For three seasons now, we’ve been growing organic, no-dig vegetables, salad leaves, herbs and edible flowers in our kitchen garden for use at our supper clubs, workshops and catering jobs. Our fourth season at The Edible Flower, 2020, is turning out a bit different. With all our events and jobs cancelled for the foreseeable future, we are going to have a huge amount of delicious freshly grown produce to find a use for.
That’s why, in April 2020, we’re starting to sell bags of mixed salad leaves. We absolutely love a green salad and eat one with most of our meals during the summer months. However, we hate the supermarket bags of leaves, sealed in CO2 to keep them fresh, until the moment you open them – when they go slimy & smelly.
Growing your own organic salad leaves, without spraying with pesticides or herbicides, makes so much sense. It makes sense financially (salad leaves are really expensive) and if you are going to eat one organic product – something with a massive surface area, that you eat raw and don’t peel or remove the outer layers, is definitely the one to choose.
If you don’t have the space or the time to grow your own, we hope that the second-best option is to buy ours.
What do you get in our Seasonal Salad Mix?
Our 100g bags contain a mixture of lettuce leaves, mustard leaves, rocket, spinach leaves, peashoots, herbs, nasturtium leaves and others. The mix changes with the season.
How should I store them?
Keep them refrigerated and they should last at least a week. We pick and wash all our leaves by hand early in the morning – bagging, labelling and getting them into the fridge before breakfast! That’s the way to keep them fresh for longest.
If you’re not planning to eat them all in one sitting, we suggest you carefully open the bag but cutting the red tag off with scissors, then reseal the bag with a clip or elastic band for storing in the fridge.
How should I serve the leaves?
Best served as a simple green salad. Our favourite is a drizzle of olive oil, some Burren balsamics vinegar and a little salt and pepper. But any tasty salad dressing will do.
Where can I buy them?
Our Seasonal Salad Mix bags are currently available the lovely Millbank Farm Shop in Saintfield. We deliver them to the shop at about 11am on Fridays. (They were also available from TACA for delivery in Belfast during the summer months, but this stopped for the winter in October 2020.)
Why are the leaves sold in plastic bags?
We spend a lot of time and effort at The Edible Flower avoiding the unnecessary use of disposable plastics so it’s with some sadness (and determination to do better soon) that we have concluded that the best way to keep our salad leaves fresh for our customers to enjoy them, is to package them in a sealed plastic bag. Compostable and biodegradable options exist, but none that are truely compostable at home, can currently cope with the humid environment necessary inside the bag required to keep the leaves fresh. We will keep searching for viable disposable alternatives and hope to be able to offer a reusable container option just as soon as we are selling our leaves directly.