What's Growing at Better Farm in 2015

Spring is coming! Our Better Farm heirlooms have been inventoried, new seeds have been ordered, we're picking out trees for our incoming apple orchard, and 50 white spruces are on their way. That, in addition to new landscape designs over at the Art Barn, expanded strawberry and raspberry patches, and many more surprises!

Here's the list (so far!) of all the organic deliciousness growing at Better Farm in 2015. If you haven't already, be sure to sign up for our CSA program before March 15 in order to lock in last year's rates for a weekly share of fresh, delicious produce.

ARTICHOKE

ASPARAGUS

  • Better Farm Heirloom

BEANS

  • BingoA classic in Italian cuisine, Bingo is a highly sour-after Borlotto pole bean. Big, creamy green pods are streaked in bright pinkish red, growing 5 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. The dried bean flaunts the same cream color with red streaks and a hearty, delicious flavor. Tastes amazing in soups or traditional Italian recipes such as Pasta e Fagioli.
  • Black CocoThis traditional black, dry shelling bean makes a soup with unparalleled flavor: a complete meal in itself! Also great for refries.
  • Cannellini Lingot
  • Midori Giant Edamame—Delicious soybeans that make a great snack steamed and salted!
  • Scarlet EmperorYummy, green string bean
  • SoleilA rare yellow, French filet string bean
  • St. GeorgeThis long, green string bean puts on a spectacular show in the garden with gorgeous bi-color blooms followed by huge, delectable beans.

BEETS

Boldor Beets

  • BoldorThese luminous golden beets are strides ahead of other yellow varieties. Sweet and delicious when juiced, shredded in salads, and roasted.
  • Red AceDeep red beets with green tops that hold for a long time without losing their quality use as a delicious table green.

BROCCOLI

BRUSSELS SPROUTS

CABBAGE

  • FaraoDeep green heads delicious in stir fries or for use in coleslaw recipes.

CARROTS

Purple Haze

  • Mignon (baby carrots)
  • Nelson—A Nantes carrot with 6– to 7-inch long roots, ¾–1 inch shoulders, a deep orange color, and excellent uniformity. The foot-tall, dark green tops make a delicate garnish.
  • Purple Haze—Sure to be the talk of the table! Purple Haze has a sweet flavor with a tender yet snappy crunch. The 10-12 inch purple-skinned roots have vivid orange centers, which make quite an eye sensation when sliced on a relish tray. Purple color will fade when cooked.
  • RodelikaIn Europe, Rodelika is grown especially for carrot juice. One bite and you'll know why–it's loaded with sweet flavor! The 6–8 inch long and are absolutely delicious eaten raw.
  • White SatinIndulge in White Satin and discover pure luxury in a carrot! Its lustrous, pristine white roots grow to 8 inches and are a delight to eat. They're crunchy and juicy, with a flavor that's mildly spicy, and silky smooth.

CAULIFLOWER

Veronica Cauliflower

  • Veronica HybridA fascinating yet attractive and nutritious addition to your cauliflower crop, just as beautiful as it is delicious. Seven-inch heads are formed from clusters of swirling chartreuse spires. Its taste is a somewhat nuttier cross between broccoli and cauliflower. A crunchy, sweet addition to a raw vegetable platter or cook as you would any cauliflower for a tasty and irresistible treat.

CELERY

CORN

  • Luscious
  • Painted Mountain—Developed for its hardiness, earliness, and colorful display in the mountains of Montana. Avg. 6-7" multicolor ears for decorating, easy grinding, roasting, or use in hominy grits. Also makes a high-nutrition flour.
  • Quickie

CUCUMBER

Mexican Sour Gherkins

  • ExcelsiorBeautiful, emerald-green cukes have exquisite flavor—perfect for fresh eating or pickling.
  • Telegraph ImprovedDark green, sleek, 10-14 inch fruit are burpless, mild flavored, and never bitter.
  • Mexican Sour GherkinAn heirloom that packs a lot of flavor in an adorable, teaspoon-sized treat! These little charmers are like no other, packing a powerful, sweet, cucumber flavor with a tangy, citrus twist. Delicate foliage and fist-fulls of fruit that look like doll-sized watermelons make these plants pretty enough to grow trellised in a flower garden or cascading in a hanging basket. The 1 inch cukettes are terrific tossed in a salad, and the plants are productive enough to have plenty for pickling.

EGGPLANT

  • TraviataFruit grow to a uniform 6-8 inches, but can be picked at an earlier stage for delicious baby eggplant; the healthy, upright plants will just keep 'em coming!

GARLIC

  • Better Farm Heirlooms (variety)

GRAINS

GREENS

  • Kale—Maribor
  • Kale—Siberian Blend
  • Lettuce—Buttercrunch
  • Lettuce—Sunset
  • Micro Greens (various)
  • Spinach (various)
  • Strawberry SpinachA dual purpose plant as both the greens and the bright red berries make a unique addition to a summer salad. The triangular-shaped leaves with toothed margins, add a nice texture and taste and are just as satisfying as the sweet 1/2 inch berries.

