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Fantastic Greens of Cowichan Valley: Beet Greens, Mustard Greens, Arugula and Butterhead Lettuce

There are a lot of really great vegetables grown in the Cowichan Valley & the leafy green vegetables have a particularly large variety to choose from. Many of our local farms offer a selection of these nutritious leafy greens, so it is worth taking note of the different types! You’ll find amazing greens grown locally by Glenora Farm, Holy Stick Farms, Boots n’ Roots Permaculture Farm, Lockwood Farms, Allium Co-op Farm, Sayward Haven Farm, Cowichan Farm & Food Hub, KinPark Urban Youth Farm and more!

Beet Greens – Beets or beetroots can be traced back to the late 1500’s in the Mediterranean basin, where they are still found growing in the wild.
Flavour – Earthy flavour with substantial texture & robustness to the leaf. The beet greens are similar to swiss chard. Delicious raw, sauteed or braised.
Nutrition – High in iron, vitamin k, B6, magnesium, potassium.

Mustard Greens – Part of the Brassicaceae family which includes broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi & cabbage.
Flavour – This green will add ‘‘pep’ to any dish! Spicy & peppery with a hearty leaf that adds a meaty ‘chew’ factor. Excellent raw, cooked or fermented.(Fermented? Yes! Like kimchi!)
Nutrition – High in fibre, vitamin k,c,a and antioxidants.

Arugula- Also from the Mediterranean region, the leaves & blossoms were associated with aphrodisiac properties. There are upwards of 20 different arugula cultivars!
Flavour – Pleasant nutty, peppery flavour but this can depend on the variety and the temperature while the crop is growing. Delicate dark leaves can range from small to quite large. Arugula blossoms are a nice addition to salads. Best eaten raw or lightly sauteed.
Nutrition – High in vitamin k, iron, calcium, lutein.

Butterhead Lettuce – Developed in the 18th century. Butterhead lettuce is a distinct variety that forms small looseleaf heads. 
Flavour – Buttery and slightly sweet in flavour. Tender, light & crisp leaf texture with less water content than a romaine or iceberg type of lettuce. Best eaten raw in salads.
Nutrition – Good source of vitamin a, k, c, folate.

There are many great nutritional reasons to eat your veggies as Hippocrates said, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” You can use this guide to help you choose your next culinary adventure into the world of great greens and decide which is your favourite!
Browse our shop page today and order some fresh Cowichan Valley greens!

Butterhead lettuce growing at Cowichan Green Community – Cowichan Farm & Food Hub