We’re super-excited about the new additions to our range of seeds. They include some really unusual vegetable varieties to spice up your gardening experience and your culinary experiments. There are also some good, old-fashioned surprises. Have you ever tried to grow sugar beet? It’s a fascinating plant, and I’m looking forward to discovering if it’s as sweet as I’ve been led to believe. If I’m feeling ambitious, I might even try to make my own sugar. This article talks you through what’s new in the Seeds of Plenty veggie patch, and more importantly what they taste like, how they grow and why you should grow them this season.
More Beautiful Beets
Having sneaked in a preview of sugarbeets already, let’s look at some of the other beauties we’ve got in store for you.
First up is Burpees Golden, a beetroot variety with remarkably pretty, deep-gold flesh. That certainly adds to this veggie’s versatility. While red beets have their place, their habit of turning everything else red isn’t popular with everyone. It may also limit the range of dishes in which you’d want to use them. Golden beetroots, on the other hand, are at home just about anywhere – on their own or mixed into other dishes.
While Crosby’s Egyptian beetroot is definitely not egyptian, it’s a winner. The evidence of that is the global popularity of this heritage variety which is still used in commercial beet production. It’s advantage over its cousins lies in the smoothness of its skin, especially the upper part which that’s exposed to the sun. This part of the root often gets rather rough-textured, but Crosby’s Egyptian overcomes that drawback. Apart from its texture, this beetroot variety also has a slightly less earthy flavour than other beets.
Have you ever eaten a Mangelwurtzel? Also known as “Mammoth Red” beets, they can reach a mass of around 9kg! As a result, they were often used as an economical fodder crop for animal feed. They’re productive and they store well. However, if they’re eaten young, the roots are quite tender. While they’re growing, the leaves provide a steady supply of cut-and-come-again greens. My temptation? Growing this giant beet as big as I can just because I can! I’d love to see the look on my family’s faces as I come staggering through the door with a gargantuan beet in my arms.
That’s a round up of the Beets New in the Seeds of Plenty Veggie Patch – what’s next?
A Segue into Superb Squashes
We’re spoiling you for choice with a superb selection of squash varieties too. The fruits of your labours could make your kitchen look like the novelty veg section of your local market.
Bennings Green Tint Squash
Bennings Green Tint Squash is a perfect patty-pan with a softly green-tinted skin. It may not look super-unusual, but it’s a good, practical variety that delivers everything you’d expect plus that rather pretty colour.
Yellow Straight Neck Squash
Yellow Straight Neck Squash, on the other hand, is a summer squash similar to a zucchini variety. As you’ll have guessed from the name, the fruits are a rich golden yellow. This coloring will make for an excellent aesthetic choice when you want people to feast their eyes as well as their taste buds. We like the fact that Yellow Straight Neck is rated as a heavy-bearing variety with quite a long fruiting season. And, as so many of our veggie varieties are, it’s a heritage choice that has stood the test of time.
We fell in love with the name of Cucuzza Squash, but there’s much more to this veggie than a cute name. Specifically, it can get really long – up to 30cm! Technically, this plant is a type of gourd, but it’s grown like summer squash. If you pick and eat the fruits young, they taste a lot like baby marrow, but they do need peeling. Left to get large, you’ll need to discard the seeds too, but the fruits are still said to be tasty. Cucuzza squash come from Italy where the heirloom variety is a common ingredient in cookery – definitely an authentic touch to attempts at global cuisine!
Zucchini Ronde de Nice
Zucchini Ronde de Nice rounds off our featured squash varieties. You probably already guessed that the fruits are round, but in every other sense, they’re grown and eaten just like regular zucchini. If you’ve ever grown the ordinary type, you’ll know that the fruits develop with amazing rapidity and it’s easy to miss the small size that’s ideal for picking. However, I suspect that the occasional big ones will be delicious roasted and stuffed with a yummy filling.
Our Collection Keeps Growing!
Dan has been a busy man tracking down interesting varieties and securing seeds from around the world! Our collection is growing from strength to strength and we’ll all need veggie patches the size of Tasmania to fit in all the great veggies we’ve been getting so excited about. Nevertheless, there’s nothing like a bit of fresh inspiration, so I’m already pondering the difficult question of which of the fresh introductions to choose.
I’m off to decide just where in my garden I can squeeze giant beetroots into, but then again, there’s that golden variety and I just have to try these round zucchinis, and… If I’m slow to return, it’s because I’ve been mesmerized by my garden again, so do send out a search party! What do you think of what’s new in the Seeds of Plenty veggie patch? Going to try any or have you already tried them before. Let us know today!