unusual vegetables that are worth growing?

(19 Posts)
dreamingofsun Sun 26-Jun-16 11:36:43

what have you grown that's unusual that's worth growing again? I'm thinking high yields for not much work? I've been looking at the seed catalogues thinking about what to try next year.

PurpleWithRed Mon 27-Jun-16 08:08:06

I think the trouble with "unusual" things is they are unpopular for as reason - either they really aren't that nice or they are hard to grow. I've tried asparagus peas in the past (tiny, tasteless, pointless) and scorzina (all mud and skin) and now stick with the old faithfuls that taste better when home grown. Tomatoes, strawberries and raspberries - predictable but so much better home grown!

PreAdvent13610 Mon 27-Jun-16 08:14:30

Yellow and white beetroot, all the taste none of the bleeding and staining.

brodchengretchen Mon 27-Jun-16 08:14:59

IME unusual or 'heritage' varieties are not high yielding.

There is a broad bean variety which has rather nice dark pink flowers, which may make it garden worthy for you in a different way.

BluePitchFork Mon 27-Jun-16 08:20:31

kohlrabi

PreAdvent13610 Mon 27-Jun-16 08:58:05

kohlrabi picked when they are quite little, oh yes

NoahVale Mon 27-Jun-16 09:00:31

my grandfather used to grow
radishes and fennel to name two.
how about celariac?
oh yes, I grew beetroot
and ever lasting spinach

Whataboutwhathuh Mon 27-Jun-16 09:01:47

Tomatillos if you like Mexican food. Rainbow chard is great as it tastes so much better straight from the garden. Peas. Not unusual but a totally different beast warm from the sun.

Igneococcus Mon 27-Jun-16 09:13:33

We'll have stuffed and baked Kohlrabi tonight. I don't find it unusual, but I grew up with it.
I love scorzonera or salsify and we grow it this year in the tunnel house where we are renting a few beds. I tried growing it outside but it's not a crop that does well in Scotland.
I'm also having a variety of drying beans like Borlotti and Greek soup beans and we are trying to grow Montreal musk melons which might be a bit overly ambitious.

dreamingofsun Mon 27-Jun-16 11:34:47

kohlrabi - trying this tonight - i was planning to boil it, peel and mash - is that best way?

has anyone tried mustard greens, huauzontle, orach, minutina, or tree cabbages? these all sound interesting, but as someone pointed out higher up the thread they are often unusual for a reason. though before i started gardening i'd never hear of chard....and frankly if you can't grow that you might as well give up!

BluePitchFork Mon 27-Jun-16 11:47:06

I like kohlrabi best raw.
as batons with dips or as coleslaw.
but steamed is nice as well or baked with cheese.

Igneococcus Mon 27-Jun-16 11:50:11

I think gently sauteeing (sp?) Kohlrabi in a bit of butter is the way to go. They are too watery for mashing.

Igneococcus Mon 27-Jun-16 11:53:29

I have grown hustzontle and liked it but it didn't grow very well but I am gardening at the West coast of Scotland. I might try it again now that I have a tunnel.

Gatekeeper Mon 27-Jun-16 13:51:31

mustard greens and red orach are easy to grow and don't take much looking after, although the mustard might go to seed

I tried a load of unusual veg seed by james Wong and they were tripe- poor yield and certainly didn't taste like his hyped up description of them!

I now go with what suits us and we eat a lot of so
curly kale
black kale
courgette
2 types dwarf beans
climbing french bean
sugar snap pea
spuds- Charlotte, Piccolo, anya, pink fir apple
chard
spinach
radish
beetroot
lettuce- Little Gems and cut and come again leaves

Gatekeeper Mon 27-Jun-16 13:55:30

I've also grown asparagus peas and thought them pointless and not worth the bother. Also scorzonera and salsify- I loved the flavour of these but a lot of faff preparing them for not a huge amount to show for it.

dreamingofsun Mon 27-Jun-16 14:12:18

yes thats the other thing....how much cooking prep is involved.

cucomelons i've tried growing twice outside (in the south) and they just won't grow beyond a couple of leaves.

Turnips (not sure if these qualify) I quite liked roasted, good this year, though they suffered last year from flee beetles

dreamingofsun Mon 27-Jun-16 14:13:11

ying yang beans i'm liking. you can eat young or i've dried them to use in chilli's.

TheSpottedZebra Mon 27-Jun-16 14:25:46

I've had a faddy couple of years too (curse you, James Wong!), but have now calmed it down a bit.

Asparagus peas - vile
Callaloo - not worth the bother
Cucamelons - I like. Great crop 1st year, ok 2nd year, but I've jot bothered this year.
Tomatillos - I do like, but I got a bit fed up of them, as I had soooooo many last year and ran out of ways to use them up. But the flowers were great for bees, and I will definitely do again.

Salsify - agree with faff. And it sat in the ground for so long.

Inca berries / physalis (yes, I know you said veg) - I like these, and am doing them again this year, although they really need a greenhouse and a long hot season.

What about aggretti - that seems quite fashionable this year?
Broccoli raab /cima di rapa / turnip greens -I really like this, and I aim to grow successionally, but it does bolt really quickly.

NoahVale Mon 27-Jun-16 14:59:41

i grew brocolli, very rewarding

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