Friday, February 12, 2010

New Veggies for 2010

Seeds have been inventoried. Orders for the 2010 growing season have already arrived. We pour over catalogs and review customer requests. Here are some new varieties we plan to plant.

Summer Savory, Satureja hortensis, is a peppery herb.

Shiso, Perilla frutescens, adds a distinct cinnamon/clove flavor and aroma to oriental cooking.

Hansel, Solanum melongena, is a 3-4" long, dark purple eggplant, which will replace Little Fingers. This 2008 AAS (All-American Selection) winner is non-bitter and perfect for grilling or slicing thin onto pizza.

Orient Express is another eggplant, slender, 8-10", and glossy black. It sets fruit in cool weather as well as under heat stress.

Comet, Mormordica charantia, is an edible gourd. This 8" long, cucumber-shaped fruit has a light green, pebbly skin. Its bitter flavor is prized in various Asian cuisines. Other names are bitter melon (US), balsam pear (England), Ku Gwa (China), Kerala (India), Ampalaya (Philipines).

Honey Bear, Cucurbita pepo, is a small acorn squash, the perfect size for single servings when halved. This 2009 AAS winner was bred for taste and disease resistance by Dr. Brent Loy at the University of New Hampshire.

Fairytale, Cucurbita moschata, is a beautiful as well as delicious French heirloom. This squash has deep orange, nearly red flesh covered with beige, heavily ridged skin.

Galeaux d'Eysines, Cucurbita maxima, has a pink skin covered with beige peanut-like bumps. "Peanut" squash makes a unique fall decoration. Its sweet, moist, orange flesh will make tasty pies, soups, etc.

Caraflex, Brassica oleracea (capitata group), is a pointed mini cabbage. Popular in Europe, it can be used like lettuce in summer salads.

Romanesco, Brassica oleracea (botrytis group), is a lime green cauliflower with pointed, spiraled pinnacles. Graffiti is a true cauliflower with brilliant purple heads. Cheddar is a beautiful golden cauliflower that becomes an even brighter orange when lightly cooked.