New Friends and a Mustard Plant

This has been a great week for making new friends. On Sunday, I met a wonderful group from Providence United Methodist Church, who treated me to a delish Southern-style lunch: a buffet at the historic Green Manor Restaurant in Union City, GA.

The ladies had read and discussed my book, Mustard Seeds, and presented me with my very own potted mustard plant to take home! Thank you all again. Here’s a photo–not of my plant, but of one that’s very similar:

And yes, to answer a question that comes up a lot, you really can grow mustard here in the South (and across the U.S.), and it can be both ornamental and edible. My new plant is an annual, but I’ll enjoy it indoors, by a sunny window.

Mustard plants also come in red-purple varieties, which are great colors for a fall garden, and especially beautiful as the weather starts to turn. You can find seeds for sale at local nurseries and garden centers, or buy potted plants like mine.

I’m surprised how often people tell me that they’ve never eaten mustard, especially here in the South, where we eat a lot of garden greens. Then again, maybe mustard is an acquired taste, because it can be pungent. If you’re willing to try it, toss the raw mustard leaves in your fresh salads. It’s also good, if a big stronger-tasting, when cooked and seasoned as you’d do with any other kind of edible greens, like spinach or turnips.

Thank you again, new friends from Providence, for the gift of the plant, the lunch, and the wonderful conversation.

Thanks, too, to the Georgian Garden Club of Villa Rica. I visited last night and read a devotional from Mustard Seeds (which is a collection of essays about faith, not gardening, in case anybody is confused by now). I couldn’t have had a warmer reception, and I enjoyed the delicious mango-passionfruit tea you served–can’t wait to try it again!