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I also had turnip greens for the first time a few weeks ago. The Dutch are very fond of them too.

In my case, I grow a variety of turnip (orange jelly) that has roots and tops that are both eatable. There are several varieties like this.

Turnips are a brassica, the same 'cole' plant family as cabbages, mustards, rapes, etc, and so follow the same rotation. Turnips can be spring or fall planted, and I usually plant them in August or September. They can be harvested in 60 days!

Turnips are remarkably resistant to the usual cabbage diseases, because they mature so quickly. By the time they start to develop problems, it's time to harvest them! They can also be left in the ground for a long time, and harvested when you want them.


I Just had a look for this variety in the 2006 Seed Savers Exchange catalog, and it's listed by someone in Italy:

Grelos de Santiago la Peregrina: Produces lots of leaves, very tasty, large, rich in iron, typical of Galicia (north Spain 'finisterre'), very early, used to rainy weather, Galician recipes included, from La Peregrina.

This probably means it's suitable for seed saving!!

Bambi Bogert

I was wondering if you had any luck yet with growing your Grelos?

I learned to enjoy this delicious vegetable whilst visiting Galicia and northern Portugal. In fact, due to the fact that I don't eat seafood (which pretty much seemed to be a key ingredient in every single dish there) I was 'condemned' to eating 'caldo Gallego' (Galician soup, as it was called in Spain) and 'caldo verde' (green soup) in Portugal - and pretty much nothing else. This thick peasant soup, made with potatoes and ham hocks that gave it its characteristic smoky flavor, sustained me for several weeks, after which I became hooked!

Back home, I searched in vain for what I had come to know as 'los Grelos'. I finally found a small Spanish import store, where a bunch of old-timers became very excited when I mentioned it. As if I had said the magic word! They told me they actually grew it themselves in back of the store, and that if I came back in February, they would give me some (they didn't actually sell it).
Unfortunately come February I had moved, and so I never did get to taste their home-grown Grelos.

Now I live in NYC and the closest I've been able to find is collard greens, which is similar, but still different. I still long for the Grelos!

Please let me know if it worked out, and perhaps if you have any seeds left, I could trade you for something that is readily available here in the US...?

Graçias & obrigado!

Jack Ruttle

Grelos are the same vegetable as what we in the US and the Italians know as raab, broccoli di rapa, rapini, etc. Ideally they are harvested when the plants have shot up and formed a tight flower cluster that looks like a miniature broccoli head, 3-5 cm (1-2 inches) across. Typically the top 25 cm (10 inch) of the stalk is harvested, with all leaves and often some small side florets. All of this is edible — the grelos stems are much more tender than true broccoli stems. Chop them as coarsely or as fine as you like, then cook. ( BTW, within the genus Brassica, the turnip family is quite distinct from the cabbage/broccoli family — different flavor, different growth characteristics, etc.}

I suspect there is a day-length factor in getting these grelos plants to switch from growing to flowering, but I can't say exactly what that day-length is. If the plants are still small when that time kicks in, the stalks and florets will be small. If the plants are big and lush then, you will have a bumper crop. I have had good results with sowing in late summer. The seed germinate quickly even in very warm soils and hot weather. But as with veg mustard and others in the turnip family, the leaves are always tender and good and can be harvested for greens in any stage.

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