2016 seed catalogs? Insert high-pitched squeal
Although coffee would have been a fine choice for browsing seed catalogs, my other favorite things include wine. And cheese.
Matt says I don’t need anymore seeds, but I do. I SO seriously do. And, gulp, more wine. Thank you.
Here are some of the varieties I cannot wait to get my grubby little paws on this year:
Bean (Bush) ‘Red Swan’ Ugh, sold out. They look so pretty. I have this weird issue where I feel like I need try every available color of any given vegetable. And this all started with a bean. Royalty Purple, in fact. My favorite bush bean to date. Anyway, I’m on an email list if Red Swan comes available . . . fingers crossed.
Melon ‘Charentais’ A French heirloom. I admit it, I’ve never been a huge melon person. Don’t hate me melon lovers. But I’ve wanted to try this beauty for a while. We’ll see, maybe my taste buds have matured. Or maybe I’ll love it because I grew it. You know, like children.
Pepper (Sweet) ‘Shishito’ Japanese variety mildly flavored with a hint of spice, although apparently every now and again, you can get a really spicy one—like russian roulette with your taste buds! Traditionally prepared tempura style, but seem wildly popular just roasted with olive oil and salt. Simplicity in the kitchen is a major win during the harvest season, and when something this straightforward has been described as “addictive” and “summer’s best new bite”, you know I have to try it.
Pepper (Hot) ‘Chinese 5 Color’ See, I told you. All the colors. And they’re super cute.
Pepper (Hot) ‘Lemon Drop’ Hot, citrus-flavored seasoning pepper from Peru. These remind me of my beloved Aji Crystal peppers from Chile, which made the best bacon-wrapped-buffalo-chicken-
Pepper (Hot) ‘Leutschauer Paprika’ Can you say spicy smoked paprika powder, anyone? Anyone?! Bueller?!? Our favorite Beer Can Chicken recipe is heavy on the paprika. Yum.
Pepper (Hot) ‘Tesuque Chile’ Spicy authentic chili powder. Need. I. Say. More.
Squash (Winter) ‘Winter Luxury Pie Pumpkin’ I’ve never grown pumpkins . . . Iiiii KNOW! Although technically pumpkins are squash, and I’ve grown plenty of winter squash, it looks like a pumpkin to me, and they call it a pie pumpkin, so it’s different, OK? Don’t get me wrong. I like pumpkins, we just don’t ever cook with them. Then I remembered: Pumpkin Bourbon Sea Salt Caramel Cheesecake. OF COURSE. According to Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and a number of others, it’s one of the best tasting pie pumpkins you can grow. Plus, my sister loves pumpkin pie. And then we can make delicious things like Pumpkin Ice Cream and Homemade Pumpkin Spice Liqueur. Challenge accepted!
Tomato ‘Black Beauty Tomato’ Dave Kaiser tasted it at the 2015 National Heirloom Exposition and proclaimed it as the BEST tomato he had ever eaten. Bold statement, Mr. Kaizer, bold statement. They’re probably only saying this so I buy it. [Adds to cart]. Son-of-a-mother-peter-piper-picks-a-
Tomato ‘Pink Berkeley’ Described as a port wine colored beefsteak with metallic green stripes, very sweet, rich, dark tomato flavor. Reportedly 10 out of 10 people liked it better than Cherokee Purple in a farmers market taste off. Still, I was on the fence. We grow a lot of beefsteaks, and you can only eat so many. That was, until I read a review from “DOUG THE TOMATO FREAK”:
Baha. I die. OK, Doug The Tomato Freak, I’m in.
Tomato (Cherry) ‘Sunrise Bumblebee’ Also don’t need anymore cherry tomatoes, and I have yet to find a cherry I like better than Sungold and Black Cherry, but they’re too cute, and they’re pink and orange swirls remind me of my favorite beefsteak, Gold Medal.
Did you notice there are a lot of hot peppers on this list? I know! I love them. And it’s not even all of the new ones I’m trying this year. Sshhhhh. Our secret, k?