What are you growing this year?

I am often asked by shareholders and local gardeners what varieties of vegetables, herbs and fruits I’m growing. Liz has compiled a list of most of what we are growing this season. The majority of our seed, and the descriptions of the produce, comes from the Johnny’s Selected Seed or Fedco catalogues. Many thanks to Liz for putting this together.

Storage onions
Prince: Medium-size onion, block globe shape with refined neck. Skins stay tight even after long storage.
Varsity: Large firm onion, nice round shape.
Redwing: Deep purple-red skin, very firm, 3-4” bulbs.

Cipollini Onions
Small onions for boiling and braising. Flattened button-shaped spheres, perfect for soup, stir-fry, and shish kebob; keeps until late winter.
Red Marble: Small flat red onions with a thin neck.
Gold Coin: Very flat yellow small onion, pungent and sweet, deliciously sweet when cooked.

Scallions, Pearl and Green Onions
Evergreen Hardy White: Perennial bunching onion, heirloom from Japan originated in the 1880s.
Pearl Drop: Small, snow-white pearl onions for cooking or pickling.
Purplette: Glossy rich burgundy small pearl onion for cooking or pickling.
Red Long of Tropea: Tall, elongated red bulbs, traditionally grown in the Mediterranean.

Tadorna: Medium-length white shaft with very dark blue-green foliage.
Lincoln: Long & sleek, delicate sweet flavor.

Russian Red: Small bulb and purple wrapper, strong flavor, stores very well over the winter. Seed from Harvest Home.

Sweet: Recommended for drying and all-around great eating.
Thai: Attractive fine-leaved plant with purple stems, strong licorice-anise flavor for Thai cuisine.
Lemon: Often used in bouquets for its intense lemon fragrance. Great for flavoring fish and fowl dishes.

Santos: Classic Mexican herb – great for soup, salsa, and bean dishes.
Delfino: Same flavor as traditional cilantro, but has fern-like lacy open leaves that resemble dill – beautiful for garnishes as well as cooking.

Gigante d’Italia: Bright green with rich sweet flavor, an heirloom variety from northern Italy with flat leaves.

Zifa Feno: Tender stalks and leaves great for relishes and salads, leaves and seeds excellent with fish. Seeds also can be used for sweets and baked goods. This variety has blue-green stems and feathery green leaves.

Marjoram, Sage, Sorrel, Summer Savory, Dill, Mint

Tyee: A spinach for all seasons. Firm crinkled leaves.
Space: Vigorous big thick wavy leaves, dark green, juicy sweet taste.

These greens are members of the cabbage and kale family. Traditionally boiled or simmered for a long time with meat until very soft, and served with corn bread.
Champion: Rich dark strain, resembles kale.
Even’Star: Very tender and sweet mild greens.

Leaf Lettuce
Crisp leaves from a stalk, rather than a head. Green and red varieties include:
Two Star: Standard green leaf lettuce.
Green Star: Brightest green color.
Salad Bowl: Bright green frilly notched leaves.

Vulcan: Crisp and mild. Ruffled slightly frilled leaves are a vivid, candy-apple red over a light green background.
Oscarde: Attractive intense cherry-red lobed leaves.
New Red Fire: Ruffled leaves, deep red color, tender, sweet flavor.

Boston Lettuce
Large, ruffled outer leaves surrounding a soft, folded, blanched heart. Outstanding eating quality. Varieties include:
Mikola: Heavy succulent red lettuce with large rounded semi-ruffled leaves. Seed from Turtle Tree.
Red Cross: Large, fancy bright red heads.
Adriana and Ermosa: Green leaves, heads are full and dense with good taste.

Batavian Lettuce
Less known in North America, but a lettuce variety highly prized in Europe. The only lettuce we know of that grows well in the heat of a New England summer. Varieties include:
Magenta: Shiny red leaves, with a crispy green heart.
Nevada: Soft crunch, delicate sweet nutty flavor. Forms a unique, jade-green rose-shaped head.

Romaine Lettuce
Grows in a head, with thick, crisp juicy leaves with sweetness unmatched by other lettuce types. Varieties include:
Freckles: Beautiful heirloom romaine, green with red splotches.
Winter Density: Compact, extra-dark green heads, very tightly folded, good salad quality.
Coastal Star: Large, dark green heavy heads with good sweet flavor.
Green Forest: Our darkest green romaine.

Swiss Chard
Bright Lights: Stems of many colors including gold, pink, orange, purple, red, and white, with tender green or bronze leaves. Mild chard flavor.

Musky leafy green that spices up a salad.

Asian Greens
Leafy greens similar to cabbage, great for stir-fry, soup, or braising.
Hon Tsai Tai: Chinese greens with deep purple stalks and buds, pleasant mild mustardy flavor.
Vitamin Greens: For salad mixing and bunching, tender flavorful leaves, brilliant deep green.
Senposai: Grown even through the winter, round medium-green leaves.
Tatsoi: Grown through the winter, dark green leaves make beautiful compact rosettes, mild flavor.
Shuko: Baby pac choi (bok choy) with green stems, beautiful dark green leaves.
Fuyo Shomi: Pac choi with large green, spoon-shaped leaves.

