Last week I gave you five quick tips for making your first garden a success. Yesterday in the Facebook hop, I asked how many of you were planning a garden for this year. I was so encouraged by the answers. Today I want to show you one of the coolest things about growing heirloom and/or open-pollinated garden plants: variety.
Today’s selection is coming from Seed Savers Exchange. Seed Savers and other organizations like it, are doing their best to preserve the genetic biodiversity of our food system in a world that values things like shelf-life, uniformity, and how well a vegetable travels. Read why we NEED these organizations and biodiversity here.
Little sidenote: If you think the answer to impending food scarcity issues is genetically-modified seeds (GMOs), please read Organic Manifesto: How Organic Food Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe by Maria Rodale. Her family has been involved with these issues since long before they were trendy.
Here is where I apologize for not having photos of these uncommon varieties. If you click on the title link, it will take you to Seed Savers website where you can see a photo. They really are worth the extra work of a click.
Common garden plant: Cucumber
Uncommon variety: Little Potato Cucumber
This is a cucumber that looks like a potato. Seriously, click the link if you don’t believe me. Actually click the link even if you do believe me. Cucumbers make great, quick healthy snacks in the summer.
Common garden plant: Tomato
Uncommon Variety: Green zebra
These ripen to a golden yellow with green stripes. We’ve grown these tomatoes multiple years. They have great flavor, and the plants produced pretty heavily for us. They are also quite beautiful.
Common garden plant: Green Beans
Uncommon Variety: Purple Pod Pole Bean
Technically these would then be purple beans, but hey. A word of warning, purple foods typically cook out to be green. If you know of a way to prevent that, I am all ears. Well, you know what I mean.
Common garden plant: Corn
Uncommon Variety: Two Inch Strawberry Popcorn
Speaking of all ears…ahem. If you want to try something new, try growing your own popcorn. You can not grow different varieties of corn within the same garden because of how easily it will cross-pollinate, so if you want sweet corn, ignore this suggestion. I want to give this a try this year because we already have the seed and I think I know how to handle corn better this year. We’ll see.
Common garden plant: Sweet/Bell Peppers
Uncommon Variety: Tequila Sunrise
These sweet peppers are long and have a deep golden yellow color.
So there you have it, five uncommon varieties of plants you may have already been planning to put in your garden. This is one area where I will encourage you to try something new, even if you are planning your first garden.
Are you excited to grow a garden this year? Tell me in the comments below!
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