5 Additional Vegetables Win All-America Awards
In addition to the 10 other new AAS award winners described in previous columns, here are 5 more new vegetable winners for 2015. Look for them in seed catalogs and on line seed sources. Started plants of broccoli, pak choi and the herbs may be available from specialty greenhouses and nurseries.
Beet Avalanche is a new white beet without a trace of red color. It has a mild, sweet taste with a uniform root shape and no reddish tinge. Judges raved about the raw eating quality when they discovered there was no earthy beety taste, nor any bitter aftertaste. As for garden performance, there’s hardly any vegetable easier or quicker to grow. In just 50 days, you too can have delicious white beets.
Broccoli Artwork F1 is a unique and beautiful dark green stem broccoli that has only recently become available to home gardeners. Previously, stem or baby broccoli was exclusively available in gourmet markets and up-scale restaurants. Now home gardeners can make the art of gardening come alive with this delicious, long-yielding variety. Artwork starts out similar to a regular crown broccoli but after harvesting that first crown, easy-to-harvest tender and tasty side shoots continue to appear long into the season, resisting warm temperature bolting better than other stem broccolis currently on the market.
Pak Choi Bopak F1 matures early and the tender leaves with crisp sweet stalks taste great. It’s a tasty addition to Oriental recipes and the tender leaves can be eaten raw in salads or sandwiches. Swap stalks for celery sticks, add to soups and stews, or grill on the barbecue. May be harvested as a baby Pak Choi as well as grown to full size. This classy plant is attractive in patio pots and containers.
Growing your own fresh herbs takes little space or effort. These two unique new herbs will add some new variety to your seasoning ability.
Chives Garlic Geisha is a vigorous grower with a nice ‘just-right’ garlic flavor. Use both the leaves and the garlic bulb roots. Slightly wider, flatter and more refined leaves topped by pretty white flower stalks late in the season mean this is another edible that can serve a dual purpose as an ornamental. Geisha is a great culinary herb for use in stir-fries, soups, compound butters and as a fresh garnish for a variety of dishes.
Oregano Cleopatra has pretty silver gray foliage, making it another herb that will be appreciated for its ornamental value. Unique from Greek and Italian oreganos, Cleopatra has a mildly spicy, pepperminty flavor perfect in Mediterranean dishes, soups and sauces. This compact, trailing plant produces a high yield of leaves that are wonderful as a dried spice when fresh isn’t an option.