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Try These Exotics In Your Garden This Year
You can spice up your garden by trying new "exotic" vegetables like blue potatoes, white beets, "inside out" radishes, pink cabbage, fist-sized pumpkins, and many more, developed by specialty seed companies.
John Gale, president of Stokes Seeds Inc., St. Catharine, Ontario, says many seed companies are developing unusual varieties as part of an effort to lure more people into gardening. Stokes Seeds offers several, including inside out radishes (red inside and white outside), Sweetie Pie pumpkins (small enough to fit in the palm of your hand), and purple string beans.
"The radishes come from China and taste like any other radish. A packet of seeds sells for $1.65, versus 65 cents for normal radishes. Sweetie Pie pumpkins are 6 in. across and 2 1/2 in. thick. They have a pumpkin taste but are used primarily for ornamental purposes. Growers often sell them for more than full-size pumpkins. Our Royal Burgundy purple beans are unique in that they turn green when cooked. The color is a built-in indicator for home canners - when the beans lose their purple color while being blanched, they're ready to freeze," says Gale.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Stokes Seeds Inc., St. Catharine, Ontario, Canada L2R 6R6 (ph 416 688-4300).
Seeds Blum, Boise, Idaho, sells a blue potato that's blue inside and out but tastes like a regular potato. The company also sells blue podded peas (blue pods, green peas) that can be served in salads, purple carrots, red celery, white beets, green eggplant, and white pumpkins. Send $2.00 for a catalog.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Seeds Blum, Idaho City Stage, Boise, Idaho 83706 (ph 208 342-0858).
Johnny's Selected Seeds, Albion, Maine, also offers a wide variety of exotic vegetables. One of the hottest sellers is a lima bean called "Tongue Of Fire" that's covered with red stripes. Despite its appearance, the bean tastes like a regular lima bean.
Contact: FARM SHOW. Followup, Johnny's Selected Seeds, Albion, Maine 04910 (ph 207 437-9294).

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1986 - Volume #10, Issue #3