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Turkish rocket was one of the first perennial vegetables that I planted on my homestead and it has been thriving and providing a great harvest!

This plant is a member of the brassica (mustard) family which includes cabbage and broccoli and many more common vegetables.

Closer to mustard in flavor the young leaves do have a little spice to them but not in a hot way. But it is the young florets that are the prize for this plant.

Though from reading other people's blog posts about them I think as a less common plant there may be more variation in flavor between individual plants than a traditional vegetable. Mine are not spicy and I will eat the young leaves raw but other people describe them as unpalatable.

Though that could just be differences in people too. But my wife and I both eat them raw in salads.

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Just make sure you harvest them before the flowers open. Once they open they take on a strong flavor that is not my favorite.

The young florets can be used just like broccolini with a very similar flavor. I harvested that bowl full the other day and sauteed them up with some olive oil and garlic. Now I can just add them into other dishes like pasta and curries.

I did give them an quick 1 minute boil before I sauteed them which I think improves the flavor a bit.

The flowers once they do open attract a ton of pollinators and have a fantastic smell to them that you can smell in the breeze if you get close to them. I really love seeing them in bloom.

Growing Turkish Rocket

I ordered my Turkish rocket a couple years back from EdibleAcres (see YouTube video) and they always do great.

Very drought resistant with a very deep taproot--the only time I ever watered mine was when I first planted them and even then only once.

Turkish rocket is easy to propagate since it will grow from root fragments. I will likely be using this technique to spread them to some other parts of my homestead.

Though this also makes them hard to remove if you decide you don't want them.

Turkish rocket does get large and I'm often cutting mine back since my plants are in one of my hedgerows. But this also makes them great as a chop-and-drop plant. Since you normally stop harvesting them when they bloom in late spring this is a good way to keep getting a "harvest" from them throughout the year.

Turkish rocket really produces a ton of biomass each year.

In some climates it will spread by seed and can be invasive. But here in the western Washington I have not had this problem. So far none of the hundreds of seeds that fall each year have germinated. I'm not sure why.

Try Perennial Vegetables in Your Garden

There are a ton of fantastic perennial vegetables out there for you to try. Turkish rocket is just one of them.

Each year I'm hoping to add more perennial vegetables to my garden and my homestead so I can have easy harvests for years to come with minimal effort.

I have written a 3-part blog series on perennial vegetables. Check them out for more info on how to get started with these awesome vegetables.

This year I have planted tree collards, French sorrel, Oregon stonecrop, dwarf checkermallow, Pacific water leaf, miners lettuce, and nodding onions on my homestead. All are fantastic perennial vegetables.

I hope you will consider adding perennial vegetables to your garden or homestead.

Thank you!

PS: I'm still feeling sick so I won't be responding to comments until tomorrow but I hope to get all caught up by Friday.


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