Unusual Edible for December 2016

Mache or Valerianella locusta

‘Corn Salad’ grows wild in parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.  This is a nutty flavored cool season green which lays low to the ground and is easy to grow from seed.
“Corn salad was originally foraged by European peasants until Jean-Baptiste de La Quintinie, royal gardener of King Louis XIV, introduced it to the world.  It has been eaten in Britain for centuries and appears in John Gerard’s Herbal of 1597. It was grown commercially in London from the late 18th or early 19th century and appeared on markets as a winter vegetable, but it only became available in modern supermarkets there in the 1980s.   American president Thomas Jefferson cultivated mâche at his home, Monticello, in Virginia in the early 1800s  (wikipedia)”.

Try growing Mache from seed!  Hudson Seed Library. Mache $3.95 at Ploughshares Nursery

illustration_valerianella_locusta0