Continuing my list of crops for 2012.....
Another great performer last year was an heirloom, open pollinated pepper we call Italian Pickling Pepper. This seed was given to us by a family member and we are unsure of it's origin. It has for the last several years exceeded the yields of any pepper we have ever grown of this kind. Great for roasting on the grill and packing in olive oil or freezing and also a welcome addition to salsa.
California Wonder is the standard for bell peppers for many years. An heirloom variety originally introduced in 1928 is till the largest open pollinated heirloom bell you can grow. Days to maturity 75. These are the peppers I grow to dehydrate for seasoning, stuff with a filling and freeze or throw into a fresh salad or saute for my spaghetti sauce.
Yellow crookneck squash is one of those vegetables that you see in all southern gardens. I grew up on them. My mother made the best crayfish and shrimp casserole with these things you can imagine. I always have these in my garden because they are so versatile. Not only are they great on the grill and fried. I can them for casseroles and freeze them for smothering in the winter. You can substitute these in zucchini bread or stuff them like a pepper with meat and bake. A versatile, open pollinated heirloom vegetable.
My main tomato for everything is the Brandywine Tomato. It grows well in this area and the taste is amazing. We eat these fresh, use them in sauces, salsas and salads. An extremely large one slicer for sandwiches with an heirloom old time tomato taste. She's a big lady so give her lots of room and watch her produce all season.
Every year I grow a couple Yellow Pear tomatoes for my oldest daughter. She can eat her weight in them and they are great pickled green, in salads or just eating warm off the vine. Many days you can find my husband picking over these bushes while picking and weeding the garden. Another open pollinated heirloom variety we have grown forever saving seeds from year to year.
Southern Giant Curled mustard green are another crop that I grow every year. An open pollinated heirloom variety that I always let go to seed so I have plenty of seeds every year. I plant both an early spring and late fall crop. These can great and taste really good in the winter when you are craving greens.
Every spring we anxiously await that first wilted lettuce salad with the Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce. A great early spring crop for us and eagerly awaited. Nothing like fresh salad greens, green onions,fresh peas and sliced eggs for a salad.
Hearts of Gold is another heirloom favorite. Open pollinated and a great grower in our area. We love the melons and feed the chickens the rinds which they will fight over.
Well that's it. There are always a few varieties that I forget or people give me start of to try but for the most part that will be the bulk of the garden. Wishing all of you a successful 2012 gardening Year.
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter