As the garden is developing, I’m keen to introduce some more unusual varieties of plants. Most produce available in the supermarkets are farmed due to:
a. Ease of growing and resilience; and
b. acceptance by mainstream consumers.
In my search for unusual food, I came across a great website for a company selling rare seeds. The Baker Creek Rare Seed company in the U.S. specialises in precisely that, rare heirloom seeds: http://www.rareseeds.com
Their website shows so many unusual varieties of fruit and vegetables. I knew that there were a lot of varieties of tomatoes, but had no idea there were well over 50 varieties of watermelon. Here is an example of an interesting one that looks like a combination of a rockmelon, honeydew and watermelon.
The Sweet Siberian Watermelon
“Luscious, apricot-colored flesh is very sweet and flavorful. Grown at New Hampshire’s Ag Experiment station in 1901. It is early and a great melon for the north. In 1937 McFayden Seeds of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada said, “Largest of very early strains. A very early yellow-fleshed variety extensively grown by Russians. It is supposed to have come from Siberia. The melons are oblong, dark green, borne abundantly on the vigorous vines. The flesh is a golden yellow, sweet and delicious. Grown extensively by Hutterite Colonies, who find ready sale for them in many districts in Manitoba.” It is now rather rare and hard to find. ”
One thing I love about seeding fruit, is that from one fruit, hundreds, even thousands, can be reproduced. It’s just a continuous natural cycle that is so awesome.