Jul 8, 2014
Delicious DebutsBy Jasmina Dolce

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about the edibles category. And I was reminded of this yesterday as I walked past my vegetable garden and noticed how much my plants have grown. I guess I just wasn’t expecting them to flourish as I’ve been a bit neglectful lately. Thankfully, the nonstop rain here in Chicago has picked up my slack over the past few weeks, and I was able to pick some fresh lettuce, beets and cucumbers to make a delicious salad last night.

While shopping at local garden centers or admiring my neighbors’ gardens over the past month, it’s apparent to me consumers continue to grow their own vegetables, fruits and herbs, and for a variety of reasons. They are more health conscious, they are leading more sustainable lifestyles, or perhaps they simply enjoy welcoming the fruits of their labor…literally. Whatever it is, the edibles trend is certainly here to stay.

Are you growing edibles? Have you increased your edibles production this year, or will you going forward? If so, here are some new edibles that made their debut this year:

Tomato ‘Big League’ (Floranova/Vegetalis)

‘Big League’ is a determinate variety perfect for a patio container. It produces huge 14- to 21-ounce beefsteak fruits.

Basil ‘Emerald Frills’ (Burpee Home Gardens)

Not your typical basil plant, ‘Emerald Frills’ boasts gigantic, flavorful leaves all season long. It is easy to grow and holds its shape in 4-inch pots to gallons.

Pumpkin ‘Kandy Korn Plus’ (Sakata)

This new baby pumpkin is a great seasonal looker with dark-green handles set on deep-orange miniature fruit. This variety yields a tremendous amount of fruit per plant on a bush vine.

Strawberry ‘Hula Berry’ (Pacific Plug & Liner)

An intriguing white strawberry, ‘Hula Berry’ has a pineapple flavor to it! The plant will produce fruit in only 55 days.

Zucchini ‘Brice’ (Syngenta Flowers)

This ball-shaped zucchini is easy to grow and lends itself to creative fun in the kitchen. A compact plant with multiple disease resistances, ‘Brice’ is bred to be more manageable than other zucchini.

Eggplant ‘Patio Baby’ (PanAmerican Seed)

A unique, high-yielding variety, ‘Patio Baby’ is compact and produces baby-size eggplants very early with a wide harvest window. It is best used in gardens and containers.

What new edible varieties are you growing? Which ones have seen the most success this year? Send me an e-mail at [email protected], and let me know! I’d love to hear from you.

– Jasmina

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Jasmina Dolce

Jasmina Dolce is managing editor of GPN magazine. She can be reached at [email protected]

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