Winter Greens

I harvested some of our winter greens on an as-needed basis last week. First up was some komatsuna that has been growing in one of the cold frame beds since October. These plants have been frozen and thawed on an almost daily basis for more than a month. You’d never know it to look at the leaves.

komatsuna leaves

I usually harvest the whole komatuna plant to make room for something else. But since these plants are so hardy, I decided to harvest individual leaves and let the plants continue to grow. They should give us more to harvest later on when conditions are favorable for regrowth.

komatsuna plants after harvest

There was about a pound of the komatsuna leaves. I stir fried them briefly, along with sliced garlic and some fresh black mushrooms I picked up at the Asian market. I really like the taste of the mushrooms with these greens.

I also harvested more salad greens from the greenhouse, and a bowl of arugula. Like the komatsuna, the arugula has been frozen and thawed repeatedly in the greenhouse during the last month or so. It was actually frozen the night before harvest, but I waited to harvest it until temps warmed up above freezing in the greenhouse.


Most of the arugula went on pita pizzas we had for lunch. I was too hungry to take any photos of the pizzas! We add the torn arugula to the hot pizzas as they come out of the oven, wilting it ever so slightly.

Winter seems to have its icy grip on us here in Southern Indiana, with below normal temps again forecast for the coming week along with more snow. But our hardy greens are snug in the cold frames and greenhouse, giving us fresh food and promises of spring. That sounds like a good thing to me!

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15 Responses to Winter Greens

  1. kitsapFG says:

    Your hardy greens are holding up admirably. I am always amazed at how the kale, cabbages, corn salad, and asian greens just perk back up after a hard freeze. The protection of the greenhouse helps a lot but honestly they always look just done in during a freeze and then look great later after they thaw out a bit. Day after day! Got to love them!

  2. Thomas says:

    I’ll have to put komatsuna on my list of Asian greens to try next winter. Your arugula looks great! Mine hasn’t hasn’t fared as well unfortunately.

  3. Barbie says:

    Looks great – so much green with all that snow!

  4. Shawn Ann says:

    those look very nice! I had not heard of that green before!

  5. Daphne Gould says:

    I love Komatsuna. It grow so fast and tastes good. I’ll have to try it over winter some year to see how it grows here.

  6. Emily says:

    I’m hoping my cold frame will warm up enough one day this week for me to harvest some of my winter greens. I may also dig under the snow for some spinach. Your winter greens look great.

  7. Julie says:

    Komatsuna does well during the warmer summer months for me, i had no idea it would tolerate cold weather so well. Interesting plant.

    Hot pizza with garden fresh arugula on a cold winter’s day…you are leading a very nice life Villager ; )

  8. Robin says:

    I have never grown or eaten komastsuna before. What does it taste like? It is definitely pretty!

  9. We started growing tatsoi and pac choi last year, and I almost ordered komatsuna last week, just to try it. I’ve never eaten it. It looks like a more robust tatsoi. How does the flavor compare? Is it as sweet, or more similar to a kale?

  10. Villager says:

    Thomas/Robin/Clare: The variety of komatsuna I am growing is Summerfest. It is more noted for its heat tolerance than its winter hardiness, but it was what I had. The flavor is hard for me to describe. Others call it as being midway between cabbage and oriental mustard greens, with a little spinach thrown in. I find it is sweeter tasting now than it was in spring or summer. It really doesn’t taste like kale, tatsoi or spinach though. I like that it isn’t watery at all when stir fried, unlike say pac choi.

    Those with milder climates than us in here zone 6 should have no trouble growing it year round. I’d urge anyone to give it a try!

  11. mac says:

    Nice greens, komatsuna didn’t grow well for me here last year, maybe I should try it again next fall.

  12. meemsnyc says:

    Wow, that is so awesome that they are doing well in the cold frame. Fantastic.

  13. michelle says:

    It is amazing how well your greens do in the cold cold weather! I love arugula on pizza, I wish mine would hurry up and grow…

  14. You are inspiring me to build a cold frame next year!

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