What We Grow

At Oxford Gardens, we produce high-quality vegetables for the local community of Boulder, Denver and In Between. Every year we grow these traditional, “tried and true” vegetables. We always experiment and try new varieties and new vegetables each season.

 

arugula_2Lettuce & Greens

We have the “magic touch” with lettuce, arugula and other leafy greens. Our 3,200 square feet of hoop houses help us stretch the growing season in the spring and fall, so we can offer our delectable greens from March to November.

Lettuce
We grow a baby lettuce mix lettuce throughout the season. Although lettuce is a cooler weather crop, we offer a European variety of crisp summer lettuce (the family is called Batavia) during the hottest summer months. Our primary baby lettuce mix is Allstar Gourmet Lettuce Mix, from Johnny’s Selected Seeds out of Windsor, Maine. The average length of time for growing baby lettuce is about 30 days, depending upon weather. We offer this superb mix from late-March to early June, and from mid-September to mid-November. In the summer months we grow several green and red varieties of “Summer Crisp” or Batavian lettuce, usually as baby leaf, rather than heads. Some years we also offer a wide variety of head lettuces in the spring, early summer, and fall seasons.

Arugula
Also called “Roquette” or “Rocket.” We love everything about arugula. It grows quickly and well in the hoop houses and in the field, and is easy to harvest. Try it with goat cheese, lemon, and a few chopped nuts. Although arugula does not like the mid-summer heat of July and August, in 2016 we will offer a heat-resistant variety at market and to our restaurants.

Spinach
A hardy, tasty, and versatile vegetable. We have it available at the Farmers Market in April, May and into June, and then again in late September and through October. We plant spinach in the fall and let it over-winter in our field. By early spring it is flourishing and sweet.

Swiss Chard
An all-purpose green – good in salads when small and tender, then great for steaming, sautéing, soups, stews, you name it. We don’t let our chard get too big and monster-like to keep up the optimum quality. We sometimes offer mixed bunches – green, red and yellow.

Kale
A multi-purpose green, kale can survive cold, snow and all manner of harsh weather. We grow the blue-green Winterbor variety, long-leafed Toscano and the elegant Red Russian.
Everything you can do with chard you can do with kale. Look for the smaller, more tender leaves. Particularly delicious as a baby green. Great in salads, green drinks, soups, steamed or sautéed with butter or olive oil, salt and pepper.

Collards
An old Southern delicacy. Use like the other greens above. An under appreciated leafy green.

Pac Choi
A Chinese specialty green. Best in stir-fry, it is not generally eaten raw. In addition to the standard varieties, we grow Red Choi, as well as Bonsai, baby-sized heads. Available in spring and fall.

Braising Mix
We like to offer different braising and baby greens mixes. Look for some combination of baby chard (four varieties), Bull’s Blood baby beet greens (very dark red in color), mizuna, mustard (green and red), and kale (several different types). In 2015 we offered an early spring mix, as well as a summer greens mix.

Pea Shoots
As part of our cover cropping program, we plant field peas to fix nitrogen in the soil. When these are about 7-8 inches tall, we cut the tops (or tendrils) and offer them to our customers. They are tender, refreshing and, amazingly, taste like peas.

 

radishes_2Root Crops

We are perhaps best known in the community for our carrots. They are sweet, juicy and polished to perfection.

Carrots
One of the great joys of being a human being is a fresh carrot. They are like candy. Parents, be careful offering too many to the kids. We grow “Mokum” (an early Nantes variety), red, yellow and purple varieties, and “Boleros,” a fall storage variety.

Beets
We offer three varieties of beets (Reds, Goldens, & Chioggias). Try roasting them, put them in the frig, and then slice them up and toss them in a summer salad. Gorgeous!

Hakurei Turnips
Sometimes called a “salad turnip,” or “sweet turnip,” these babies are remarkably juicy and sweet. They are excellent raw and in salads. An Italian friend of ours cuts them in half, pours a bit of olive oil on them, adds salt and pepper and eats them like ripe peaches, dripping turnip juice of his chin!

Radishes
We offer a few varieties from early spring to early summer and again in the fall. Favorites are the “Easter Egg” with several pastel shades, and the “D’Avignon” variety that are long and slender with a white tip, tapered to a point.

Green onions/scallions
Look for our big, healthy bunches from mid-April into June and in the fall.

 

tomatoes_1Summer Crops

Nothing like a cool, fresh cucumber or juicy tomato in the middle of a hot dry summer!

Cucumbers
We grow a good variety of sizes, shapes and types: standard slicers, Japanese varieties, Persian-style, and Armenians.

Eggplant
Besides the standard Italian “globe” types, we also have small white and purple varieties (including the Fairy Tales), light purple, white, striped, Japanese, Thai the list goes on.

Summer squash
We grow the usual zucchinis (including a lovely golden type), plus striped Costata Romanesco , several Patty Pans, and the “Flying Saucer” scallop type.

Winter squash
What a delight to grow the many wondrous varieties of winter squash. They are fun, pretty and very tasty. We offer pie pumpkins and heirloom varieties. Look for them in late August into November.

Tomatoes
We usually cultivate a good range of standard reds, sauce, cherries and yellow/golden varieties.

Peppers
Hot, mild, sweet, green, red, yellow – we offer a nice variety for all palates.

Basil
Of course, plenty of basil – including a Thai variety and Lemon.

Fennel
Fresh, anise-flavored bulbs and foliage. Good in salads, grilling and soups.