Saturday, March 11, 2017

Fascinating & uncommon vegetables to grow this upcoming summer

Often we grow the typical fruits and vegetables from seeds and plants found at big box stores. I find that the most common vegetables and fruits that are grown have the same flavor everyone is used to, they have the same boring appeal in the garden, and I want to mix things in my garden every year. A new variety of beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, or corn can really accentuate a garden, and when these fruits and vegetables are harvested, the vibrant colors and unique shapes will make you smile. This year, spice up this year's garden with these vegetables and fruits listed below:

cape gooseberry from last year's garden
1. Cape Gooseberry: Last summer I was delighted to grow beautiful cape gooseberries for the first time. I highly recommend growing those as well because they have a great pineapple like taste in a tiny cherry tomato like size. I grew these plants in pots, and maybe you will have better luck with them than I did because mine were small, so be sure to feed these plants. Purple tomatillo is another beauty as well that reminds me of the husks of the cape gooseberries.

2. Romanesco Italia Broccoli

3. Luffa gourds, and many other varieties of gourds like Birdhouse gourds, Apple gourds, Daisy gourds are artistic looking fruits that I quite admire as well.

4. Tiger Melon, Kiwano African Horned melon, moon and stars watermelon.

toga striped eggplant
5. Lemon Cuke Cucumber, Armenian cucumber, "West Indian Gherkin"cucumber, brown Russian cucumber, Gagon Cucumber, and Sikkim Cucumber.

6. Fengyuan Purple Eggplant, Toga striped eggplant, Thai Kermit eggplant, Gbogname Eggplant originating from West Africa; and there are many more varieties of eggplant which you can find in the provided links.

7. Kalibos Cabbage, Perfection Drumhead Savoy Cabbage that has a crinkled texture, Purple of Sicily Cauliflower.

8. White patty pan squash disco, Victor or Red Warty Thing Squash, Turks Cap or Turban Squash, and an interesting 60 day variety of squash called Gelber Englischer Custard. All of these make for beautiful decorations and artwork throughout your house, yard, garden, or any building. You can use these for a fall decor setting and scene like I have done in the past: Luffa (Loofah) Gourds ready to harvest (& Fall Halloween scene/setting) and Starting the Fall & Halloween scene setting decorations.
strawberry spinach

9. Speckled Lettuce, Strawberry Spinach dating back to the 1600s in Europe, and the many multi-colored greens can be found within the links provided.

10. Raddichio

11. Israeli Golden Watermelon

12. Snow Cap Bean, Purple Teepee Bean which is a 60 day bush bean, and Jacob's Cattle Bush Bean looks like those Pontiac horses.
13. Tomato 'Marmande' is a cute variety of tomatoes that are wrinkly and lined with crevices similar to pumpkins. I admire their unique shape, and is one of the many beautiful varieties of tomatoes that you can grow. Don't just grow the common red and round-shaped tomatoes. I had quite the success with the Blue Gold Berries Tomatoes last summer, and bought the seeds at through the link provided. The variety Brad's Atomic Grape Tomato is a wild beauty too.

blue gold tomatoes from 2016 garden
14. Because I mentioned pumpkins, I wanted to provide a list of interesting pumpkins to grow instead of the standard commercial varieties. One beautiful variety of pumpkin is Musquee De Provence Pumpkin that looks like it's straight out of a Halloween painting or some kind of fantastical scene, additionally the Fairytale Pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata), Jarrahdale Pumpkin.

15. Corn varieties like Strawberry Popcorn, Papa's Red Corn, and mini blue and pink popcorn look like ancient relics of time, and I say we ditch the standard yellow corn varieties for now.

16. The Parisienne Carrot varieties are adorable along with Pusa Asita Carrot.

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