New Crops for 2015

Reading through seed catalogues is always a lot of fun - especially in the middle of winter! We grow a lot of the same varieties from year to year, and always try out some new crops too. It's hard to have enough restraint to not grow everything that sounds amazing! We are growing a lot of new flowers here this year, which could be a post in itself. Many of these are not exactly "new" to us, as we have grown them in smaller quantities for our own enjoyment. However, we are expanding the quantities and types so that there will be lots of fresh material for bouquets throughout the season!

There are a couple of flower varieties in particular that we are looking forward to growing. For example, these poppies, which are little baby plants indoors here right now:

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We had never had luck growing poppies as cut flowers before, but picked up some great tips from Erin at Floret Flower Farm. She was also the inspiration behind growing these beautiful scabiosa-flowered zinnias and we were lucky enough to get some seed through her and also another source. Since we have not grown these 2 particular varieties of these flowers before, these are her photos.

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Melons. There are two varieties of melons in particular that I can't wait to taste! French 'Charentais', and 'Petit Gris de Rennes'. Who could resist buying seed for them after reading these descriptions in The Cottage Gardener's seed catalogue...

Charentais description

And the 'Petit Gris de Rennes':

petit gris de rennes description

Kim Chi Peppers. After making a lot of kim chi over the last few years, the biggest lesson learned is that the type of pepper used makes a huge difference in the quality of the final product. The first few batches were disappointing, as they didn't taste like they were supposed to. That all changed after finding the proper kind of dried peppers in a Korean supermarket. Success!

Since our ferments will be made with as many ingredients from the garden as possible, we've been on the lookout for seeds for a kim chi pepper. We've found 2 sources this winter, and this one from Adaptive Seeds looks the most promising. Can't wait to try it out in kim chi!!!

Tomatoes. There are a few new kinds of tomato seeds waiting to be planted. We're growing over thirty tomato varieties this year!! We may have a slight tomato obsession, but there are so many great-tasting options (different sizes, colours, flavours) that we like to offer some variety. We're trying a few types of red cherry tomatoes to find one that tastes as amazing as the other-coloured cherry tomatoes we grow (yellow, orange, black-ish, striped).

sliced tomato square

Then, we have several types of red slicing tomatoes, several types of tomatoes of other colours (chocolatey-brown, orange, pink, striped, etc), and paste tomatoes. Every tomato variety we grow must be known for its great flavour, and we grow quite a few heirloom varieties for this reason.

Arugula. Yes, we've grown arugula before. However, we're getting a very handy piece of equipment this year that will allow us to harvest arugula and other salad greens much more efficiently and in much less time. This also means that we will be able to grow a lot more of it. We'll grow the regular arugula, but also this "Dragon's Tongue" arugula (isn't it beautiful?) from William Dam Seeds, and "Wasabi" arugula (guess how it got it's name...). This is their photo, as we haven't grown this variety ourselves yet.

dragons tongue arugula There are other new vegetables crops in our plans this year too, but these are the highlights. Are there any types / varieties of vegetables and flowers that you'd like to see on our crop list this year?