One of the joys of January is the arrival of numerous seed catalogues that come in the mail, digital or otherwise. I browse through them at length with the same intensity that children ogle the Christmas Wish Book months before the actual event.
I find myself particularly attracted to the many vegetables being offered this year. We always grow some of the newer, different varieties to supplement the usual ones we grow or sell at our Kool Breeze Farmer’s Market or the grocery store.
My picks for this year are going to include a golden beet of some sort. The have the wonderful taste of a beet, perhaps even a bit sweeter taste, and there is none of the red stain to contend with. I remember eating a layered red and golden beet salad with a reduced balsamic viniagrette at a restaurant a few years ago. It was a delight to behold and to taste.
Purple and yellow cauliflower are always welcome in my vegetable patch too. They make a colourful and healthy addition to stir fries or salads, as do the excellent “Rainbow” variety of carrots. Parents my be interested in growing some of these varieties to entice their children into eating a wider selection of vegetables.
I often plant patches of kale in empty spots among the perennial garden. Ther curly leaves, in colours of purple, green and grey add a visual impact and are a quick side dish when stir fried with some onion in garlic oil, and seasoned with sea salt and white balsamic vinegar.
The early crop of mesclun salad greens is usually sowed at the beginning of May, and I like to sow another patch every three weeks until the end of June. This usually keeps us in salad until the end of August, when the cooler nights allows me a final crop. This usually provides us with greens until Thanksgiving- an excellent return on very little labour.
I took a tip from my grandparents and plant either cucumbers, squash or pumpkins in the compost pile. The vines thrive with the available nutrition and internal warmth from the compsot brings them on like gangbusters. Last year we planted cucumbers, but I think we’ll try ‘Celebration’ acorn squash. Not only is it a sweet tasting and easy to grow variety, it’s also the perfect size for our small family. A compact bush variety, this highly decorative squash always gets used in our Thanksgiving arrangements too!
Vesey’s 2015 catalogues are now available at Kool Breeze Farms! Pick yours up on Saturdays from 9 until 4.