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New Varieties continued.....

Written by Carolyn on August 5th, 2011.      0 comments


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Last week I gave you a bit of a summary of some of the information Gerard included in his recent introduction to our new varieties.  This week I thought I would continue where I left off - giving you some new snippets of info on some of the additions to our range of Gourmet Vegetables, based on Gerard's recent talk given at Kings Seeds.
 
 

In our Organic range, we have a new tomato which has actually been bred for taste rather than for looks, uniformity, keeping ability.  This is the Tomato Diplom.  It is disease resistant, which may help if you are in an area where the psyllid is established.  As soon as our customers heard that there was a tomato bred for taste, there was a rush for packets of this seed!!
 

Another organic addition is Zucchini Partenon, which is a floretsrpic zucchini.  This means that they will set fruit without the need for a pollinator, making them a suitable plant for glasshouses.  Just as an aside, when your zucchini plant is flowering, you can pick the flowers for stuffing.  The male flowers will not set fruit, so they are the ones to pick for stuffing - you can tell which are the male flowers because they face upwards. 

In our range of Gourmet Vegetables, we have some wonderful new additions....
 
 

An addition which is already proving to be popular is Cauliflower Orange Bouquet.  This was developed from a rouge plant discovered years ago - it has a sweet, mild taste and it's colour darkens when it is cooked, to a wonderful dark orange, making a spectacular addition to your plate. 
 
I am dying to grow this myself....I keep picturing a plate of white, green, purple and orange florettes...all now available from Kings Seeds.
 

 
An interesting addition to our range of Cucumbers this year is the Poona Kheera cucumber - this is a russet-skinned cucumber, sometimes known as Old Russian.  It is a drought tolerant, non-bitter cucumber which has a taste a little like a mustard  It has a thick skin so it holds well on the vine, and keeps very well in the refrigerator. 

If you have been enjoying growing microgreens and baby leaf salad greens you might like Mustard Deep Purple - a mild mustard with a nice purple colour to add to the mix. 
 
 

Gerard did let us into a secret of his.  He let us know where he gets some of his inspiration when sourcing new varieties for Kings Seeds.  William Woys Weaver is a plant historian - (if you love reading more about things, I found some great information about him here).  One of his books, called "100 Vegetables And Where They Came From" has been the original inspiration for many of the additions made to the Kings Seeds catalogue over the years.  It's a great book! 

 
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One of the plants mentioned is the Black Peanut.  It hasn't been easy to find, but this year we have been able to add it to our range and it is flying out the door!  You can read more about it in a previous blog post if you would like to - just click here.   Peanuts are easy to grow and the plants reach about 30cm high.
 
 

Pepper Chablis is a great new sweet pepper, or capscium which is good for growing in posts.  The fruit change from yellow to orange to red as they ripen and are delicious eaten at any stage. 
 
 

This year we have introduced the world hottest chilli - Chilli Bhut Jolokia - to our range.  This is also known as the Ghost Chilli, and originates from Assam in India.  This really is hot!!!!  

The Scoville Scale is the scientific measurement of a chilli's heat.  A mild Jalapeno chilli will have a Scoville rating of 1-5000 units.  Cayenne has a rating of around 25000 units.  Jalapeno rates from about 100,000 to 500,000 and the Bhut Jolokia chilli has a rating of over 1,000,000 Scoville units!!!   Seriously, we wouldn't advise sending your children or grandchildren out to pick these.   They need to be handled with care!

We have also added Chilli Santiago, a mild jalapeno hybrid which is popular for cooking and Chilli Sky Hot, which is a thick-walled cayenne pepper. 
 
 

We have added more tomatoes to our range, including Tomato Golden Roma, Tomato Orange Banana and Tomato Oaxacan Jewell.  Another new Tomato is Tomato Zapotec.  This tomato was brought to Europe in about 1521 by the Conquistadors.  It is a heavily ribbed, tasty, hardy tomato - the fact that it has survived over 600 years means it is a goody!  This tomato is native to the high altitude region of Oaxacan in Southern Mexico and is therefore a good tomato to grow in cold areas.

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Topics: new varieties
 

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