6 New Veggies I’m Growing This Year

Okay, both my seed orders have finally arrived so I can actually post this. For a bit there I thought my Baker Creek order was never going to arrive and I’d have to change half the things here.

I admit it, I love growing unusual veggies. If someone doesn’t stop and ask me if my plants are, like, a GMO thing I’m not doing it right. Black tomatoes, florescent leaves, unusual shapes, and dwarf sizes. When I initially started gardening I limited myself to heirloom plants that grew around Belgium. At the time I was mostly growing the veggies for Suki’s food so I figured it would be fun to go with plants her ancestors might have eaten, and it was a good way to stop myself from going absolutely crazy and buying way more than I had space to grow (which I did anyway, so it’s a good thing I limited myself in such a drastically weird way). I took my favourites from that, like the dwarf purple peas and my much beloved lacinato kale, but as I’ve gotten a better handle on growing I’ve branched out quite a lot. I’m even growing a few hybrid plants despite not having the best of luck with hybrids in the past. I’m also going to be eating the lion’s share of it for once. Since the dog’s veggies are more supplemental now, I don’t need to give quite as much to them. They’ll still get plenty of it though. Much of it probably pilfered.

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1. Mini Purple Daikon (Hybrid)

Mini. Purple. Daikon. It’s the triple threat. There was no way I wasn’t growing this. It’s supposed to make excellent kimchi, although part of me feels like covering it in bright red sauce is a waste of the beautiful colour. I’m assuming the purple colour, like in other vegetables, disappears when it’s pickled or cooked so these are definitely going to get sliced up raw at least a few times. I’m going to try a light, short pickling (more of a dressing really) like what I make for bahn mi to see if they keep their colour. Bahn mi-style pizza with pickled mini purple daikon rounds? Uh, yes please.
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2. Red Scarvita Sui Choi (Hybrid)

A brand new variety for West Coast Seeds. It’s purple sui choi/nappa cabbage. What isn’t there to want about it? It’s going to make wicked kimchi with the purple daikon. Then sit in my fridge for a year until I make kimchi jjigae, taste it, and wonder why it takes me a year to use kimchi. I think I still have a jar left from December 2017. Like the daikon though, the purple leaves are also going to need to be featured in some fresh raw dishes.
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3. Chinese Pink Celery (Open pollinated)

I got a really good feeling about this plant when I could smell celery from the sealed envelope the packets were in. This will be my first year growing celery at all. Due to the space it takes and its reputation for being a finicky plant I’ve not previously even attempted it. But fluorescent pink stalks, stalks that are thinner, plants that are smaller, and it’s supposed to be easier to grow than European celery? Sign me up, I’ll actually grow some celery this year.
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4. Brad’s Atomic Grape Tomato (Open pollinated)

All of my cherry tomatoes are new varieties this year, and all so different, but I chose to single this one out because it’s so cool looking. I had this in my basket, then hesitated because the reviews said it’s all looks and no flavour. I had read the same about Yellow Pear tomatoes though and I loved those, so I’m giving it a shot anyway. Even if it does end up flavourless, I have planty (this was a typo but I’m leaving it in because it’s funny) of other tomatoes to pick up the flavour slack. Assuming I can get any of them to sprout. Let’s not count my tomatoes before they’re grown.
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5. Purple Lady Bok Choy (Open pollinated)

Uhm… Purple bok choy? Yes please! I am so disappointed there’s no photo on the packet. I guess I’ll just have to feature this once I’ve grown some. I’m still growing my favourite little Toy Choy from West Coast Seeds, but I couldn’t resist adding these purple and lime green ones to my Baker Creek order. I love bok choy. It might be my favourite vegetable. I’ve eaten a pound of it in one sitting kind of love it.
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6. Tres Fine Maraichere Frisee Chicory (Open pollinated, heirloom)

I’ve fed my dogs Belgian endives many times, and I’ve grown radicchio which is a relative, but this is my first time growing endive myself. This one is a French heirloom, and traditionally (like most endive) the outer leaves are tied up to keep the heart blanched. I have tiny little sprouts in my garden, so it looks like soon enough there will a row of hipster plants sporting manbuns plantbuns in the garden this year. Hopefully they’ll be less of a disappointment than actual hipsters.
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This isn’t even all of it, just six I picked out to highlight. Considering at the start of this year I was debating on whether or not to grow anything at all I ended up really going all-in. Are you growing anything new this year?

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