This long hard winter has not only given me a bad case of cabin fever but also more time than usual to research new seed sources and crops to grow. From a small seed company in Bali, Southern Italy, I have secured seed of the following vegetables:
Lampascioni (wild onions from Puglia); Actually the bulb of a wild hyacinth, people wax eloquent over the taste of these fried in olive oil, stewed etc..
Cimi di Rapa Leccesse (broccoli raab); This rapini forms a very large head said to be as big as your fist.
Cucumber Melon Barese; This cucumber exhibits a thick, white, sweet flesh with melon undertones that I wish more people would try.
Escarole Cardoncella Barese; A regional variety escarole from Bari that has very long, thick, crunchy stems. It is great for those who love escarole stems.
Sedano Gigante Dorato; Golden yellow, very large celery with sweet and tender stalks. If you are used to supermarket celery and have never tried Italian types, you are in for a real taste treat.
Cauliflower of Macerata; Great tasting Southern Italian specialty with a green head. Nice cooked with pasta.
Fava Bean Precoce Violetto; A choice fava direct from Italy, it's pods contain beans that become brilliant violet when ripe.
The large colorful seed packets of these Italian vegetables sure offer some relief from cabin fever as I gaze upon them spread out on my living room floor. Soon the first plantings in my greenhouse will begin. Also, our thanks to all of you who haved continued to shop at our market stand during our difficult transition from the Hilldale Farmers Market to the Dane County Farmers Market. Jean and I look forward to seeing all of you soon!!!