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New Heirloom Offerings for Your Garden

Courtesy of Kitchen Garden Seeds

‘Cima di Rapa’ Broccoli Raab

Also known as “rapini,” and unrelated to broccoli, broccoli raab is actually a flower shoot. Since it benefits from a touch of frost, broccoli raab thrives when sown in fall, three weeks before the first expected frost, when it’ll be especially productive and sweet. The shoots will re-sprout after multiple harvests. Broccoli raab is a great beginner vegetable for novice gardeners who need only to throw the seeds in an area that receives just a few hours of daily sunlight, cover with a sprinkling of soil, and keep the area lightly moist. Deep-green ‘Cima di Rapa’ grows to about 12 inches tall. Harvest before the buds open for the sweetest flavor and crunchiest texture. Authentic Italian chefs will steam ‘Cima di Rapa’ for 2 to 3 minutes, strain, and then stir-fry with garlic and olive oil before tossing with pasta.

$3.55 per packet (700 seeds)
Kitchen Garden Seeds

 Courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

‘Chioggia’ Beet

With its concentric rings of magenta and white, the wild and whimsical ‘Chioggia’ beet is the most vibrant vegetable in the patch. These beets were originally grown in the historic fishing town of Chioggia, Italy, located just across the lagoon from Venice. For Venetians, the historic town has long represented time-honored food traditions and quality cuisine. Chefs and market farmers alike will appreciate how the stunning allure of this sweet root adds pizzazz to the average salad or market stand. Perfect for those who are averse to that signature earthy beet flavor, this beet has a crisp, mellow crunch when eaten raw. After a growing period of just 60 days, you’ll be chomping into this zippy radicle.

$2.75 per packet (250 seeds)
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds


Courtesy of Old House Gardens

‘Apricot Beauty’ Tulip

Originally from Holland, the ‘Apricot Beauty’ is “delectable anywhere, and should be planted by the bagful,” according to garden writer Ann Lovejoy. These fragrant, soft-peach beauties thrive in Zones 7 or cooler, with the exception of the West Coast climate in Zone 8. Mid-to-late fall, when the soil is cool, is the perfect time to get these bulbs in the ground. If necessary, store them in open bags in a cool, dry spot, or in the refrigerator while you wait to plant them. Your dutiful work will come to fruition when these lovely buds emerge in early spring. This stunner has enticed many with its dreamy and unusual color for over 60 years.

$9.50 for 5 bulbs
Old House Gardens

Courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

‘Yellow Heart’ Winter Choy

This “Golden Flower in the Snow” loves the cold weather, and can be planted in late summer or early fall, 6 to 12 weeks before the first frost in your area. Winter choy is a delicious Chinese ornamental. In China, ‘Yellow Heart’ winter choy is grown year-round. As fall turns into winter, you’ll notice the “yellow heart,” or flower, appear; the central rosette of leaves is prompted to turn yellow when cool weather sets in. When the plants reach 5 to 8 inches tall, the delicate leaves are delicious cooked or tossed in a salad.

$3.00 per packet (200 seeds)
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds


Courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

‘Green Mountain’ Winter Celtuce

Celtuce — a type of lettuce originally from the Mediterranean that’s now popular in Southwestern Chinese cuisine — is grown primarily for its long, stocky stem. If you’ve never tasted celtuce, the flavor of its massive stem is exceptional, with refreshing notes sometimes likened to cucumber and sweet corn, and even leek or jicama. This incredibly fruitful cultivar doesn’t require much gardening attention. It should be planted about 50 days before your Zone’s average first frost, and harvested in winter. This stupendous stem remains crunchy, tender, and juicy as it reaches magnificent proportions. It tastes great raw in salads, stir-fried, or spiralized as a gluten-free pasta substitute.

$3.00 per packet (250 seeds);
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Published on Aug 27, 2019

Mother Earth Gardener

Expert advice on all aspects of growing.