Coastal and Tropical South

November, 2010
Regional Report

Web Finds

Wisegeek.com
Caution: a visit to this website may take some time! But the information is interesting and extensive, as is the advertising. Every year, someone asks me to define "mesclun." My response is usually "lettuce mix," which is true, but inadequate to describe these wildly various combinations of leafy treats. This site is organized as a question and answer search and also by topics within a score of categories. You can get specifics or cruise through articles as diverse as "How to Grow a Pumpkin" and "What is a Dethatcher?" The mesclun article is at Wise Geek.

Favorite or New Plant

Broccoli raab
Anytime a plant garners many common names, I figure it's because that plant has been embraced by many cultures and localities. This nearly obscure member of the cole crops family fits that description. Although it is truly broccoli raab (say rob), this sprouting head of tender, almost mini-broccoli stems is also known as rapini, cime de rape, rape, brocoletti, rapine, rappone and turnip broccoli. Recipes and growing notes use these monikers interchangeably, but they all refer to the same plant and celebrate that it is easy to grow. Brocoletti grows in the same cool weather conditions as its relatives broccoli, cabbage, kale, etc., and has all the superior vitamin and antioxidant properties of the family. Raab works in all broccoli recipes, but is milder tasting and so may tempt those who dislike the strong taste of traditional, full-headed broccoli.

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