Interested in trying our delicious products? You can find Bailey GREENhouse & Urban Farm herbs and produce in the tasty dishes served in cafeterias across campus, as well as at the State Room Restaurant located in the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center! Our goods can also be found at a local farm-to-table restaurant, Red Haven.
A list of some of the products we grow:
Arugula – a hint of spice follows a sweet beginning and ends in mild bitterness for this tender green. We keep its leaves small so you get the perfect bite size pieces in your dishes! We use it in our salad mixes, but Rachel tends to top her veggie burgers and wraps with it.
Bachelor’s Button – these small, radial flowers are commonly seen in blue, pink, and white and are grown at the Bailey GREENhouse for their edible flowers. They have a slight peppery smell and a sweetly spiced flavor and make for a fun addition to salad mixes!
Basil – Mama Mia! We grow this iconic herb in the summer as it’s too sensitive to survive the cold Michigan fall/winter. It cannot be refrigerated due to the sensitivity of the leaves; they will die and fall off in temperatures below 40F. Use this tasty plant in caprese dishes, pasta sauce, lasagna, pesto, or any other place you want a little fragrance and tang.
Beets + beet greens – red stems accompany the soft green leaves on our ‘Bull’s Blood’ variety. We do not allow most of our beet plantings to grow into full-sized beets, and instead harvest them when they’re still small leaves. We add them into salad mixes for a hint of color, or use them alone like any other green.
Borage – a widely spreading plant, borage produces 5 petalled flowers of a light periwinkle or pink color. While the leaves and stems of this plant can be quite prickly, don’t be alarmed! The flowers are edible and have a wonderful sweet flavor! Add them to salads or as a garnish on desserts.
Brussel Sprouts – a stalk hosts these bulbous modified leaves. Tastes tend to differ on these veggies, but we tend to think it’s all about how they are prepared. A savory seasoning or a sweet and sour sauce can really elevate an otherwise plain plant! However, this crop is never guaranteed for us due to high pest pressure. This year they turned out a bit unsightly, so next year we are switching up our practices on them.
Calendula – Warm summer mornings are spent at they Bailey GREENhouse harvesting these bright and lightly aromatic flowers for Red Haven farm to table restaurant in East Lansing. Calendula flowers are valued for their medicinal purposes to treat muscle spasms, fever, menstrual cramps, and sore throat and are often found in salad mixes and tea.
Chamomile – this small but mighty flower is a staple on our farm and is grown to produce chamomile tea and tea mixes. Chamomile plants produce many seeds, so we often find ourselves weeding chamomile out of our beds all year, but their relaxing and aromatic nature makes them well worth the weeding!
Cucumbers – almost 97% water, this is by far our most refreshing veggie. We grow them on trellises in the greenhouse every summer. Experimenting with cultivars is on our list of things to do as the one we used in 2017, ‘Corinto’, didn’t work out very well. However, the following summer, Armenian cucumbers were a huge success and the chefs on campus went crazy over them! Cukes can be used for so many dishes to add freshness and crunch, so go crazy with this cucurbit!
Dianthus – while many edible flowers also have edible leaves and the entire flower is edible, only the petals of dianthus flowers are edible. Their slightly bitter flavor makes them a wonderful addition to salad mixes by adding a burst of flavor to every bite!
Eggplant – with somewhat of a spongy texture and beautiful deep purple skin, eggplant is a vegetable to familiarize yourself with. That spongy textures turns to deliciously smooth sustenance once cooked. Smothered in bread crumbs, fried to a golden brown, and covered in sauce is one of the best ways to consume it in the fall, so give it a try!
Garlic + garlic scapes – No vampires come to Bailey! We use one of our outside tubs for garlic in the fall as well as a new bed along the sidewalk. Planted in late October, the garlic is covered in a layer of straw, and insulated further by snow once it falls.
Ginger – if you visit the greenhouse late summer, you will find one bed that looks like a tropical rainforest! While ginger is a tropical plant, the greenhouse and the brick surrounding the growing space really heat things up when the sun is high, creating the perfect environment for our high temperature loving friend, the ginger plant! You can find our ginger in the MSU Test Kitchen, MSU Food Truck, and Red Haven farm to table restaurant!
