Several Wanganui homes won't be left wanting for silverbeet this week.
The plant was part of the Wanganui District Council's feature planting on the Cornmarket Reserve at the intersection of Dublin St and Somme Parade.
It was decided rather than compost the plants when the area was replanted the public should be able to pick some for their kitchens.
The council's senior parks officer, Wendy Bainbridge, said the plant had been used in other council gardens before.
"They were chosen because they provide a colourful display and it was a bit different. The use of pickable crops is not necessarily permanent but something that has been done for a change.
"Being at a prominent roundabout does mean that the garden can look untidy once people start to pick the crop, so we may need to reassess where we plant pickable gardens in the future," she said.
The next planting at the reserve would include parsley and basil.
About a dozen people turned up yesterday morning to take home some of the mature silverbeet. Dale Coleman was surprised how quickly the red-stemmed green had vanished.
"It's only 10.20 and it's been well picked over, people must have seen it in the paper this morning and come early.
" I walked past here yesterday afternoon and apart from the odd bit missing it was quite intact," she said as she picked some for her husband.
"He's the only one who eats the stuff in our house. I don't. We have some of the green stuff at home but I thought he may like this coloured stuff."
Mrs Coleman had some advice for parents whose kids were fussy when it came to eating the divisive vege.
"I'd say if your kids don't eat it, just put on a little mint sauce. My mum used to serve it to my dad with mint sauce, he wouldn't eat it otherwise."