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Mâche, My Favorite Green

mache, corn salad

mache, corn salad

Tiny little mâche. The plant in the photo is approaching harvest size, and it’s still dwarfed by the trowel. I added the trowel for scale, but it reminds me of Spinal Tap, “Our Stonehenge monument was in danger of being trampled by DWARVES!”

I find mâche is really easy (although slow) to grow and a pain in the neck to harvest and totally worth it. You have to pick and clean a bunch of little plants to make one single salad, but it has the best flavor of any single green, it’s supposed to be really healthy, and the ease of growing it completely makes up for the effort of harvesting. Our plants are all volunteers from the first batch I grew a few years ago, the only effort with growing them has actually been to keep them properly thinned so they can reach a decent size; I’ve thinned ours at least four times this year. They can apparently be a bit invasive–one of the common names, corn salad, comes from it’s tendency to naturalize in agricultural fields–though I don’t think they are a problem in the Bay Area.

Last Christmas, the organic market near our house was selling 4 ounce packages for $13. That was early in the season and unusually high, but even at half that price, it’s gonna be on the list of things I have to grow for myself. It kind of fascinates me to think that someone could charge so much money for something that is so easy to grow.

FromSeedToTable has a post about golden corn salad, which I’ve never grown, but sounds worth trying.

ryan 3/14

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4 Responses to “Mâche, My Favorite Green”

  1. March 14th, 2009 at 1:16 am

    blossom says:

    Growing our own veggies has a lot of advantages. Aside to saving money, the satisfaction and knowing that no chemical is involved in the food we take.

  2. March 14th, 2009 at 6:50 am

    Keewee says:

    The mâche plant is new to me. I like to try something new now and again. I will have to look out for this one.

  3. March 14th, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    bradzio says:

    I too love this little green. I forgot to plant it this winter in my new garden and sorely miss it’s great flavor in my salads.

  4. March 15th, 2009 at 6:36 am

    Buenorific says:

    It’s a super cold hardy little green, excellent to grow alongside arugula, cress, romaine lettuce and little mustard greens like tatsoi. I had great results growing them in a cold frame all winter long in zone 5.