Call for Garden Nom Nominations

Garden

The garden catalogs have started arriving and I’m already thinking about what to grow in the coming season. Every year I like to try something new in the kitchen garden. I always set some space aside to grow an edible crop I haven’t tried before, the stranger the better. Some past “experiments” are relatively safe bets, like unusual colors of common vegetables. Purple carrots, green tomatoes and golden beets are a few of examples. The beets have actually become a regular part of the garden. Other crops, however, have been things I’d never thought to try or even heard of until I ran across them in some catalog, article or podcast. This category has included things like cumin, edible chrysanthemum, Malabar spinach, cowpeas, salsify, fava beans, alpine strawberries and collards. This year I grew peanuts and oca for fun. One was a qualified success, the other not so much.

Here is where you come in. I’m looking for suggestions of unusual garden noms to try out in the 2015 garden. Nom-inations should be for crops that are:

  • growable in my USDA Zone 5 garden where I have roughly five to six months of growing season with the ground getting warm enough for warm-weather crops about a month after the last spring frost.
  • containable within a portion of one of my garden beds which are roughly a meter wide. Anything wider than that or that needs to ramble I just don’t have the space for.
  • edible and while not absolutely required, tasty is a plus.
  • obtainable. I can usually sniff out where to find most horticultural oddities when I know what it is I’m looking for.

One of the joys I get from gardening is the give-and-take I’ve found in the online communities. I’ve learned so much and have been able to share the bits that I know. So, what can you share for new crop ideas?  I’m looking forward to all the wonderful new possibilities I’m going to hear about in the coming weeks!

Chives

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15 thoughts on “Call for Garden Nom Nominations

  1. Have you tried fennel? I love the bulbs but I have never succeeded in growing them. I just grow the for the seeds. The lovely yellow flowers attract all sorts of bees and other insects and the seeds can be used as a flavouring and also make a lovely tea or tisane. Amelia

    1. I grow fennel but with varying success. This year I purposely planted extra to let bloom for the pollinators but it was crammed in by something that overshadowed it.

  2. growntocook

    I like to grow something unusual every year too, but quite often it is a one time affair – either the vegetable is not suited to our climate and the yield is poor or it is just not that tasty. Here are two unusual things I grew this year which had also been fairly successful: lemon cucumber “Crystal Apple” and quinoa. But maybe you have already tried these 🙂

    1. The year I tried lemon cucumber it was ravaged by beetles but I should give it another try. Now quinoa, that’s an interesting idea. I’m going to add it to the list of things to look into!

    1. A turnip festival! That’s one I’ve not heard of. I do grow turnips but not that one yet. I’ve done parsley root which I don’t remember if we even used for anything. When I grew salsify I was disappointed in how small they were and consequently how much work to prepare. I still have seed so I may give them a shot again. There’s a related(?) root I can’t recall at the moment I’ve been considering, too.

  3. Purple asparagus? Good King Henry? Lingonberries? My experiment for next year is miner’s lettuce or Claytonia. Last year I tried asparagus pea, Hmm. Put it in too late. I’ll try it again – the taste was interesting and pleasant.

  4. I’m looKing forward to exploring your blog! Have you tried kohlrabi? I’m a zone 5b gardener, and can get two plantings in, spring and fall. I’ve really come to like the taste of kohlrabi better than broccoli. It’s milder. And it takes very little space.

    1. I love kohlrabi. Unfortunately this last season it got shaded out by the chard and I got very little. I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog, too. We’re in fairly similar areas so I hope to pick up some transferable wisdom. 🙂

  5. Pingback: In Which It Takes Me a Moment | Shady Character

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