The plant can have a dark, leafy-green texture, and while baby leaves from a younger plant have a taste related to mustard greens, older plants take on a unique spicy flavor.
Pak Choy is easily crossbred, and because of this a variety of flavors, sizes and colors are available for those who wish to grow it and cook with it.
Shallow roots aid the plant in rapid growth, and the white stems are preferred over other varieties because of their crisp, clean look. The plant is in the Brassicaceae family, along with mustard greens, turnips and kohlrabi. Pak choy is high in Beta carotene and Vitamin C, both of which are believed to help prevent cancer-causing free radicals. It also acts as an excellent source of folate, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Pak choy, along with its relatives, has a large impact in the economy. The name pak chou in Mandarin, literally means "white vegetable," and during the 1900s it was finally brought to the North American continent. Now, some of the largest crops from America are grown in California, while a higher percentage still come from China, Japan and South Korea.
Our Interns have been experimenting with ways to incorporate pak choy into their dishes.
Stay tuned for recipes involving Howdy Farm's organic pak choy!
We love celebrating our hard working students. As the semester rolls on, we hope to introduce you to as many Howdy! Farm volunteers as we can.
Meet Michael Bunsen,
A sophomore majoring in environmental studies and minoring in horticulture.
Howdy Farm: Why did you choose to volunteer at the Howdy Farm?
Michael: I chose to volunteer at Howdy Farm for a variety of reasons, mainly just because I love to help out in a place the needs it. I really enjoy learning about farming and sustainable agriculture, and getting to meet the people that are involved.
Howdy Farm: What is your opinion on organic produce?
Michael: I want to promote it, just because I'm an advocate for more natural ways of eating. I'm not as much a fan of genetically modified organisms or any synthetics. I try to avoid those as much as possible.
Howdy Farm: Prior to working at Howdy Farm, did you have any experience with growing organic produce?
Michael: I did not. I didn't even know that Howdy Farm was here until late in my freshman year. Olivia Wolford introduced me to the Howdy Farm. We were just conversion one day in class about eating organically and living sustainably.
IF YOU WANT TO VOLUNTEER AT HOWDY FARM:
Join us at the Farm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 to 5 pm.
We looked forward to having you!
Lemonade with a natural, refreshing twist. Over the past few weeks, we've discovered that Lemongrass makes an excellent substitute for large amounts of lemons. Ginger, considered a remedy of illness by the Chinese and hoarded by the Romans in ancient times, adds a spicy twang to any dish. By making a simple syrup with the two, we've accomplished a new take on a summer favorite.
Once collected, leaf stems must be stripped and cleaned of dirt and outer layers in order to expose the tenderest parts of the leaf for cooking. The whole of the leaf can be used for almost anything involving cooking.
The syrup, after simmering for 30 minutes, is strained and placed in your choice of container (we think it looks best in a mason jar).
Add one part sugar to one part water in pot, bring to boil. For this recipe we used 2 cups of water to 2 cups of sugar.
Once boiling, place a handful (about a cup) of ginger slices and a handful of chopped stalks of lemon grass to the mix.
Put heat on low and simmer for 30 minutes. Syrup should turn a golden color.
Strain contents from simple syrup.
In a large water jug, add the juice of nine to 12 lemons (depends on how tart you like your lemonade) and the simple syrup. Dilute the mixture with 1 gallon of water. If the mixture is too sweet for your liking you can add more water to taste.
Stir, and place slices of lemon into top of jar for garnish.
HOWDY FARM currently has lemongrass in abundance. To buy, come to store hours on Thursdays from 1-5 pm at the Howdy Farm, located behind the horticulture building on west campus. We also sell produce at the Brazos Valley Farmers Market on Saturdays, located in Downtown Bryan.