Sep 12, 2016
Fresh Edibles on the Market

I know a lot of you are probably tired of hearing about edibles by now, but I assure you this “trend” isn’t going anywhere — at least not anytime soon. Edibles are becoming more and more a part of consumers’ lifestyles. Whether they be young or old, urban or country dwellers, new rookie gardeners or vets, gardening — especially with vegetables, fruits and herbs — transcends across all demographics.

The rise in edible gardening could be for a variety of reasons. People are becoming more concerned with their health and diet, and they like knowing where exactly their food is coming from. Another reason is that breeders are introducing more and more compact varieties — tomatoes, cucumbers, even eggplants that can be grown in containers on a small balcony.

I can personally relate to this somewhat new interest. My husband and I recently built our “Pinterest-inspired” backyard vegetable garden. At first, it was so intimidating. But by late spring, it all became very routine and almost therapeutic. And we even had some neighbors plant a few items. Now, we’re all sharing our zucchinis, peppers, soybeans and tomatoes with each other.

But, enough about me and my garden. I just want to encourage growers to dive into the edibles market if they haven’t already. There’s so much out there, thanks to innovations in breeding. New flavors, colors, habits, etc. That being said, here are some of my favorite new introductions for 2017.

Basil ‘Pesto Party’
Burpee

basil-pesto-party-3

‘Pesto Party’ is bred to be the latest-flowering basil from seed with intermediate resistance to downy mildew. It exhibits a well-branched and full habit, with tons of leaves that offer sweet flavor.

Pepper ‘Takara’
Sakata

pepper-takara-3

Part of Sakata’s Home Grown collection, ‘Takara’ is a hybrid shishito pepper with tons of quality fruit and mild but rich flavor. It has a compact habit with extended harvest potential, and is an outstanding variety for containers and small space gardens.

Strawberry ‘Delizz’
ABZ Seeds

strawberry-delizz-4

‘Delizz’ develops quickly a compact plant with many upright flower trusses. It produces numerous conical, mid-sized strawberries all summer long. The fruit flavor is deliciously sweet.

Cucumber ‘Gherking’
PanAmerican Seed

cucumber-gherking

‘Gherking’ is an early, bitter-free pickling cucumber with intermediate resistance to powdery and downy mildew. It reaches a height of 6 to 12 inches and spreads 4 to 6 feet.

Basil ‘Pesto Bambino Purple’
Hort Couture

basil-pesto-bambino-purple

Bambino Purple features a unique plant shape and attractive dark color. It is a great option to add to any sunny container to add texture and fragrance. Finished height is 8 to 12 inches.

Tomato ‘Red Robin’
Sakata

tomato-red-robin-2

‘Red Robin’ is a dwarf plant bearing small tomatoes, approximately 1 inch in diameter. It is suitable for small pots, hanging baskets and patio containers. Fruits turn bright red about 100 days after sowing.

So have you been capitalizing on the edibles trend? Or are you at least considering adding vegetables to your production? What are your thoughts on edibles market? Shoot me an email at [email protected]; I’d love to hear from you.

— Jasmina

P.S. To learn more about these and other new edible introductions, check out my article in the September issue of GPN. And be on the lookout for our October issue, where we’ll be including articles on urban agriculture, trends in vegetable breeding and guidelines for leafy green production.





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