The All-America Selections Display Garden has vegetable varieties this year as well as flowers. There are four types of peppers (plus an ornamental pepper), two types of eggplants, and a carrot variety called ‘Purple Haze’. Two kinds of melon and a winter squash were also planted. Vegetables are as much fun to grow as flowers, plus you get to eat them. With adequate watering, it has been a great vegetable year, with plenty of sun and heat.
The peppers have been especially prolific, although they are just beginning to turn red now. I’ve been picking some of them green but they are more delicious red. Three varieties are hot…great for salsa or chili. The fourth is a long shiny dark green mild pepper which stays green.
The eggplants struggled a little bit, but then again, I’ve never had much luck with eggplant. At home, I get to harvest one about every ten years! We’ve picked a good amount since the end of July, even though they’ve been small. Still tasty and tender.
The purple carrots were sweet and delicious. The purple color is only on the outside, so if you cut them up crosswise, you have colorful orange and purple rings. Carrots are a great crop to grow with children; most kids will eat carrots even if they think they don’t like vegetables. And pulling them up is usually a favorite garden activity with kids.
After we had a taste of each vegetable, we began bringing the extras to the Jonnycake Center Food Pantry in Peace Dale. Because most of the food donations are non-perishable items, fresh food is especially welcome. Hopefully the weather stays mild and we’ll have a few more weeks of eating right from the garden…what’s better than that?