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!