk/en/uploads/documents/Oriental%20Vegetables%20Information%20Sheets.pdf

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:

Suffolk Herbs

http://www.suffolkherbs.com/

and Edwin Tucker

http://www.tuckers-seeds.co.uk/

(seeds for the trials were obtained from these sources)

Some varieties are also available from

The Organic gardening Catalogie

Real Seeds

(see our Weblinks)

You could also look at

http://www.jungleseeds.co.uk/

http://www.originaltouch.co.uk/

both of which we are using for our 2010 trials of pulses and grains.


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