Over the past week I’ve been ordering seed for this year’s crops. Today the first of the packages arrived. A whole box from Baker Creek Heriloom Seeds. I’ve been ordering from Baker Creek for a couple years now, and I’ve always been happy with their seed. The Gettle family sources seed from many locations all over the world. Last year I grew Kabouli Black garbanzo beans that they sourced from farmers in Kaboul, Afganistan. I use Baker Creek for some of the more unusual types and varieties of vegetables, greens and berries that you find in your shares. And now that they are selling some seed in bulk, I’ll be sourcing some of the more common seed from them as well. For instance, I was able to buy some of the greens seed by the 1/4 pound. For some insane reason I also bought 3 types of winter squash seed by the 1/4 pound as well. God help me if all of that germinates and produces…..

Here’s a rundown of the current Baker Creek order –

Greens – Italiko Rosso Dandelion (chicory); Amaranth: Molten Fire, Joseph’s Coat; Flamingo Pink (chard); Dark Green Gailan (chinese kale); Strawberry Spinach; Tatsoi (mustard green); Georgia Southern (collards); Garden Cress

Winter Squash – Long Island Cheese, Honey Boat Delicata, Jack Be Little, Red Kuri (Hokkaido), Sweet Meat, Table Queen (acorn), Spaghetti, Waltham Butternut. I prefer the Waltham over other varieties for it’s smooth rind, the others I’ve seen have a slight ribbing. A smooth, thin rind makes for easier peeling, prior to cooking and means that you’ll be able to use this squash as a substitute for potatoes.

Summer Squash – Patisson Stri MeLange, Patissons Panache Jaune Et Vert Scallop. Wow, what a mouthfull! What these are, are two variegated scalloped type squash. Think patty pans that are a beautiful to look at as they are delicious to eat. I can’t wait to start harvesting these!

Fennel – Di Firenze. I bought a 1/4  pound bag of this, so we should all have lots and lots of fennel this year.

Brassica – Extra Dwarf Pak Choy, Romanesco. I’ve had fits getting romanesco (the fractal vegetable) to head out. It’s similar to broccoli and cauliflower, and it’s flavor is somewhere between the two. Anyhoo, hope springs eternal and I love the stuff, and a challenge, so I’m game to try again this year.

Artichoke – Roughe D’Alger, Purple of Romagna, Violetta Precoce. Two are new varieties I’ll be trialing, Purple of Romagna I already have in 1 gallon pots sitting under cover in Tunnel #3 and will be planted out in the spring.

Cardoon – Gobbo Di Nizzia. This is supposed to be a variety that is considerably less bitter than the varieties I’ve already been growing.

Snow Peas – Mammoth Melting Sugar, Golden Sweet. MMS is a long time favorite and if you’ve had large pea greens from me, that’s what they were from. The pods get very large, stay tender and are virtually stringless even when the peas themselves are large and half mature. The Golden Sweet looks interesting. Hopefully it’ll be a nice complement for the MMS.

Cucumbers – Dragon’s Egg, Mexican Sour Gherkin, Sikkim, West Indian Burr Gherkin. The Mexican Sour Gherkins I trialed last year out here. They are small, about the size of a grape tomato, and look like miniature rattlesnake watermelons. Flavor wise, they taste like a tart cucumber, and you can eat them like berries. I think they’ll be great in salads, and in tomato salads.

Edible Gourd – Serpente Di Sicilia. I beleive this one also goes by the common name Cuccuzzi. Long and light green with a smooth skin, you can eat it raw or cooked, with the skin on or off.

Celery – Tender Crisp, Zwolsche Kurl. These two varieties are in Tunnel #2 right now and you’ll be receiving them in your shares in a month or so.

Celeriac – Giant Prague

Egg Plant – Turkish Orange, Ping Tung, Goyo Kumba, Black Stem

Tomatillo – Purple. I trialed purple tomatillos (2 varieties) out here last year and this was one of them. Very nice flavor when allowed to ripen completely. They’re actually sweet and I was eating them directly off the plants.

Garden Berries – Ground Cherry, Giant Cape Goose Berry, Naranjilla, Litchi Tomato, Chichiquilite Huckleberry, Wonderberry (aka Sunberry).

Peppers – Anaheim, Coban Red Pimiento, Jimmy Nardello Italian Frying Pepper. I’ve been reading about the Jimmy Nardello pepper for a couple of years, and finally had to order some seed. Really looking foreward to all of these.

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I’ve added another feature to the side bar – Daily Quick Updates.

I don’t think that these will show up in the blog’s RSS feed, so I’ll be posting to these every day or so, then I’ll collect them and turn them into a regular blog post that will show up in the feed.

Previously on The Daily Quick Updates – 

1/3/2011-

28°F this morning. Little bit of frost in Tunnel #3. No clouds this morning so the tunnels will catch some rays and warm up quickly. Only a few days of this cold weather left and I’ll be able to get the rest of the celery planted. I don’t dare open the tunnels up to get in them as I want to keep as much warmth trapped as possible to protect the crops over the cold nights.

Projects today include, chopping ice off the water troughs, unloading and stacking hay, seeding more trays, and getting the garage buttoned and warmed up so I can move the trays already seeded and germinating out to the cooler garage from the warm house. They’ll stay out there for a few days to harden off before being moved into the tunnels at the end of the week.

5:30pm update –

Got the microgreen trays moved to The Cube (greenhouse), and set up. Got the rest of the left overs from previous trays cleaned up and moved out to composting bins.

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