First seed order of the year

>> Monday, January 19, 2009

I’m determined to fill in every available space in all my beds this year, with anything other than weeds. And in achieving this goal and not putting off paying monthly bills, I placed my first order today.

I’m going to have to order a few seeds with each paycheck until I get all of what I want. Today, I ordered vegetable seeds from John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds.

CarrotParmex Baby Ball: an improvement on the first “baby ball” carrots originating in France, Parmex graces booths in many farmers markets throughout France. Bright orange with silk smooth skin, it does not need peeling. This baby carrot takes up relatively little space, making it ideal for the backyard gardener – you can even grow it in containers. Parmex is loudly crunchy, reliably sweet and in demand by gourmet chefs worldwide. Harvest at around 1” to 2”, by pulling gently. Open pollinator.

CarrotYellowstone: Unusual, yellow Flakkee-type is an extremely productive, adaptable carrot easily grown in many soil types. The yellow roots have a fine taste and strong feathery tops. Pick Yellowstone smaller than its mature size of 10”. Open pollinator.

Bush beansJade green: a classic green bean of the finest quality, it has slender, rounded, 6” to 7” long, dark jade-green pods that are slender, sweet and absolutely delicious. It is the new favorite of demanding market growers. It has a truly great taste; produces high yields of premium beans; is disease resistant and holds the beans well off the ground on large, upright, 24” tall bushes. Open pollinator.

Pole beansEmerite filet: a true filet bean from France, generously borne in cascading clusters on graceful vines growing to 8’. Produces heavy yields of uniformly slim, ¼” filet beans. Special breeding allows harvest at any stage, from teeny baby filets to mature filet beans at 7” long. Open pollinator.

CucumberArmenian: also known as the Yard-Long Cucumber, Snake Cucumber, Snake Melon or Uri, it is really a melon, but acts like a cucumber. Known as one of the best slicing “cucumbers”, this Armenian heirloom is rarely available for purchase. Thin-skinned, slightly ribbed and matte chartreuse, its crisp, mild flesh has a light citric finish with a unique sweetness. Open pollinator.

RadishHelios yellow: named for the Greek sun god, this uniquely colored heirloom is pale golden-yellow with a plump, olive-like shape. Its white flesh is quite sweet and tasty. Open pollinator.

RadishPurple plum: a plump, round, deep purple radish with firm white flesh. It has a mild, sweet flavor that holds all season without becoming pithy. Open pollinator.

PeasDakota shelling: this easy-to-grow shelling pea produces slender pods with eight to ten plump peas, borne doubly at each node. Dakota requires structural support with strings or netting secured to 2’ to 3’ supports. Good for freezing, they are also pre heaven when steamed and drizzled with butter. Open pollinator. Now how can you go wrong with these?

FennelFino: Fino’s licorice-flavored tender stalks and aromatic verdant-green feathery fronds brightens salads with a fresh, crispy crunch and offer a mild, silky smooth taste when sautéed or baked. A prized bolt-resistant variety, Fino is a more compact plant wit succulent flesh that stays tender without ever becoming woody or tough. Open pollinator.

PotatoRed ruby: an early maturing, brilliantly red-skinned potato with a waxy texture; perfect for salads and fresh eating. Ruby Red keeps well. These gorgeous, all-purpose potatoes are yummy for potato salads, steaming or frying.

PotatoRussian banana fingerling: from Europe’s northwest Baltic Region comes this rich-tasting, “salad” fingerling potato with yellow skin and golden flesh. It is easy and dependable with a smooth, waxy texture, an incredible, sweet flavor, and can be enjoyed after steaming or boiling with no adornment whatsoever – not even salt.

ZucchiniGolden rod: this glossy sunflower-yellow Zucchini is the earliest yellow variety available. It produces long, cylindrical fruit that colors up early. It compact plants are open, making the harvest less of a treasure hunt. Pick Golden Rod when it is just 8” long for the most sweet and tasty flavor and to encourage its productive yield. F1.

SquashBennings green tint pattypan: lovely, little, early 1900s American heirloom, Bennings Green Tint is also known as “scallop squash” due to its round, flattened and scallop-edged shape. The Bennings Green Tint bush is 3’ to 4’ tall with a high yield of glistening, pale green-skinned pattypan. Its flesh matured to creamy white with a hint of sweetness and a tender yet meaty texture when picked at 3” diameter. Harvest this productive plant until frost as long as you pick it regularly and fully all season. These fruits are prized for quick sautés, steamed or served fresh with summer dips. Open pollinator.

PumpkinRouge d’Etampes Cinderella: also called Cinderella, it is a slightly flattened and dramatically lobed member of the Cucurbita family. Rouge d’Etampes is a treasured heirloom from France with an intense auburn-red color. On average, each sprawling vine produces 4 to 6 pumpkins, averaging 15” in diameter and weighing 15 to 20 ponds. It is ideal for cooking the flesh is thick and firm, the seed cavity is small, and it has more flavor than most pumpkins. Open pollinator.

I have never grown any of these varieties so I have no personal experience to impart. I choose to copy the descriptions from the catalog. I must say the descriptions all sound pretty tempting. It was very difficult to narrow my selections to just these.

So far the only plant I buy every year is the Juliet grape tomato. Very profuse breeder and the tomatoes are typically the size of plum tomatoes. Very juicy and delicious. Maybe after growing some of these I will have new favorites to grow every year.


Petunia's Gardener February 1, 2009 at 7:47 PM  

Oh, you'll have fun with the pumpkins! If you've seen the photo Matron has posted, those are my feet on the other side from her feet. I love growing & eating pumpkins. I'll watch for that Juliet tomato. I've wanted to add a grape. I grow Sungold every year, a sweet orange cherry tomato. - Paula

Greg W February 1, 2009 at 8:33 PM  

Hi, Paula. I've grown Juliet for several years now and they are sweet. An orange cherry tomato, huh? Sounds enticing.

I grew a smaller pumpkin last year, Orange Smoothie that didn't have much 'meat' on it so I consider this larger Cinderella a step up. Am really looking forward to it.

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