Earlier this spring I received an offer I couldn't refuse: a Media Kit from Renee's Garden, which included my choice of 18 free packets of seeds. Now that our weather has sufficiently warmed, (finally!) last weekend many of those seeds were sown in our two tiny raised bed veggie gardens. Earlier this spring I sowed a few cool-season vegetables including Renee's Broccoli Raab Super Rapini (also delicious, and all gone.)
I took advantage of the opportunity to try a number of new varieties, and in some cases, entirely new-to-me vegetables, including the broccoli raab, and baby pak choi. I have eaten pak choi (also known as bok choy,) but have never grown it until this spring. I grew Renee's F-1 hybrid Baby Pak Choi Green Fortune. Beautiful, tender, sweet, crisp, and delicious, its small size is perfect for a small vegetable garden like mine. Although neither of our two raised beds receives full sun, the pak choi grew very fast, and very well. Before planting, the soil was amended with organic vermicompost from my basement worm bin. (The red wiggler worms are fed only organic kitchen and garden scraps.) No other fertilizers were used or needed.
Traditionally used in stir-fry in Asian cuisine, I've yet to try it that way. Green Fortune is so delicious raw in salads, that's how I've been eating it, every day for over two weeks. And no, I haven't gotten tired of it. Besides eating it myself, I have also been using it as the vegetable in George's homemade dog food. He loves it too! He eats it mixed in with his food, and also enjoys it picked straight from the garden, as a treat unadorned. Since it's an early-spring vegetable that matures quickly, I planted a lot of it. After it's all harvested there will still be time to fill in the empty space in the garden with summer vegetables. As you can see in the photo above, I've already done this in one section of the garden, with tomato plants surrounding the remainder of a row of pak choi. Well-planned succession planting is one of the ways we manage to get an incredible amount and variety of vegetables even from our very small beds.
Pak choi is very low in calories, yet is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. A nutritional powerhouse, it's packed with vitamins A, C, K, carotene, lutein, B vitamins, respectable amounts of several minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc, and 28 different polyphenols, including kaempferol, a phytonutrient shown to have strong anti-cancer properties.
Renee's Baby Pak Choi Green Fortune has been very easy to grow, not bothered at all by pests, and very productive. I'm so glad I picked it as part of the Media Kit. I will definitely grow this again!