Posts Tagged ‘unusual edibles’

2009 was a banner year for seed sales as individuals and families started looking at vegetable gardening as a way to manage tight budgets while improving eating habits. Now a month past winter solstice, daylight hours are getting a bit longer, and 2010 seed and garden supply catalogs are piling up on our night tables.

So for newbies and old hands at gardening edibles, what veggies or fruits look especially intriguing in those seed catalogs? Which less common plants or rare varieties (select your top 3 choices, if you can) are whetting your appetite for 2010? Take our quick survey below and we’ll publish the results in our next blog:

Plangarden 2010 Edible Garden Survey is now CLOSED … Survey Results Here

Plangarden founder, Roy Stahl, perusing Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds catalog

Pink bananas in your edible garden?

Before you go “hog wild”, take a reality check with respect to the suitability of those new edibles to your climate, soil type, space requirements, etc.  Our “Seven Strategies To Plan Your Vegetable Garden” post might help you out.

Here’s what we’re ruminating on:

  1. Garden sorrelRumex acetosa” – apparently more popular in Europe than in the U.S.  Found this recipe for sorrel soup – it is delish!
  2. Asian cucumbersCucumis sativus“- these tasty little cukes are excellent snacks that a Persian friend introduced to us on a hike
  3. Tomatillo “Physalis ixocarpa” – we’ll be making lots of salsa out of this and will try it in stews.

But one can’t stop at three, right?  So here are other less common garden edibles we’ve attempted or thought about cultivating:  quinoa (superduper healthy grain), amaranth (beautiful red plants but they needed staking; it was like harvesting sand so a bit tricky), soybeans (don’t you just love snacking on edamame?), scorzonera/salsify (we hear it’s great in soups), and celeriac (though long days to harvest, it’s so yummy in soups and as a low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes).

Now in its own rightful kingdom and no longer classified as plants, edible fungi like oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus species) have been grown in this household. Seed companies like Territorial are getting into the recent popularity of home-cultivated mushrooms and offering cultivation kits for oyster, shiitake, and even more exotic mushrooms like lion’s mane, believed to promote healthy neurological functions!

So how about you? Will it be that rare heirloom tomato or something for “shock effect”? Let us know 🙂

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