Peppers, tomatoes and greens of every hue are popular with gardeners around the world. In addition, our refugee gardeners introduce a number of crops from their home cuisines. Here’s a snapshot of the harvest.
Springtime in the Gardens
In the spring, one finds mustard greens proliferating throughout the garden. The greens are especially popular in Nepali and Bhutanese cuisine, and are used in everything from simple braises to fermented preparations. Clover and marigolds add pops of color, and hard-to-find ingredients are also taking root, including chin buang, a Burmese herb.
Other Specialty Crops
Marigolds: Bright and cheerful in their plots, marigolds are widely cultivated in India, Thailand and Nepal for use in religious ceremonies and festivals. They are believed to symbolize auspiciousness, and also repel pests.
Florida broadleaf mustard: A pungent, peppery, early-Spring green, they are thought to have originated near the Himalayas and have been growing for thousands of years. Learn more about mustard greens
Chin bang ywet: A sour, chewy leaf with a lemony flavor. A member of the hibiscus family, this fast grower is as common as basil in Myanmar / Burma.
Bangkok hot peppers: These spicy peppers go from green to purple when mature, and are very hot. Popular in SE Asia, they reach 15,000-30,000 on the Scoville scale.
Cassava: This edible root is originally from the American tropics and was introduced into Africa by the Portuguese in the 1500s. It is a staple of the African diet, and especially popular in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. NSC is working to overcome space and climatic challenges in order to establish cassava in its gardens.
Tomatoes, tatsoi (Tot Soy), bok Choi, mizuna, Burmese mint, bitter melon, long beans, collards, kale, okra, cucumbers, scallions, kohlrabi, radish, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, basil, Thai chilies, African eggplant