Gorgeous gourmet Asian greens: not available in most stores.
There are many things to consider when deciding what to plant in your vegetable garden: available space and time, soil conditions, time of year, cost of growing vs. buying (or is buying even an option?), how much you love to eat it, past performance, etc. And, perhaps most importantly, does it do well in your location?
When I moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to rural Missouri back in 1994, I was surprised to discover that while nearly everyone around here planted a vegetable garden each spring, many people grew nothing but beans, corn, tomatoes, and potatoes.
I quickly learned that with our extremely fickle climate and growing conditions, these are the crops most likely to reward you with a decent harvest, but even they’re not guaranteed. Plus people just aren’t into stuff like basil and Swiss chard and arugula—which thankfully also do well here.
I’ve also had good luck growing all sorts of Asian (Oriental) greens, which you can’t find for sale in this area. There are numerous types of Asian green seeds available, and it’s fun to experiment with different varieties. Large leaf ton ho or wong bok cabbage, anyone? Fast growing mizuna is one of my favorites. It’s often stir-fried (I’m crazy about my Lodge cast iron wok), but I love it best in salads.
More below. . .