Top Picks for Home Garden Catalogs

Try some of these exciting varieties that are sure to entice ‘Foodies’

Catalog and on-line shoppers are a discerning bunch. They want to try new and unique items every year. At Sakata Home Grown we understand and are always on the hunt for something new and different.

The downturn in the economy has caused many people to eat at home more often. As they explore home cooking, many may also decide to start or expand their home vegetable garden. They may even join the “foodie’ category, defined by Wikipedia as: “A person who has an ardent or refined interest in food; a gourmet. Foodies will travel great distances for a special ingredient, will wait for months for a table at a new restaurant, and read cook books as if they were a mystery novels.”

What seeds do we need to offer Foodie gardeners? Foodies place taste above all else, they want unique items that can’t be found easily at the market or are best eaten fresh from the garden. They also like variety- don’t just offer them one red round beet, offer 5-6 in different colors and shapes, with different textures or leaf shapes. Foodies love a story, so if the seed is from a far off land, or was first grown by someone’s ancestors they want to know.

Foodies will spend a long time sourcing (or growing) specialty vegetables and herbs for gourmet recipes-items like baby salad greens in assorted colors, herbs for fresh dressing, root vegetables in assorted colors and shapes, and varieties unique for different types if ethnic recipes- such as grey summer squash, yard long beans, and hot peppers.

Here are varieties to jazz up your catalog pages next year:

  • Peppermint Swiss Chard– with unique color and ease of harvest, home gardeners will love Peppermint. It can be harvested small for salads or allowed to mature for bunching. As flexible in the kitchen as it is in the garden, Peppermint can be used in salad, stir-fry, sautéed, or even baked into chips. Peppermint doesn’t need much space so it is perfect for flower beds or mixed containers.
  • Aspabroc Baby Broccoli– Available to home gardeners for the first time, Aspabroc is a new vegetable that is tender and mild from stem to top.  The long elegant stems do not need to be peeled- eat the whole plant!  Aspabroc is easy to grow and requires very little space and has a long harvest window. It makes a nice crudité or side dish- just sauté briefly, steam, or roast.
  • Yes to Yellow, Right on Red, and Orange You Sweet Hungarian Cheese Peppers– are a trio of new sweet stuffing type peppers. All three are early and bear loads of little fruit that look like Christmas lights. Fruit set continuously in an upright habit making them both ornamental and easy to harvest. Fruit are smooth, shiny and round with thick walls and flattened bottoms making them perfect for filling with cheese, dips, meat or fish and serving either cold or baked.
  • Shunkyo Semi-Long Radish is an open pollinated variety from China that has a unique shape and color combination, distinctive flavor, and an added benefit of edible leaves. Roots average 4-5″ long, are smooth and cylindrical, deep pink on the exterior and have crisp, nutty, white flesh. The taste is both hot and unusually sweet. Edible, smooth, foliage has pink stems. Slow bolting, and can be sown throughout the year in most areas. Average maturity is about 30-35 days.
  • Market Express Turnip– matures so quickly you won’t want to blink! A very small, golf-ball sized, pure white turnip can be ready in as little as 30 days after sowing. Mild and sweet, it grows well in cold climates. Market Express is a very efficient crop as the young tops make a wonderful addition to salads or can be lightly cooked and served as a side dish. The tops have a smooth surface, crisp texture and are mildly spicy (like arugula), and can be used as a multi-cut green. The roots are pure white, have a crunchy texture and a mild, radish like flavor.
  • Yellow Buttercup Watermelon– bright yellow and seedless, Yellow Buttercup stands out from the crowd. Yellow Buttercup has outstanding sweet flavor and great texture. Fruit mature in about 90 days to 14-16 pounds of summer snacking, are round and striped. Plant with a pollinator, we recommend our Ace pollinator.
  • Baby Wrinkles Pumpkin– Expected to arrive in Fall 2013, Baby Wrinkles weighs in at 5-7 pounds, has a bright orange exterior, that is ribbed and wrinkled, making it fun and different. Baby Wrinkles is a great sized for kids, and has excellent stem attachment , making it easy to carry. Proud parents Mr. & Mrs. Wrinkles would round out a nice packet assortment.