Friday, February 27, 2015

Seed Exploration

It was time to order a new supply of my favorite bean seeds.  I’ve grown and loved Smeraldo beans for years.  They are a Romano-type pole bean from Northern Italy with 8-foot vines that bear 8- to 10-inch, flat, stringless pods.  These beans have outstanding flavor.  I’ve never liked raw beans but these are also great for munching on straight out of the garden.  They provide a bumper crop.  I had previously only found the seed through Park seed.  

So I headed over to Park Seed’s website, and they were sold out!  So I did a Google search and found an alternate source.  The seeds are available Seeds of Italy!  And being a true vegetable gardening addict, I put those seeds in my cart, and then kept shopping and found three more interesting selections.

I love Hakurei turnips, but the description of Violet Top enticed me into trying another variety.  “The most popular turnip in Italy” and “Excellent, very sweet taste and texture.”  I also liked the color of the red purple tops.  I’m eager to try them.

My next choice was Long of Florence summer squash.  It is described as long, ribbed, and light green with speckles.  “A very heavy producer with good taste.”  Over at Cornell’s vegetable ratings, comments on this squash were very positive; “great taste, compact, very prolific” and “will not take over the whole garden.”  The only information I didn’t find was its days to maturity.  I’m hoping it’s a fast grower because my mouth is watering. 

My last new choice was Spigariello Neopolitan "Friarielli" Brocoletti.  This is described as a Smooth-leaved Italian leaf broccoli with small heads that has sweet broccoli flavor.  The website says “One of the most renowned vegetables in Italy”, “fast growing, great flavor” and “Cool season brassica with a very long sowing window.”  A commenter at Cornell’s site says “The delicious leaves are the reason to grow this plant in your garden (not the little broccoli tops). The leaves are mild when cooked with a wonderful, slight taste of broccoli.”

This week I also made a trip to the website of Ohio Heirloom Seeds after reading about a tomato seed recommendation in a forum.  It was for Siberian Pink Honey - Rozovyi Myod. I was convinced after reading these particular parts of the description at the website; “the best Siberian heirloom variety available; the first to germinate, and the fastest grower, excellent fruit-set within 3 weeks, they seemed to explode out of the ground in the early cool weather.” And “I was harvesting tomatoes in early July.  SUCH HUGE FRUIT. They are oxheart-shaped, many over 2 pounds, with very few seeds, the meatiest I have ever grown, with a delicious-fruity taste, not acidic or sour.”
After putting those tomato seeds in my cart, I noticed their Purple Beauty Pepper Seeds.  These are described as “beautiful thick-walled peppers that add great color to salads, fried dishes, and chili. Unlike most peppers, which start out green, these beauties are purple from the outset, adding color to your garden much earlier in the season.” I grew a purple pepper years ago and loved the color in my garden.  But that pepper didn’t turn purple until very late in the season.  I look forward to this early purple!
And I look forward to an interesting delicious vegetable growing season.  Hurry up spring!

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