(Scroll down to find our picture & description chart of our 2024 vegetables & herbs.)

We have a new vegetable for you to try:  LONGEVITY SPINACH

Gynura procumbens, or Longevity Spinach, is a trailing vine (perennial in tropical climates) that is a traditional food and medicinal plant in a wide range of south Asian countries.  Its tender leaves and stems can be eaten raw or cooked—steamed, sautéed, pureed, in soups,  etc.  It has a mild spinach after-flavor when eaten raw.  It grows rapidly and can be harvested repeatedly without harming the plant.  In fact, it will still re-grow if you strip all the leaves off it, or if you snap off the growing points, it will just branch out more.  It grows in sun or part shade.  It loves loves loves hot weather.

Gynura procumbens ranks as a superfood.  It has so many traditional health benefits that to make evaluating it easier (and un-polluted by Artificial Intelligence content) I will share with you some links to studies from NIH, the National Institutes of Health:

“In Southeast Asia, Gynura procumbens has been utilized as a traditional medicinal herb for many diseases. The nontoxic effects of the leaves of G procumbens can be consumed safely for the treatment of many diseases, especially diabetes mellitus.”

Gynura procumbens (Lour.) Merr. (Family Asteraceae) is a medicinal plant commonly found in tropical Asia countries such as China, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Traditionally, it is widely used in many different countries for the treatment of a wide variety of health ailments such as kidney discomfort, rheumatism, diabetes mellitus, constipation, and hypertension.”

“Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Genus Gynura: A Systematic Review”

New tomato varieties this season:

An heirloom beefsteak named “Beefsteak” released in 1900, heirloom Cherokee Purple, an heirloom roma called “Italian Roma,” a  slicing tomato called Defiant PhR bred by Johnny’s and NC State University to be very disease resistant:

  • Early Blight (Intermediate)
  • Fusarium Wilt races 1, 2 (High)
  • Late Blight (High)
  • Verticillium Wilt (High)

another disease-resistant slicer named Marbonne F1, and a very early slicing tomato called Premio F1.  You can scroll or search the chart for more descriptions.

Vegetable starts list with pictures and descriptions:

    • These are the vegetable starts and annual herbs we have planned for the 2024 season.  It is not a complete list, but it is pretty close.
      HOW TO USE OUR PLANT CHARTS: 
    • You can scroll down the chart.  Alphabetized by Latin name, followed by COMMON name and Variety.
    • You can search on a desktop by holding the Ctrl key and typing F. Search bar is at bottom left of screen.
    • You can search on a mobile by tapping three vertical dots at top of your screen, tap Find in page. Search bar is at top of screen.
    • Common keywords we include for searching are fragrant, heirloom, native, pollinator, etc.

 

We grow so many delicious food plants!  Our criteria for selecting the varieties we grow and offer:

    • Excellent flavor
    • Adaptability to grow well in our area
    • Disease resistance

NOTES:

      • F1 means a hybrid, saved seed won’t come true.
      • OP means open-pollinated, seed will come true unless you grow other varieties nearby thus creating your own hybrids (very easy with squashes and tomatoes.)
      • Heirloom means open-pollinated, and heirlooms have been maintained as distinct varieties for a long, long time—we’ll tell you if we know how many years.
      • AAS means All America Selection prize winner. AAS winners are chosen each year (we include the year when known) for outstanding performance and adaptability to growing conditions in America.

About the tomatoes…so many tomatoes!  We’ve tried to sort them into categories: the really big ones (Beefsteaks), Slicing tomatoes that fit nicely on a sandwich, Roma-paste-plum tomatoes…these are the meatier tomatoes that have less juice and cook down quicker into sauces, and small-fruited varieties like the cherries, grapes, pear, etc.

Some like Juliet fit into multiple categories—for example Juliet is a grape-sized Roma tomato that is one of the few that are Late Blight resistant.  Frankly, we grow a couple of heirlooms that also resist Late Blight here:  Principe Borghese, an Italian heirloom that is both a crack-resistant red cherry tomato and a meaty roma type—so meaty in fact that it was traditionally used as a drying tomato.  Great flavor!  We’ve also found the French heirloom Garden Peach (Peche Jaune) to have vigorous, healthy, Late Blight resistant vines.  Garden Peach is truly unique, it has a soft, slightly fuzzy yellowish-pink skin like a peach, and a complex, fruity flavor.  Our other favorite heirlooms are Brandywine (of course) although it is late to ripen and variable in fruit size.  Valencia is a delicious heirloom, earlier to ripen, uniform, and a rich yellowish orange color.

Speaking of heirlooms, Costata Romanesca zucchini has unbeatable flavor, although you’ll have to wait a couple of weeks longer for it than modern zucchini, and it is not quite as prolific either (not a bad trait for zucchini).

And speaking of squashes, if your Waltham Butternut squash tends to get powdery mildew before the squashes ripen, you really should try Little Dipper.  It is practically the same size as Waltham and even more prolific, and the vigorous vines don’t seem to get powdery mildew right away, so most of the squashes ripen.  They are excellent keepers and taste great too.