Napa Cabbage
Asian specialty that combines the thin texture of lettuce with the fresh peppery tang of juicy cabbage.
Minuet: Small heads, dark green outer leaves with yellow interior. Light, sweet taste.
Blues: Pungent flavor, tender tasty green leaves.

Natacha: Big, heavy heads with abundant tender green leaves. Great for salads or sautéing.

Broccoli Raab
Eaten for the greens – not the same as broccoli! The small yellow flowers and stem can be eaten as well.
Sessantina Grossa: Large green bud with spiked leaves surrounding it, strong nutty taste.

In the cabbage and broccoli family, but milder and sweeter. Can be eaten raw, sliced in a salad, or cooked in curry or other spicy dishes.
Kolibri: Small and round stems, deep purple outside with crisp white flesh.

Red Russian: Siberian heirloom brought to Canada by traders in the 19th century. Red & purple leaves change to green when cooked. Use soon after picking or chill leaves in cold water.
Nero di Toscana: Also called “Dinosaur kale”. Strong dark green leaves, sweet mild flavor.
Winterbor: Rich blue-green color, curled ruffled leaves, strong cold hardiness.

Gonzales: Baby green cabbage about the size of a softball. Sweet flavor and crisp texture.
Alcosa: Beautiful dark green cauliflower with smaller head.

Indigo: Strong crisp peppery flavor, tight head with burgundy leaves.
Sugarloaf: Green leaves, mild flavor.
Trevisio: Italian variety of red-lined lettuce with white ribs, eaten cooked or raw.

Sugar Ann: A variety of early snap peas, sweet and crisp.
Sugar Snap: Tall vines produce long pods of green pods, sweet and crisp.

Provider: FEDCO Seed’s best-selling bush bean for 29 years, purple seed, rich beany taste.
Masai: Extremely tasty, small green beans, juicy and crisp.
Northeaster: Huge, flat, buttery pods. 8” long and 1” flat wide green pods, rich sweet flavor. Stays tender and stringless.
Marvel of Venice: Big tasty yellow flat pods with white seeds.

Envy: Bright green beans, can be boiled fresh in the pod for edamame, eaten fresh, or dried. Delicious buttery flavor.

Fava Beans
Winsor: Mainstays in many cultures since ancient Rome like Mexico, Brazil, and India. Rich in fiber and iron, highest of all beans in protein. Large wide light green beans in glossy pods.

Red Ace: Sweet early season beet with purple tops.
Forono: Cylindrical, deep purple, sweet taste. Uniform size is great for cooking, slicing, or pickling.
Chioggia: Candy-striped beets! Green with pink-striped stems, sweet flavor.

Nelson: Sweet, tender, and crisp. Smooth and uniform, deep orange color.
Bolero: Sturdy medium-long carrot, good fresh taste after long-term storage.
Kinko: Crunchy, sweet short cones, deep red-orange.
Mokum: Outstanding for fresh eating or juicing, long and very slender.

Diamante: Frog prince of root vegetables! Ugly exterior, clean white internal coloration, nutty parsley-celery flavor, can be boiled, braised, or mashed, enhances meat, fish, and poultry.

Pink Beauty: Firm and delicious, medium size, full rich flavor.
Polbig: Deep red color inside and outside, meaty, medium size.
Pineapple: Very large yellow and red striped tomato, fruity taste, smooth exterior.
Moskvich: Smaller heirloom early tomatoes, deep red, with rich taste.
Green Zebra: Green striped salad specialty heirloom tomato, ripe when green with yellow blush.
Black Prince: Mahogany brown with orange-red, rich fruity flavor.
Striped German: Red and yellow, marbled interior looks beautiful when sliced, smooth texture.
Japanese Black Trifele: Pear shape with burgundy color, excellent rich taste.
Jet Star: Premium quality, full-size, early tomato. Beautiful with outstanding flavor.
Taxi: Baseball-sized, lemon yellow tomatoes, sweet flavor.
Orange Blossom: Medium size, early orange tomato, mild flavor.
Pruden’s Purple: Great sandwich tomato, silky texture, very few seeds, rich tomato taste.
Rose de Berne: French tomato, pink, medium size, robust flavor, round and firm.
Garden Peach: Small yellow fruits with fuzzy skin, like a peach! Juicy and very sweet, with excellent shelf life (several months). Light fruity taste.
Yellow Pear: Petite, distinctive salad tomato, pear shape, lemon yellow, mild flavor.
Tigerella: Bright red with greenish-yellow stripes, when ripe. Rich, tangy flavor.
Nebraska Wedding: Deep orange tomato, lots of flavor.

