Sunday, January 25, 2015

Upland Cress - Winter Cress that Requires No Stream

Upland cress is a delicious spicy green, and it's packed with nutrition. It is similar to watercress but Upland cress can be grown in the ground making it easier to grow in the garden. Since mine is looking so luscious, it is time for me to share some photos before it gets eaten. My husband loves spicy greens like arugula and Upland cress. He puts them in sandwiches, soups, sauces and of course in salads. They add a peppery kick, and in our family we all love a little spice. To tone down the intensity of the taste, many people prefer cooking them rather than eating them raw. 

One look at the plant and the dark shiny leaves just scream healthy nutrition. It is the darkest of the leafy greens in my garden.
Upland cress (Barbarea verna) is packed with vitamins A, C, E and K. Years ago it was used to treat scurvy as it has more vitamin C than oranges. It is known to fight cancer by raising antioxidant levels in the blood and by protecting DNA from damage. Folate and potassium are also present in this tasty green. It contains lutein for eye health, as well as iron and calcium. It can act as a mild diuretic and has been used as a folk remedy for healing wounds. Upland cress is a power food and it is easy to grow in the garden.

This is a cool weather green, and I treat it like lettuce. It is planted in the fall in the shade of my bush peas. 
You can see it at the far right in this bed. I chose to plant it there because that is the area that gets the most water. Like its cousin watercress, Upland cress likes water. Unlike watercress it does not like to be in soggy conditions. In areas that freeze, sow seeds after the last frost for early spring harvest. In warmer areas, plant it in the fall and enjoy the zesty leaves all winter. 





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