Definitely not the mustard you find in local supermarkets, this plant makes an interesting addition to a garden plot. The mustard plant has been used since antiquity, and in the beginning was a common ingredient in many rustic cures. Romans used the mustard seed in the majority of their dishes, and for the production of wine. Believed to be an aphrodisiac, this herb often found itself falling victim to the almighty love potion. Well, while its unique components no longer find themselves in the bedroom, the mustard plant has a plethora of practical uses.
The mustard plant is a hardy annual which can grow anywhere from one to eight feet in height. This herb prefers a sunny location, and benefits from a light shade in the summer. Starting in spring this plant can be sown every three weeks for a steady supply of salad greens.
Seedlings should be thinned to six inches if you plan on harvesting the seeds. Salad plants can grow close to one another. The mustard plant grows well both indoors and outdoors. To harvest you can gather the flowers as they open. Seed pods should be picked before they open in late summer. Salad greens can be picked throughout the growing season.
To preserve the plant you can dry a seeds their pods, or they can be in infused in vinegar. Leaves should be dried, and placed in an airtight container.
For culinary purposes, and black or brown mustard seed can be made in to a homemade sauce. White mustard seed works best in for pickling solutions; it acts as a strong preservative. The flower or young leaves can be added to sandwiches or tossed into salads.
For household purposes, the seeds are used to clean and deodorize odoriferous cooking utensils. To do so simply bruise the seeds, swish them around while washing the item, and rinse well.
For cosmetic purposes, mashed seeds can be rubbed onto hands as a deodorizer, just make sure to rinse well after two minutes. This will effectively eliminate pungent onion or fish odors after you’re done cooking.