I love vegetables with unique names. Granted, this isn’t the best way to pick out a vegetable. Just because the name makes you smile doesn’t mean the harvest will. But sometimes you get lucky and are granted both.
The following ten vegetables have great names and are great choices for our cool climate garden.
Photos are from West Coast Seeds. Click on images or the plant names for more information.
I don’t know if this lettuce gets its name because of its somewhat dishevelled and ruffled appearance or because it is the last lettuce to bolt-or leave the summer party. I do know that this is a fantastic choice for the garden. West Coast Seeds recommends it as the lettuce to plant if you only have room for one and I agree. Open pollinated so you can let a few go to seed for collection.
These are my personal favorites. They do well in the Peace Country and taste as great as they look. Unfortunately the purple colour is lost when cooked, but that is the only criticism I can come up with. If you leave them to go to seed you can collect small tan beans for drying to use in winter soups. Open pollinated so you can also collect the seeds from this heirloom to replant in the spring. Provided you don’t eat them all of course!
3 – Avalanche Beets
Personally I love the earthy taste of red beets and don’t mind my hands getting stained in the processing (well, not too much) but for those who don’t these pure white beets may be the answer to your prayers. Sweet tasting and “bloodless” these AAS winning white beets mature in only 50 days. Open Pollinated so you can collect the seeds for replanting.
These purple carrots taste good and they keep their rich colour even after cooking. 18 cm (7 inch) sweet tasting roots are ready to harvest in 58 days. Open pollinated.
A gorgeous, rich, purple cauliflower that does hold its colour when cooked but looks best on a raw vegetable platter. Matures in 80 days so needs to be started indoors to ensure a harvest. This one is a hybrid so no seed collecting, but still a beautiful addition to the garden.
6 – Sugar Buns Corn
The earliest sugar enhanced (SE) variety of corn with the longest harvest window (two weeks) Sugar Buns matures in 70-80 days producing two 19 centimeter (seven inch) cobs on each 1.5 – 2 meter (5-6 foot) stalk. Hybrid.
This open pollinated variety can produce kohlrabi the size of a volleyball in only 70 days. A huge variety that is hugely popular and tastes great even when weighing in at 4.5 kilograms (10 pounds) or more! And it is fun to say “Check out my enormous Superschmeltz”
8 – Chinook Leeks
Okay, the name isn’t that unusual, especially for us northerners, but it is still a fun way of having a chinook in your kitchen. Provided you can get past the having to think about winter in the summer part. All monikers aside, this is a great leek for our area. So long as your start the seeds indoors and transplant outside once the soil has warmed up these leeks don’t mind a bit of cool weather. They grow fast, taste great and are easy to clean.
65 days to maturity. Hybrid seeds.
This is a beautiful onion with lots of flavour and an exceptionally long storage life of six months or more. A long day onion it is beautifully suited to our summer soaked Peace Country days but needs 90 days from transplanting to fully mature so you will need to start them indoors in March for best results. Hybrid seeds.
When you are this big they call you mister 🙂 These are my favourite peas. An open pollinated AAS winner these peas need something solid to climb on as they can easily reach heights of two meters (six feet) or more. They will produce prolific crops of large sweet tasting peas that are easy to shell.
A great read if you are interested in seed saving…