poetry and prose about place

a moment of beautiful – mustard fields in bloom

with 14 comments

the space: a field along the St. John River

the beautiful: mustard in bloom

In some of the cultivated fields along the St. John River, acres of mustard are in bloom.  Mustard is common here, in both coastal and inland areas, along roads and in fields.  In the last weeks, I have found two species, Black Mustard (Brassica nigra (L.) Koch) and Field Mustard (Brassica rapa L.) also known as Rape, or Bird’s Rape.

Mustard is an herb of medium size, with pale yellow, four-petalled flowers in terminal clusters, and large lobed leaves.  The seeds are contained in pods; each pod ends in an elongated beak.

Mustard is well-known for its uses.  The young, basal leaves may be cooked as greens or used in salads.  Clusters of unopened flower buds can be cooked like brocolli.  The tender seed pods are pickled, or used in salads.

Mustard’s best-known use is as a spice – the seeds are collected, dried and ground to make hot yellow mustard.  I have a spot staked out to collect the seeds as they ripen in August, since I want to dry and grind some seeds for my own mustard.





green leaves

between brown earth

and summer sky,

finished with

a generous smear

of mustard



©  Jane Tims  2012

1. never eat any plant if you are not absolutely certain of the identification;
2. never eat any plant if you have personal sensitivities, including allergies, to certain plants or their derivatives;
3. never eat any plant unless you have checked several sources to verify the edibility of the plant.

Written by jane tims

July 9, 2012 at 7:49 am

14 Responses

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  1. Dear friend

    In these days I completed a book that deals with the “Flower of the Holy Land”. The book intended to serve as a “Plants of Israel” guide, in the “Christianity mirror”, for Christian pilgrims. The Book included botanical aspects of the plants, along with the religious context of Christian tradition, the New Testament and Jesus in Proverbs. During the collection of materials, I was exposed to your website and found an appropriate picture of the Mustard field to the book content. I would be grateful if you allow me to use the picture in my book, of course while maintaining the credit, as required by law, in order not to violate the rights holder.

    Sincerely yours,

    Ami Tamir


    Liked by 1 person

    ami tamir

    January 11, 2015 at 10:42 am

    • Hi..yes, you have permission to use the photo/picture in your book. Would you send me the title and publication date for your book so I can include it in my credit list? Thanks, Jane Tims


      jane tims

      January 11, 2015 at 4:43 pm

  2. What a lovely sandwich. 🙂



    July 16, 2012 at 11:59 am

  3. How beautiful the field of mustard in bloom is! Mustard is often the best part of a sandwich!


    Barbara Rodgers

    July 12, 2012 at 11:27 am

    • Hi. Do you notice how many kinds of mustard there are on the shelves today? Jane


      jane tims

      July 12, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      • Yes! Choosing one can be a bit overwhelming! 🙂


        Barbara Rodgers

        July 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      • Hi. I am amazed at the variety of mustards available. We have about six bottles of ‘onion-flavoured honey mustard’, my husband’s favorite. We buy a new one almost every picnic, because we keep forgetting it at home! Jane


        jane tims

        July 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm

  4. I learn so much from you! Must go must-ard hunting, now.


    Deborah Carr

    July 11, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    • Hi Deborah. When you find a patch, put a little stake in the ground. They are easy to find now, but once the flowers are gone, your stake will help you find your mustard seeds! Jane


      jane tims

      July 12, 2012 at 8:33 am

  5. I think your mustard growing wild will be better than anything we could grow in a garden. What a marvelus photo. This time of year I love mustard on just about everything!



    July 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    • Hi. I’ll let you know what my wild mustard turns out like. I love grainy mustard best. Jane


      jane tims

      July 9, 2012 at 8:04 pm

  6. Excellent poem Jane. BTW we just harvested some of our herbs. Lots and lots drying over the fireplace. Will have pics soon! – Denis



    July 9, 2012 at 11:19 am

    • Hi. Thanks. I hope you post another photo of your herbs. I harvested enough of my herbs for my dinner… will post my adventures on Wednesday! Jane


      jane tims

      July 9, 2012 at 1:28 pm

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