Jalapeños – this spicy pepper will light up your life! It’s luscious green skin and checking (the cute little “stretch marks” that signal maturity) are sure to make your soul happy as well as your tummy. Use them in salsa, pasta sauce, smothered in peanut butter (Degen’s recommendation), or as a hot salad topping to add some variety to regular dishes. We normally use the varieties ‘Early’ or ‘El Jefe’.
Kale – Our ‘Red Russian’ variety has bright purple stems with lobed leaves and really spices up a lettuce mix. It can be grown to full size and used as a wrap base or for steaming, but ours is generally kept to a baby size. It’s one of our winter crops as it can handle the cooler temps and tends to get sweeter with them. Corrine sautes it with garlic, olive oil, lemon zest, and mixes it with pasta to make a yummy and nutritious meal!
Kohlrabi – this veggie tends to look more like an alien spaceship than a food item. Opinions on it differ, some saying that the texture is similar to an apple but with the taste of a cucumber, others compare it to a radish-broccoli lovechild. Either way, it has a delicious crunch and pairs well with a multitude of foods. Veggie dips, fruit whips, peanut butter, hummus, and salsa can all be carried on slices of this beautiful creation, and shaving it into thin slices for a salad is sure to please young and old alike.
Lavender – The Territorial Seed Company seed catalog said that lavender used to be associated with “peace and tranquility”, which we find very appropriate! We dry it to hang in our office for a light, calming fragrance. The winter leaves our lavender plants dormant, so this is not available in cold months.
Lemongrass – A subtle citrus flavor is taken advantage of by the campus cafeterias as a soup additive. The summer is prime growing time for this sassy Michigan annual, and it’s not uncommon to leave with tiny cuts on your hands after harvesting. Please inquire if you wish to buy lemongrass as it’s a very small buying window.
Lemon Verbena – Also a Michigan annual, it is never guaranteed our plants will make it through the winter in our greenhouse. This is Rachel’s favorite herb to harvest as it’s lemony scent tends to stick around afterwards.
Lettuce mixes – One of our staple products, we grow this continually through the winter and summer. Other leafy greens (ex: kale, tatsoi, sorrel etc.) are mixed with a base of red and green varieties to give it some character. The varieties differ through the years, but some interesting ones are used like ‘Wild Garden’ or ‘Red Oakleaf’.
Microgreens- a new additive to our crop plan, we’ve started growing these tasty little babies to help supplement the farm’s income in the winter when growing is much slower. We grow these inside under grow lights and sell them to on campus chef, Kurt, who harvests them in front of an audience during cooking demonstrations!
Mizuna – Deeply serrated leaves and a pleasant bright green color accompanies a mildly spicy flavor. We generally put them in salad mixes to spice them up, but can also be used alone in sandwiches, soups, or stir-frys. They have a Japanese origin and are typical in that cuisine.
Nasturtium – the other edible flowers we grow can generally be described as having a light spicey flavor, but nasturtium flowers, leaves, and young seeds are quite the opposite! These bright, colorful flowers range from white to orange to multi-colored and have a very strong peppery flavor. They make wonderful additions to salads!
Onion – Ah, the ever-versatile onion. This underground bulb typically fares well in years we have planted it. The options are endless and while we may not have it constantly, please reach out to check if you desire some local bulbs. Get creative with what can be done, and really peel back those layers to get to know your onions.
Parsley – We have great luck with growing winter parsley in the greenhouse. The seeds sprout and produce beautiful, lush seas of tiny green leaves that you just wanna lay down in. It may slow down in the cooler temperatures but it holds its own nonetheless and we typically sell 1 pound a week to our cafeterias during winter months.
Peppermint – Our rooftop bees LOVE our raised bed of peppermint and it reminds us of Christmas in the heat of summer when we need that reminder the most! It can be bought fresh, however, so please contact us if you would like some. The winter tends to leave it a bit too chilly to produce anything new.
