Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, yea. The most beautiful seed catalog I’ve ever seen; pornography for foodies. It’s full color, full-page art worthy photos of beautiful vegetables. Sporting over fourteen hundred seed varieties (all of them vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs) and scads of photos with a twelve page centerfold of stunning squash, it always leaves me wanting for more garden space.
This years catalog has been created with a lighter weight recycled paper and the photos are a little less glossy but it is still a piece to be collected. I’ll let you in on a secret… I received two copies. I’m not sure how this happened but I’m really tickled about it.
The 2012 catalog has for the first time, one of my all time favorites, Lemon Drop pepper. Don’t let the name fool you! There is nothing delicate about this hot pepper! It’s the pepper the infamous Moonmooring “Pepper Jam” comes from. My stash is all gone. All the jam, all the saved pulp. All gone. I haven’t been able to get any plants to grow the last couple years. Damping off is what it’s called I believe. I will make a consolidated effort to get a few of these plants up and producing this year.
The most successful year with lemon Drops, there were 4 plants. They grew to a height of three to three and a half feet tall and as big around; pretty stout with minimal assist to stand. These babies were loaded for months with ripening peppers.
You may know me well enough to know I am one of those people who count everything. If not… well… I am. Anyway, I counted. For a while. There were thousands of peppers on each plant. I lost many of them, sold scads and canned even more as Pepper Jam. It’s gone now. And this after I developed a serious taste for it in many ways.
Back to Baker Creek. They have the tomato seeds divided into eight sections by color; green, orange, pink, purple, red, striped, white and yellow. Hundreds of varieties.
I have a wish-list, lets talk about that.
The peppers I would love to grow are as follows, rat turd, lemon drop, Jimmy Nardelo, Red Marconi, pepperoncini, red and yellow bells, Gypsy, and Pablano. Some of these can substitute for another but each is so unique and useful in its’ own way. I may have left one or two out.
Rat turd; this might be a name I coined myself. It’s a tiny mouse turd shaped red pepper that looks like a Christmas decoration. It makes the most delightful chili sauce for seasoning things.
Lemon Drop; the jam of course!!
Jimmy Nardelo; for sauteing, with eggs or other vegetables and to eat raw. Scrumptious!
Red Marconi; for all those Italian dishes I love to make.
Pepperoncini; to pickle and have with antipasto or in salads.
Red and yellow bells; for sauteing with onions to eat with eggs or with tortillas and beans.
Gypsy or Pablano; my preferred substitute for a green bell pepper, thinner skinned and more flavorful.
Back to the catalog again! Baker Creek is where I acquired my Cobra Head. The absolute best garden tool I have ever used. They have a great selection of books on hand in their store and the catalog. The catalog contains recipes and gardening tips. And lets talk about squash!
I have never gotten enough summer squash, ever. I could always eat more of the stuff. Zuchinni, and yellow straight neck are just the beginning! There are 21 pages devoted to squash, summer and winter. Twelve of those pages are full page full color beauties; Hubbard, Marina di Chioggia (Italian), Boston Marrow, Butternut and Turks Cap to name a few.
Eating should never be so boring as to be restricted to Red Delicious apples, hot house tomatoes, watery cucumbers and cookie cutter carrots. Try a local variety of apples, a purple or yellow tomato, an oriental cucumber and greens, and some unusual carrots, eggplants, edamame, pretty leafy lettuce, exotic melons, and a variety of onions. Et cetera!
Happy gardening and even happier eating in 2012!