'Tender Feral' Turnip Greens
Origin: Holyoke, MA
Improvement status: Cultivated wild material
Seeds per packet: ~80
Germination tested 12/2023: 97%
Life cycle: Biennial
This is our friend (and prolific author) Eric Toensmeier's Massachusetts version of our beloved 'wild broccoli raab.' He refers to it as the "feral, devolved and naturalized form of turnip". and considers it a winter annual (technically it's a biennial). Like the other two feral turnips we offer ('Deitrich's Wild Broccoli Raab' and 'Accawmacke Broccoli') the winter leaves are somewhat spiny but still edible, and often throughout the winter, though much better after cooking. Spring leaves are tender and mild like the best kale, delicious raw or cooked. It also produces excellent edible broccolinis. Unlike most wild turnips or mustards, this strain not spicy at all.
Eric's work on perennial vegetables was a major inspiration to us as we created Experimental Farm Network, so we're particularly honored and grateful to have him providing seeds for some of his favorite crops now.
GROWING TIPS: This is essentially a weedy feral version of a domesticated crop, so it's hard to fail with it. Grows happily even in very infertile sand. Self-sowing. Easy to direct seed. Broadcast any time from spring to late summer, or even early fall in more mild climates.