Radishes – Red to pink covering hides a stark white inner flesh that is tender, spicy, and refreshing. It can be shaved into a salad, pickled, cubed up for wraps, or eaten plain to give you a little pick-me-up. The varieties are endless and some experimentation would be beneficial for us to decide which works best in the greenhouse.
Rosemary – Our sturdy plants are extremely reliable and are used for many things. Also a favorite of Rachel, they leave your hands smelling wonderful after harvest. Corrine dried a bunch and hung it in her room to add some natural fragrance, which it still produces 3 months later! Winter lets our sweet rosemary go dormant and relax for a while, because in the spring the plants put out so much growth they tend to take over their adjacent aisles.
Rugosa Roses – another favorite to our bees, in front of the greenhouse you will find multiple rose bushes that add a bright pop of fuschia to our landscape as well as a slightly floral aroma, but that isn’t all our roses provide us! Rugosa Roses also produce large rose hips, which can be eaten fresh or made into tea for a boost of vitamin C. Harvest after the first frost for a sweeter flavor!
Sage flower – the Mint family of plants includes both lavender and sage; upon looking at sage flowers, this relation is evident! Just like lavender flowers, sage flowers can be harvested and used as a garnish, made into tea, or added to herbed vinegar blends!
Scallions – This baby onion has a milder taste than a regular onion and can be used to accent soups, salads, and more.
Sorrel – Adds a fresh lemony kick similar to a sour green apple to any dish, it makes a good substitute for spinach if you’re looking for a little more spice.
Spearmint – this refreshing plant is a favorite of the greenhouse crew and the wildlife around us! Spearmint flowers are often visited by pollinators, and the leaves are harvested and sold to the Kellogg Center and Hotel.
Spinach – Our spinach is amazingly sweet in the winter, and it is one of the few things that seems to thrive even in Michigan’s cold weather. Spinach is of a group of plants, including kale and carrots, that convert the starches in their tissues into sugar when they experience frost or extremely cold temperatures. Stop by in the cold winter months to pick up some amazingly sweet and fresh spinach!
Swiss Chard – Bright stems of yellow, orange, pink, purple, and red accompany lush green leaves for a beautiful addition to any garden. The MSU Horticulture gardens even grows swiss chard as part of their landscape display. Swiss Chard is a great substitute for lettuce on burgers.
Tatsoi – An asian relative of broccoli, it is also known as spinach mustard and spoon mustard. This little leaf has become very popular in North America. Tatsoi looks very similar to spinach but as a bright white crunchy stem. The stalks are tasty and sweet and the leaves are often used in salad mixes and stir fry.
Thai Hot Chili Peppers – these bright red peppers are small but mighty! You may be tempted to take a bite out of one of these cute little guys, but be forewarned, they are spicier than jalapenos and cayenne peppers! As the name suggests, they make a great addition to the brave fan of Thai dishes!
Tomatoes – The versatile tomato, a part of everyday life, used for canning, salsa, sauces, salads, and sweet snacks. Tomatoes come in a variety of colors and patterns. On of the GREENteam favorite Cherry tomato varieties: Cherokee red, is a deep shade of purple accompanied by dark red shades. Lexi’s personal favorite variety, Sun Gold, is the color of a bright yellow sunset.
Turnips – You can eat both the leaves and the turnip of this little root vegetable. Crispy, crunchy insides wrapped in a vibrant scarlet coating. Can be grown and harvested to be big or tiny and can be used in salads, soups, or eaten raw.
Turmeric – Sweet citrus ginger scents come with this ground dwelling root crop. Tumeric is the wonder spice your body needs: it is very good for you. Tumeric is what makes curry orange and is a staple of many Middle Eastern dishes.
Viola – These small, colorful flowers are a favorite of the Bailey crew! These plants are very prevalent around the farm, as their tiny seeds are easily spread. The flowers come in all colors including yellow, white, purple, pink, and blue, and they have a refreshing wintergreen flavor that is delicious in yogurt with fresh strawberries! Chef Tony at Red Haven farm to table restaurant especially loves our viola flowers!