Edible Bozeman

Local Tulips, Mint, and Swiss Chard


Always thinking, observing, and adjusting, flower growers in Bozeman strive to provide a diverse array of sustainable flowers best suited for our climate. Last fall, Meara Cassidy and Travis Cox of Kokoro Flowers planted close to 20,000 tulip bulbs in experimental raised beds, which they expect to be ready for this season’s harvest beginning in late April. One of their goals with tulips is to figure out how to cultivate a dedicated growing area where the bulbs can perennialize and naturalize, as happens in home-garden spaces.

When you bring home cut tulips for a vase, be sure to give them lots of water and a fresh cut every few days. They will stretch, open, and grace your space until the last petal drops to your tabletop. If you’re cutting your own garden tulips, leave a few leaves on the plant so it can photosynthesize and be as robust as possible in following years.


We’ve got to wait for May to enjoy mint and other early herbs like sorrel and lovage. The team at Gallatin Valley Botanical grows these herbs outside in the soil where they can be watered by snow and soak up the sun’s energy even in still-cool temperatures.

Mint livens up many things in the kitchen, from ranch dressing to green smoothies, and it’s delicious atop a bowl of broth, as with Vietnamese pho. Like most delicate herbs, mint keeps best refrigerated in an airtight container with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture, but it is also nice to have out on the counter, standing in a jar with just enough water to keep the stems fresh.


As with most winter greens, you can’t go wrong with a quick Swiss chard sauté in olive oil or butter with perhaps a sliced shallot or garlic clove. Swiss chard prefers wilting rather than long cooking, so you’ll be done in less than 10 minutes at the stovetop. If you have any dried currants hanging around, about a tablespoon added to the pan of cooking chard will add a nice pop of sweetness, particularly good with a roast chicken or squash.

When you have Swiss chard and no room in the refrigerator, get it cooked and it’ll keep for a day or two until you get around to adding it into quiche or a rustic tart (see our Rustic Chard Tart recipe in the Spring 2020 issue available on ediblebozeman.com). You can also just reheat it to accompany a mound of softly scrambled eggs.

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