All Posts   Posted:   April 23, 2015 by Nicole Forbes - Dennis' 7 Dees Education Director

Photo: Thompson & MorganThere is nothing new about growing potatoes or tomatoes, I’ve grown them in my garden for years. This year however, I am excited to try something different and will be planting a new introduction called ‘Ketchup n’ Fries’. It is a grafted vegetable with a tomato plant combined with a potato plant producing medium sized cherry tomatoes above ground while producing potatoes beneath the soil. I have grown grafted tomatoes in the past and have been pleased with their improved vigor and long harvest season – I have high hopes for ‘Ketchup n’ Fries’! They will be arriving in limited quantities at first so be sure to come soon to get your hands on a plant.

In other areas of the vegetable garden I am experimenting with crop varieties that are relatively uncommon or unusual. I have found starts of Edamame soy beans that make delicious snacks and side dishes for the summer BBQ season. Cauliflower varieties called ‘Purple Graffiti’ (purple) and ‘Cheddar’ (golden-yellow) add color to the garden and have higher nutritional value than white cauliflower. Both will keep their color after light cooking and are fantastic on a fresh vegetable tray. For an unusual snow pea I am trying a variety called ‘Golden Sweet’ which produces buttery yellow pods that are tender, sweet and perfect in a salad or stir fry. The plants grow up to 6 feet tall and prefer support; they produce purple flowers that turn into yellow pea pods.

In the herb garden I am growing Salad Burnet; the tender, young leaves can be added to salads or steamed veggies to add a light cucumber flavor or added to salad dressings, vinegars or iced drinks as a garnish. It is a hardy herb with great tolerance of cold and hot weather, its flavor blends well with tarragon and rosemary.

Honeyberry bushes (Lonicera caerulea) are another ‘new’ edible that I am trying this season; their flavor has been described as similar to blackberry, cherry and even grape or kiwi. They can be eaten fresh, frozen or cooked and have higher antioxidants than blueberries. The plants can grow in most soils, reach 3-8 feet tall and need to be near an unrelated honeyberry plant for pollination by bees. They tolerate sun or shade but will produce more with at least a half day of sun. We have a cultivar called ‘Berry Blue’ and one called ‘Bluebird’. 

I will be experimenting with other new & unusual edibles as the season continues; waiting a few more weeks before planting some of the heat-loving crops such as squash, melons, and cucumbers; there are plenty of varieties that I have not tried and look forward to finding new/interesting crops to grow and eat.  I will keep you posted on how things turn out!

Photo: Thompson & MorganThere is nothing new about growing potatoes or tomatoes, I’ve grown them in my garden for years. This year however, I am excited to try something different and will be planting a new introduction called ‘Ketchup n’ Fries’. It is a grafted vegetable with a tomato plant combined with a potato plant producing medium sized cherry tomatoes above ground while producing potatoes beneath the soil. I have grown grafted tomatoes in the past and have been pleased with their improved vigor and long harvest season – I have high hopes for ‘Ketchup n’ Fries’! They will be arriving in limited quantities at first so be sure to come soon to get your hands on a plant.

In other areas of the vegetable garden I am experimenting with crop varieties that are relatively uncommon or unusual. I have found starts of Edamame soy beans that make delicious snacks and side dishes for the summer BBQ season. Cauliflower varieties called ‘Purple Graffiti’ (purple) and ‘Cheddar’ (golden-yellow) add color to the garden and have higher nutritional value than white cauliflower. Both will keep their color after light cooking and are fantastic on a fresh vegetable tray. For an unusual snow pea I am trying a variety called ‘Golden Sweet’ which produces buttery yellow pods that are tender, sweet and perfect in a salad or stir fry. The plants grow up to 6 feet tall and prefer support; they produce purple flowers that turn into yellow pea pods.

In the herb garden I am growing Salad Burnet; the tender, young leaves can be added to salads or steamed veggies to add a light cucumber flavor or added to salad dressings, vinegars or iced drinks as a garnish. It is a hardy herb with great tolerance of cold and hot weather, its flavor blends well with tarragon and rosemary.

Honeyberry bushes (Lonicera caerulea) are another ‘new’ edible that I am trying this season; their flavor has been described as similar to blackberry, cherry and even grape or kiwi. They can be eaten fresh, frozen or cooked and have higher antioxidants than blueberries. The plants can grow in most soils, reach 3-8 feet tall and need to be near an unrelated honeyberry plant for pollination by bees. They tolerate sun or shade but will produce more with at least a half day of sun. We have a cultivar called ‘Berry Blue’ and one called ‘Bluebird’. 

I will be experimenting with other new & unusual edibles as the season continues; waiting a few more weeks before planting some of the heat-loving crops such as squash, melons, and cucumbers; there are plenty of varieties that I have not tried and look forward to finding new/interesting crops to grow and eat.  I will keep you posted on how things turn out!