Red Mustard Seed Harvest

seeds drying pp

The stunning image of the Red Mustard leaves in our front garden had waned to one resembling more of an unkept garden. But now the seeding plants have been harvested and hung to dry and the garden is a little more ‘normal’.

These plants gave us many leaves for salads and for cooked meals. They put on a very unique display as their leaves grew larger and then again when they were covered in yellow flowers hovering over the deep purple leaves. Even as seeding plants they are somewhat interesting to observe as we generally don’t allow many plants to actually follow through with their life cycle in urban settings.

And now they hang in great bunches around our back deck to dry before getting bagged up as the pods get closer to opening. There is something quite pleasant and fulfilling about looking at this unusual harvest. Something a little deeper and connected than the detached and void feeling I often get when I walk into supermarkets these days.

3 thoughts on “Red Mustard Seed Harvest

  1. Red? That sounds odd. I think of mustard as being that simple but rich yellowish green. It has naturalized here. It was supposedly tossed out by Spanish Missionaries to mark the El Camino Real. I know it as a cover crop in the old orchards. As the orchards were depleted, so was the supply of mustard. We actually had to plant some at the farm. It seemed silly to me at the time, like planting a weed, but it was the only way to get mustard. I grow other greens instead now, and only get mustard from a vacant parcel at work. Many years ago, we grew a variety for the mustard seed rather than the foliage. It worked out so well that I will do it again. The greens were not the greatest, and we did not take many because we wanted the plants to make more seed than greens. The neighbor ground the seed into powder to make spreadable mustard, and a maple glaze for ham!

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      1. I have not written about it. I did not give it much though until now. For most in the Santa Clara Valley now, mustard is just an uncommon weed. There is not much empty space left. (Although mustard is still common in those few empty spaces.)

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