HERBS

  • Basil
  • Borage (blue)
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Lemon Balm
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Nasturtium
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage

MELONS

  • Minnesota MidgetSmall heirloom cantaloupes just 4-6 inches across! Absolutely delicious!
  • Sugar Baby WatermelonThese tiny watermelons grow to just 4-6 melons roughly 10 inches across. Has that unmistakable crisp, mouthwatering, sweet rich flavor.

ONIONS

  • Bandit Leek
  • Cortland Onion
  • Guardsman OnionThe guardsman is a great scallion developed by master onion breeders in England. Ready for harvest by mid-July, these onions are a necessary ingredient for almost any salad!
  • Pacific PearlMarble-sized, white pearl onions
  • Red BaronThese delightful red onions are mild-flavored and mild flavored and wonderful in salads or pickled.

PEAS

PEPPERS

  • Gatherer's GoldA gorgeous, golden variation of the sweet Italian frying pepper. Long, tapered, smooth-skinned fruit are sweet and tasty with relatively few seeds. Delicious raw or cooked.
  • Healthy—Elongated, 3-walled fruit measure 2 inches across tapering to over 5 inches long. They ripen from yellow to orange and finally red. A dependable producer of delicious fruit.
  • Purple Jalapeño—With crunchy, deep walls, a lime green interior, and a stout, classic jalapeño flavor, this variety is a colorful divergence from standard jalapeños.
  • Staddon's Select Red Bell

RADISH

Cherry Belle Radish

  • Cherry Belle

RASPBERRIES

  • Better Farm Heirlooms

STRAWBERRIES

  • Better Farm Heirlooms
  • Garden Blend
  • Italian Alpine

SQUASH

Benin's Green Tint Scalloped Squash. Image from Territorial Seeds.

  • Anton Zucchini
  • Benning's Green Tint Scalloped SquashA very pretty, pale green scalloped squash that is tender inside and out. No need to peel! They are ideal when they are 2-3 inches in diameter, with excellent flavor and nice, firm texture.
  • Waltham Butternut
  • Galeux D'eysinesThis stunning squash has beautiful salmon-peach colored skin covered with peanut shell-like warts caused by sugar in the skin. Traditionally used in France for soups and sauces, when cooked, the sweet, orange flesh is as smooth as velvet. Each flattened squash weighs 10-15 pounds and can store for up to 6 months. Definitely a show stopper in the garden or on the table.
  • Red KuriA lovely, teardrop shaped mini hubbard with bright orange skin. Red Kuri has smooth textured flesh and a delightfully rich, sweet flavor. Perfectly proportioned for making pies and side dishes for warming winter meals, these squash typically reach 3-4 pounds each.
  • Shishigatani (Better Farm heirloom)—Since the Edo period of early 1800s Japan, this special pumpkin is one of the kyo yeas, or traditional vegetables in the Kyoto region. This kabocha squash is used in shogun ryorui, a type of vegetarian cooking prepared by Buddhist priests. The fruit skin is distinctly ribbed and warted and ripe when the skin turns light brown. The flesh is a delicate yellow color.
  • SpaghettiBake like any other winter squash, and use a fork to flake out the noodley-looking flesh that easily separates into delicious spaghetti-like strands.
  • Better Farm Heirloom Sweet Potato—This Thelma Sanders variety cooks up to a buttery-soft texture and unmatchable flavor. Highly productive plants produce light beige, deeply ridged acorn squash measuring 7 1/2-8 inches with thick, orange-gold flesh.

TOMATOES

  • Better Farm Heirlooms
  • Burbank Slicing—Developed by Luther Burbank around 1915. Determinate and fairly early, Burbank Slicing is a heavy yielder of majestic 3-4 inch fruit. The fruit has a very deep red color and a traditional bold tomato flavor. This was the only variety that Mr. Burbank raised for canning.
  • Indigo Blue BeautyThis mighty beefsteak slicer easily reaches a half-pound of delectable eating.
  • Japanese Trifele Black TomatoPear-shaped fruit has green-streaked shoulders, deepening to a burnished mahogany and finally to a darkened, nearly black base. The meaty interior has similar, opulent shades and an incomparable, almost indescribably complex and rich flavor to match. The fruit reach 2 1/2-3 inches long and wide and are very crack-resistant. Despite the name, this thoroughbred has its origins in Russia.
  • Purple Calabash—One of the most interesting-looking and complex-tasting tomatoes. The Cinderella pumpkin-shaped tomatoes are about 3 inches wide by 1 1/2 inches tall and very deeply ribbed. Light green-purple at the shoulders gives way to dark purple at the base and an equally dark purple interior. Very complex deep swirling tomato flavors, reminding this taster of a fruity cabernet wine.
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Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.