In the SEXY Category:
- Teton de Venus Tomato: As I've already raved, how can I not love a tomato that is productive, tasty, a great canner, and named after boobs?
In the FECUND Category:
- Armenian Cucumber: Last year, I believe I used the phrase "rabbits on ecstasy productive." Yup, they're still living up to that image, and they're delicious too.
- Goldie Groundcherry (Physalis pruinosa): Laura at Mas du Diable shared seeds for these sweet little babies with me. I was familiar with them from selling them to local German farmers at the garden center (Otten Brothers) where I worked in high school and the first summer of college. I loved snagging the paper-enclosed golden fruits off the overgrown plants left in six-packs at the end of the summer; they were sweet and tropical-tasting in a place so far from the tropics. In my garden this summer, they fruited and fruited, despite the constant attack from spider mites. I have a feeling these guys may naturalize on our property if I'm not careful.
In the MUSICAL FRUIT Category:
- Almost all of my beans! Blue Coco and Indian Woman Yellow lived up to the high expectations they set for me last year. Rattlesnake was a delicious new addition, and a great one in its multipurposeness; they beans are absolutely delicious green, but if I let them go too long, no worries! They give me loads of dry pinto-ish beans. Mitla Black was another new addition this year. A bush bean, supposedly a tepary (though I have my doubts), it handled the heat and drought well and gave me loads of small, shiny black beans. I haven't cooked with them yet; I hope they're as pretty in my mouth as they are in the jar.
- Red Noodle Asian Yardlong Bean: So beautiful, so long, so purple, so heat-tolerant! Superlative, superlative, superlative! The gophers tunneled through the open end of my bean bed and got to Red Noodle's teepee before I stopped them; the evil bastards took out all but one of my vines. However, the little vine that could soon turned into a mighty, unstoppable beast, giving me many beans despite its loneliness. Revenge on the ground-dwelling critters? I hope so.
In the I CAN'T STOP EATING YOU Category:
- Uncle David's Dakota Dessert Winter Squash: Again. I couldn't wait for cooler weather and already ate two. Holy heavenly sweetness.
- Collective Farm Woman Melon: Another repeat. This is the sweetest melon I know; it is good down to the rind.
- Wes Not Wes Tomato: This didn't turn out to be what I expected it to be, but I'm not complaining, because it was a damn good tomato.
In the WTF? Category:
- Not Seminole Squash and Not Piel de Sapo melon: I have great enthusiasm towards my involvement in Seed Savers Exchange, but with that enthusiasm, I have to have some flexibility. This year, one member sent me two varieties that weren't what they were purported to be. I'm not sure if this member was not careful during pollination and allowed cross-pollination to occur, or, if this person mislabed saved seed. But, the Seminole Squash, a variety I'd been wanting to grow for years and finally had room for, turned out to be some kind of Calabaza-esque squash. And, the Piel de Sapo (Skin of the Toad) melon from the same source turned out to be a Crane melon. Birds and Toads—who could confuse 'em? Oh well, neither are bad; they just aren't what I wanted.
In the WHY DON'T YOU DASH MY DREAMS WHILE YOU'RE AT IT? Category:
- Orangeglo Watermelon: It is September 23rd, and when I was out today, I noticed that these vines have just set their first fruit. Too bad sucker, you're never going to come to maturity, because you and your vine are coming out in two weeks. I have no idea why it has taken so long to get these vines started. I'll give it another try next year, though, so I haven't given up complete hope on it.
- Pepper plant after pepper plant: Nearly all my peppers, with the exception of Fish and Bonnie's Hot, failed this year. Complete capsicum catastrophe. I'm pretty sure part of my problem was where I planted the majority of them; they really need more fertile soil than what they had. Next year, next year, next year.
- Poha, Physalis peruviana: My friend who lives around the corner gave me a seedling of this after I tasted one at her house. They're beautiful fruit, about the size of a nickel, taxi-yellow, and encased in an elegant, papery robe. The fruit I tasted at her house was tropical and complex, sweet and haunting. The plant she gave me grew at an astonishing pace, set fruit up and down and all around its branches, and gave me buckets of fruit. So why am I complaining? Because not one fruit that I've collected, whether it's fallen dead-ripe off the plant or not, has shown any sign of sweetness. Each has been so tart that biting into one is equivalent to taking a big swig from that cider vinegar bottle that is in the kitchen cabinet.
What about you? Any new discoveries you made in the garden this summer?