Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gardening: Snack Garden (And catalog season!)

I've grumbled that we grow vegetables, but don't eat them. I rarely go out at dinnertime to corral any of that nice fresh food and bring it back to the kitchen. But I do nibble when I'm outside. I hunt for raspberries, or peapods, or I nip off the occasional lettuce leaf to eat on the spot.

So when I started leafing through my shiny new heap of garden catalogs, a plan came to me: A snack garden. If I'll only eat what I can eat in the garden, then that's the sort of thing to plant.

So, what's in these catalogs that a roving gardener could eat? And which ones would look good if the plan fails and I don't end up eating a thing?

The candidates:
  • Peas! As I recall, Cascadia snap peas, in the Territorial Seed Company catalog, are sweet enough to eat raw, right off the vine. If any of them make it inside to meet a pan and some butter, that's a bonus.
  • Can you ever eat a pepper out of hand? Territorial says that Yum Yum Gold sweet peppers have very few seeds. They're tiny and they're adorable, so I'll add them to the list.
  • Cherry tomatoes are an obvious candidate. Abundant Life Seeds has Black Cherry and Snow White cherry tomatoes, both indeterminate. A plant of each, twining together on one big stakes, could be a sort of tomato War of the Roses. I like the vision. 
  • And Johnny's Selected Seeds brags about the sugar content of Matt's Wild Cherry, and also warns that it's soft. Since I'm going to eat it six inches from where it grew, and I'm not crazy about that explode-in-my mouth feeling, soft is a bonus.
  • As another color contrast combination, Abundant Life has a Miniature White cucumber, and Territorial has a snack-sized Rocky cucumber, this one dark green. I could encourage these to share a trellis.
  • Territorial assures me that Pineapple ground cherries really do taste like pineapple. I have to try that.
  • Next, I see Mexican Sour Gherkins. Territorial says that they have a  "powerful, sweet, cucumber flavor with a tangy, citrus twist." That could be a nice contrast to all the sugary things.
  • To add even more spice, I could add rattail radishes, hot little spears of radishnyess. I haven't found these in any of the catalogs yet, but somebody's got to be selling them.
  • And as the last snack when the season's winding down, a few Russian Mammoth sunflowers, for cracking and eating as I stare at the garden and plan next year. 


  1. yum yum, I am ready to start snacking. Can we share seeds? I would love to do more of this kind of planning ahead for the garden. usually I realize that I need snap peas and run out to the grange and get a six pack. How much more fun to sprout some seeds together.

  2. Ooh! Sure, yes. As you can tell from the plan, I won't need more than a plant or two of any of these things. Too many plans, too little sun.