R Bistro 2

Arugula, celery hearts, dates, feta, and almonds recently offered at R Bistro this month.

By Rob Gaston, April 21st, 2015

Regina Mehallick has been involved in Dig IN and the Taste of Indiana festival since its inception, and last year we interviewed  her about our #INSeason ingredient for April, greens. Since the opening of her new local and gourmet food store R2GO, we checked back to find out where she is getting all her good greens from these days.

Between hoophouses, greenhouses, and hydroponic operations, the options for year round products just keep sprouting up (pun intended!) and Regina’s list of purveyors is even longer this year. Some of the farms that R Bistro and R2GO are using for greens include Harvestland Farm, Lush Leaf Farm, Full Hand Farm, Dunbar Heritage, and Grateful Greens.

R Bistro 3

We also spoke with Tamara Benjamin, Sustainable Agriculture Scientist at Purdue University, who told us about some of the season extension techniques that are being used by growers so we can have arugula in the winter. What these growers are doing is planting their crop in late summer, planning to have it fully grown by the time it gets chilly! Once cold weather hits, the grown greens are kept stored in the ground under a hoophouse, preserved by the cold temperature (like a refrigerator) until harvest. This process actually leads to sweeter greens, as the plants maintain more sugar in their tissues to keep from freezing.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about Indiana greens this months. Up next, we’ve already seen some Indiana asparagus peeking up and even a little that’s ready to eat. The season keeps getting tastier from here!