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Eat your greens. You don’t have enough fingers and toes to count how many times you heard that at the dinner table as a kid. Now that you’re an adult, it’s still true, experts tell us.

Leafy greens provide vitamins, minerals and fiber for a healthy diet, so why not grow your own? Most of these varieties can be grown in patio or container gardens. Another option is to grow your own salad bowl, mixing and matching greens in a pot or window box. All greens need sun and well-draining soil. Use scissors or simply pluck leaves to harvest. Descriptions are from the National Garden Bureau.

“Green Beret” spinach, a brand of SV2157VB. This hybrid spinach is dark green with oval/round leaves. It can be grown as baby spinach or as large leaves. The plant is strong with great downy mildew resistance. Harvest 30 days from sowing seeds.

“Salad Mix Burpee – Salad Fresh Mix Mesclun.” A beautiful gourmet salad mix, it can easily be grown in the garden, on the deck or patio in a container. These fast-growing, nutritious greens offer complex flavor and include piquant arugula, tangy endive and radicchio, sweet and crisp red and green lettuces and spicy mustard. The prolific salad blend creates a beautiful presentation, too.

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“Osaka Purple” mustard. A variety that originated in Japan, “Osaka Purple” reaches 12 to 14 inches tall and matures in 45 days. Leaves are tender green, tinged with purple-red. When young, leaves are tender, mild and flavorful. Once matured, leaves are pungent and sharp.

“Autumn Star” Kalettes hybrid. Cross Brussels sprouts with kale, and what do you get? Kalettes. The idea started with a desire for a kale-like vegetable that was easy to prepare, and after many years, the goal was accomplished. Open florets develop along a thick stalk and are ready to eat when 2 inches in diameter. Simply clip them from the stem and eat — no stems to remove.

“Redbor” kale. Gorgeous deep green foliage will take on a rich burgundy color as the season cools. Bushy plants reach 24 to 36 inches high. It is cold tolerant and can be grown in beds or containers.

Bopak” bok choi. This bok choi is described as a “very classy white-stemmed variety” with erect dark green and glossy leaves. Leaves are very uniform with smooth leaf margins compared to other varieties. This variety was a regional All America Selection winner.

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Arts/Special Sections Editor

Special Sections Editor for the Courier

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