Paste Tomatoes
Typically meatier and less juicy, these tomatoes are excellent for salsa, sauces and other cooking, or canning, juicing, or freezing.
Amish: Large, thick & meaty, heart-shaped bright red paste tomato.
Hog Heart: Brought from Italy to Massachusetts around the time of World War I. Excellent flavor fresh, canned, or frozen.
San Marzano: Large classic Italian, delicious balanced flavor, long cylindrical fruits.
Juliet: Deep red shiny fruits, rich tomato taste.

Cherry Tomatoes
Sun Gold: Small cherry tomato, huge flavor – both strong sweetness and tart. Bright orange-yellow color.
Sun Cherry: Sweet, small red cherries.

Nadia: Dark purple fruits from tall sturdy plants. Classic large Italian eggplant.
Orient Express: Attractive, slender glossy black fruits. Tender, delicately flavored, quick cooking.
Diamond: Elongated dark purple, firm flesh, mild flavor with no bitter taste, imported from Ukraine in the 1990s.
Applegreen: Beautiful pale green round or oval fruits. Extremely mild flavor with white flesh.
Clara: Unique, large, white Italian eggplant.
Fairy Tale: Small purple and white-striped fruits, wonderful flavor with no bitterness and very few seeds.
Beatrice: Round, bright violet fruits.

Cubanelle: Semi-sweet frying pepper.
Islander: Light lavender skin, pale yellow flesh with mild light sweet taste.
Purple Beauty: Very deep purple skin, beautiful for all kinds of salads and cooking.
X3R: A large green pepper.
New Ace: Early green pepper.

Hot Peppers
Anaheim: Traditional, semi-flattened fruit for roasting, chili rellenos, and stir-fry. Not the hottest of our hot peppers.
Carrot: Orange and cone-shaped like a carrot, but a hot pepper!
Early Jalapeno: Very hot, sausage-shaped green hot peppers turn red as they ripen.
Ancho: Southwestern hot pepper, heart-shaped with thinner walls, turn red when ripe and called “poblanos” when still green. Large enough for stuffing, and famous for use in mole sauce.
Cayenne: Very hot, bright red and thin.

Marketmore 86: Dark green 8” fruits from vigorous vines. Not burpless.
Lemon: Rounded 3” lemon-shaped fruits, yellow, sweet and very crisp.
Poona Kheera: Imported from India, crisp, sweet, juicy, and refreshing. Shorter and yellow-brown.
Cross Country: Blocky straight dark green white-spined fruit, crunchy and cool. For pickling.

Radish Pods
Rat-tail: grown for its tangy seed pods, not its roots. Add a mustardy zing to salads and stir-fry.

Sugar Baby: Dark green rind, deep red inside – the standard northern icebox watermelon.
Peace: Yellow watermelon, sweet and very juicy.
Cream of Saskatchewan: Sweet juicy melon with cream-colored flesh and abundant seeds. Light green rinds with dark stripes. Brought by Ukrainian immigrants to Canada early in the 20th century.
Quetzali: Dark green rind with dense pink flesh, almost seedless. Thick rind needs a good knife and a strong wrist to cut open.

Earliqueen: Medium-size cantaloupe with thick sweet orange flesh.
Arava: Extra sweet tropical flavor, thick lime-green flesh with rind like a cantaloupe.

Husk Cherry: Also known as Ground Cherry. Like tomatillos, the fruit ripens inside a papery husk.Ntty flavor great for raw snacks.

Toma Verde Tomatillo: Early-maturing green toomatillo. Use in salsa or Mexican cooking.

Summer Squash
Jackpot: Dark green slightly speckled zucchini, tender, mildly flavored, and sweet.
Eight Ball: Round, attractive, shiny dark green fruits, just larger than billiard balls!
Magda: Sweet, nutty flavor. Small, blocky pale-green tapered fruits, for stuffing, stir fries, or pickling.
Zephyr: Yellow with green tips and straight necks, faint white stripes. Delicious nutty taste and firm texture.
Sunburst: The most appetizing of summer squashes, bright yellow skin. Small and shaped like a pie tart – round with a flat top and scalloped edges. Also called “patty pan” squash.

Gypsy: Medium-size, excellent for eating fresh.
Arcadia: Frosty bluish-green heads with very refined small beads, big and rugged.

Fremont: White cauliflower, surrounded by wrapped green leaves.

Winter Squash
Butterbush: Small butternut squash, smooth flesh with unique sweet flavor.
Sweet Mama Buttercup: Grey-green buttercup squash, outstanding sweet flavor.
Sunshine: Spectacular scarlet color, bright orange flesh. Dry yet tender, sweet yet meaty. Can be steamed, baked, or used for pies.
Delicata: Unique long and thin cream-colored fruits with dark green stripes and flecks. Very sweet, excellent for stuffing and baking.
NE Pie Pumpkin: The standard pie pumpkin for generations.