During each winter here at Red Wiggler, our staff plans out all of the vegetables, herbs, and flowers we’d like to grow over the following year. We analyze what grew well over the past year, which fields should lie fallow in the coming year, which vegetables CSA customers seemed to like most and least, and many other factors when deciding what to grow.
This year, we chose several new varieties of vegetables to grow in 2014—some known for their exceptional flavor, some for their resistance to pests or disease, and some just because we’ve always wanted to try them out. Check out some of those new vegetables below, and keep an eye out for them in our fields in 2014! Please let us know what you think about these varieties, and any dream varieties you’d like us to grow, on our Facebook page or via Twitter!
We have never grown leeks at Red Wiggler before, and by staff demand we have decided to try them. These leeks will be harvested late in the fall, for perfect pairing with potatoes or cauliflower in soups, pies, and gratins.
Purple Bumblebee Tomatoes
Purple Bumblebee tomatoes are a purple, round cherry tomato with metallic green stripes. With its excellent sweet flavor and eye-catching appearance, this is a great variety for fresh salads and appetizers, to showcase the appearance and texture of the fruit.
The Kermit eggplant, also known as the garden egg or bitter ball, is an American cultivar of an Asian eggplant variety. These have a memorable color among eggplants: dark-green and white stripes. Kermit eggplants are a common ingredient in Thai and other Asian dishes. The small, flavorful eggplant can be eaten raw and whole, or cooked in any number of dishes where it will soak up flavor readily.
We are excited at the prospect of having our own cauliflower, as it is so versatile in winter stews, soups, and side-dishes. This variety is white, with large heads, and will be ready in the fall. It is tolerant of heat and humidity, making it a good choice for Red Wiggler!
This is a uniquely shaped cabbage variety, with pointed heads and large, wrapping leaves. The inner leaves are tender and crunchy, and have an excellent, sweet and mild cabbage flavor—perfect for summer salads, slaws, or cooked dishes.
Red Noodle Beans
This will be a very interesting plant to harvest! These dark red beans can grow to 18 inches, so we will trellis them to keep them off the ground. They can be used the same as you would a green bean, and will keep their red color when sautéed. According to the USDA, red noodle beans are also a good source of protein, vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, and several other nutrients.