The Shed

The Shed
The Shed

Sunday, March 31, 2013

FARM GIRL'S CORNER - New veggies for the 2013 garden

Hi there, Farm Girl here, welcome to Farm Girl's Corner. We are only about 3 to 4 weeks out from the last frost here at the shed, so a few of us went out and planted some Swiss Chard and kale. Both of these veggies do well in the cold and we expect no problems other than a slower than average germination. We opted for Winterbore hybrid kale and tried and true Fordhook Giant chard.

There are a few veggies that we are trying out for the first time in the 2013 season. Some are new to everyone, this is their first year of availability. Other varieties have been around for some time and this is just the first year that we have tried them. In any event, we' will chronicle their progress from seed packet to pot for all to share.

Most of our new varieties are coming from Baker Creek Seeds this year and include among others, a second planting of Swiss Chard. This particular variety is called Orange Oriole and as you might suspect features orange stems, which should add a nice dash of color to the garden.

It is certainly pleasant in appearance with dark curly leaves and intense orange stalks but it is the promised delicate flavor and and tenderness that lured us in. A 60 day variety and touted as being both hardy and prolific we expect to enjoy it from June until the first frost.

Last year we tried the delightful and easy to grow Boule D'or yellow turnip in the fall and you would think that we'd be through with experimenting with turnips for a bit. But you would, of course, be wrong. We let some overwinter so they would run to seed this year, and so that we can harvest the very early greens which they will produce. What we really want to see is how they perform in spring. So we'll be laying our Boules on the table once again, so to speak.

We are going to try a turnip which we have never experimented with before. Called (in a frenzy of creativity) the Round Red Turnip this is a nice looking turnip that presents more like a radish than anything else. And yet, we are assured of it's turnipy pedigree. Ready for the pot in 50 days this attractive little veggie and its greens will get a good tryout in both spring and fall.

We have been enjoying "Champion" collards for years but now we want to tree something perhaps a bit different. Georgia Southern Creole collards are an heirloom variety over 130 years old and they get the nod for this years collard patch and pork hock pot.

Rave reviews were available for this venerable old southern favorite (kind of sounds like Aunt Agnes except for the "favorite" part) and of course it was highly endorsed for flavor and yield so what's not to like? Collard greens have emerged lately as one of those powerhouse sources of healthful and nutritional compounds, right up there with beets and kale. We'll deliver a full report!

Anyone remember Ingegnoli Gigante Liscio? Worked for Capone back in prohibition, suspected of being one of the trigger men at the St. Valentines Day Massacre? No? Well that's ok, here at the Shed we don't cultivate cold blooded killers, having plenty in stock already, as it were.


We do cherish big and juicy beefsteak tomatoes however and we found Iggy in the pages of Baker Creek Seeds. A prolific and indeterminate beefsteak tomato Ingegnoli Gigante Liscio is an open pollinated heirloom variety. We can save the seeds and grow them for years, and of course, so can you.

Iggy is ready in 75 days and the vines need massive support; not only are the plants huge but sometimes the fruits weigh 2 lbs. and all are quite large. We have high hopes for Iggy!

And you know, I was talking with Agnes and Millie and the other ladies earlier and we all agree that while culture, refinement and gentility are all well and good, sometimes a gal just needs to wrap herself around a big ol' hairy root or two.


And that of course is why we ordered in Mammoth Sandwich Island salsify seeds. Yes folks, salsify or the vegetable oyster as it is known is biggish, nasty looking root crop which has the virtue of surviving if kept in the garden over winter, much like carrots and parsnips. It is called "vegetable oyster" because the folks in the Sandwich Islands drink to excess. There is nothing vaguely oysterish about it.

However it is rather pleasant if used in soups, stews and potpies so we intend to give it a try in this years garden. If not allowed to overwinter it should be ready 120 days from germination.

And there you have it, Uncle Mac and the crew will be trying out an orange chard, a red turnip, an heirloom collard, a huge italian beefsteak tomato and, give me strength, salsify! We'll check in shortly with updates on these and other gardening events so please bookmark us.

Thank you for visiting, I'm Farm Girl and I'm out.


Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

Looking good, Mac, I'll be interested in hearing how those red turnips turn out. Those Iggy's are huge! ":)

Commonweeder said...

I have a few seedlings started indoors but it will be a while before anything is planted outside at the the End of the road.

Unknown said...

That salsify is intriguing! can't wait to read all about your experience with it!