Salad leaf of the month: Endive

We love our leaves at Rocker Organic Farm. So we choose one each month to celebrate.

As our Summer leaves are slowly gaining strength, it is great to celebrate those leaves that have kept going strong through the Autumn and the Winter. Of all the Winter leaves, Endive is the one that most looks like a Summer lettuce leaves. We plant Escarole, a lovely green frilly leaf, rather than its other more chicory related varieties.

There is a slight bitterness to its taste, but this works well in a mixed salad. Its texture is great in the salad bowl. Strangely, slugs seem to love living in it, but rarely seem to nibble the leaves.

Escarole is high in vitamin A, fiber, calcium, iron and vitamin C, containing two or three times the amount found in iceberg lettuce. It is also a good source of Vitamin K.

We grow Endive all year round, but it the service it has given over the last few months that it earns our respect.

Our seeds came from The Organic Centre in County Leitrim.

Salad Leaf of the Month: Winter Purslane

We love our leaves at Rocker Organic Farm. So we choose one each month to celebrate.

At this time of the year, most leaves aren’t at their best in terms of growth. Even those that are keeping going have slowed right down, given the short amount of daylight. One very notable exception is Winter Purslane.

As the name suggests, it thrives in the winter. It produces beautiful leaves with the flesh of them being almost meaty.

Whilst not the easiest leaf to pick, it rewards the picker with a distinctive leaf that looks great in a winter salad bag. By itself, it can form the main ingredient for a hearty salad with apples and walnuts. Soup is another possibility.

Its latin name, Claytonia perfoliata, doesn’t reveal much, its other name, Miner’s Lettuce does. Its origins are in North America, so it became popular in the California Gold Rush as an excellent source of Vitamin C and Beta Carotene.

A helping hand

It is always amazing how seeds will struggle into life in the hardest of conditions, like this little spinach seedling here.

We’ve started an experiment to give a helping hand this time year with our new LED light unit. It uses red light to aid initial growth, then blue light for leaf formation. No short Winter days for these seeds. They’ll be enjoying 18 hours a day of perfect light.

Rocker Organic Oat Bread now available

Maeve’s oat bread has long been a source of wonder and recipe seeking. Now you can buy a loaf. It is available on a trial run at The Cottage, Loughmore. The bread, which is wheat free, contains oats, natural low fat yogurt, eggs and milk that are all certified organic. Perfect alongside our salads, a loaf costs €5 and is packed with goodness.

Rocker Organic Salad Leaves Launch

It was a big day for Maeve O’Hair and Peter Couchman of Rocker Organic Farm, when they launched their bags of mixed salad leaves in The Cottage, Loughmore. The salad leaves, which are organically certified, are grown on the family farm, picked then washed with the farm’s own well water, making them ready to eat and packed full of goodness. The salad leaves will be used in The Cottage’s extensive menu and are also for sale in the shop.

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