Our salad mix isn’t like anything you’ll find in the shops. It’s tasty, fresh, and crunchy, and will last up to ten days – or maybe even longer! – if stored in bag in the fridge. (Pro tip: if the leaves start to wilt, add a little water to the bag, shake, tip out the excess water, and leave in the fridge for a few hours for the leaves to absorb it and get back some of their crunch!)
As with all our produce, our salad leaves are grown according to organic principles without the use of chemical-based fertilisers or pesticides.
The mix is seasonal, meaning that the leaf varieties that go into it change according what’s available at the time of year. All bags have a label on the back listing which leaves they contain. Here’s an idea of what you’ll find in in the mix at different times.
Asian greens and mustard greens make up the bulk of the mix during the spring. Larger leaves can be used cooked in stir-fries or as side greens, but the baby leaves make excellent salad leaves. They are strong tasting, and typically have a mustardy kick. We use Mibuna, Mizuna, Giant Red Mustard, Vivid Choi, three different types of Frills, Komatsuna, and more – see the back of your salad bag to find out which varieties are in yours.
Bags at this time of year will also contain lettuce leaves, but you won’t find any boring old round-headed Iceberg lettuce here. This spring’s mixes have included Jack Ice, Reine des Glaces and Winter Marvel (all sown during the winter, as you might guess by the names!) along with a few Red Salad Bowl, Lollo Biondi and Lollo Rossa leaves.
Other leaves making intermittent appearances at this time of year are baby Rainbow Chard, rocket and a very few pea shoots.
Summer and autumn:
After about May, Asian and mustard greens are no longer viable – they bolt quickly and (as we quickly discovered last year) are devoured by insects, so for the rest of the growing season the mix is dominated by lettuce. This year we’ll be growing 16 different types of large-leaf lettuce, of all different shapes, sizes and colours, most of which you won’t ever find in the shops. We’ll also be including some baby lettuce leaves as well.
Also included at this time of year are Mountain Spinach (which has beautiful bright purple leaves), pea shoots (until about the end of June), baby Rainbow Chard, endive and chicory. From June to September we also include Nasturtium flowers and leaves, and Borage flowers if we have them, which add a wonderful splash of colour.
Given the incredibly short winter days here in north Northumberland things grow way too slowly for us to have enough to bag and sell them, but we overwinter Asian and mustard greens in our polytunnels ready for the spring (and yes, we may sometimes also pick a few to enjoy in a wintry salad at home 😀❄️🥬)