Chamsur (Garden Cress)
This year we grew Chamsur seeds that we received from the Refugee Assistance and Immigration Services program at Catholic Social Services Alaska and the Nepali growers they work with. Known as Chamsur in Nepali, Rashad in Arabic, and Asaliya, Aleev, or Haloon (and probably other names!) across India - this garden cress is harvested for the seed, which is ground into a powder and added to water, or used whole on top of cooked greens or rice.
These garden cress seeds are sought out for their traditional medicinal benefits, especially for respiratory ailments, in addition to their pleasant peppery taste.
The Refugee Assistance and Immigration Services program at CSSAK plans to grow these seeds for our catalog next year, and they happily report that this Chamsur grows well even in cooler climates, such as their farm plots in Anchorage, Alaska!
Days to maturity: 90 days to seed
Seeds per pack: 100
Germination rate: 92% on 08/03/2021
Planting / harvesting notes
Shallowly sow seeds directly in the ground as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring, and then every 8 to 10 days. For larger plants, thin to 4-8" apart, in rows 1' apart. This variety is grown for its seeds. Please see the seed keeping notes below for our suggestions on seed harvest and processing.
Seed keeping notes
Allow plants to bolt, and allow the flowers to fade and dry out. Harvest the entire flower stalk when it has dried fully, and lay it out somewhere away from rain and humidity so it can dry further. Whack the seed heads in a bucket to loosen the ripe seeds. Sift them out with a strainer, and winnow away the lightweight chaff with wind, breath, or a fan.