I have never been so over a winter. For a while, I tried to embrace it. Well, now I am trying denial. Let's talk about gardens! Spring!
These pictures were taken by Andrew Cummings, and they're of his garden in Wellfleet. As you can see, he's meticulously organized, and it pays off. His beds are both beautiful and productive. Each year he keeps a notebook tracking the varieties he grows and what does well, and he revises his seed order based on year after year of experience. Last week, I talked with him about what varieties he's planning for this season. Below the photos is a list of his top picks for 2014.
The peppermint name comes from this Swiss chard's pale pink stems. Andrew says it consistently out-performs the other chards in his garden, to the point where this year Peppermint is the only chard he's growing. He finds it less susceptible to pests and and excellent eating green.
UCHIKI KURI SQUASH
This winter squash is a beautiful deep orange. Inside, the flesh is the same color and incredibly sweet. Andrew found out about it through friends, who say it's excellent for pie or simply baking.
LUTZ GREEN LEAF BEET
This is the only beet Andrew grows. It's sweet, it's a great keeper, and you can eat the greens.
BROWN RUSSIAN CUCUMBER
This is an heirloom Ukrainian variety. The skin makes it look just like a potato! Reviews say it's great tasting, very prolific, and mid-sized. Andrew's trying it for the first time this year.
GREEN MEAT RADISH
Wow. What a name! It's related to the daikon radish and ... it's green! Andrew says it grows well all season long, and he likes to eat it ground up and mixed with mashed potatoes. The greens are edible too.
SHIN KURODA CARROT
Another Asian variety...this time a sweet, short, stocky carrot that does especially well in cool weather. Andrew says it's great for eating fresh and for cooking, and if you plant it in the fall, it will overwinter.