Unusual Edibles – A new obsession?

I recently decided to give Kohl Rabi a try – after reading a blog entry from Lou Nicholls (https://tinyurl.com/ycpvfb9x). This is not the only unusual veg I am growing this year – (Yard Long beans being the one I am most excited about) but also Lemon Balm. This got me thinking that it would be silly to just order a single seed packet – as I had already placed my seed orders. So in the usual fashion I put the question up on twitter and got a great set of replies from the various gardeners. I should just note my interest in unusual veg is very recent and can be attributed mainly if not completely to the new global growth veg garden at RHS Hyde Hall.

The responses came from a number of people, all of who I am very grateful to for their contribution. These include:

  • Achocha

  • Kiwano

  • Tomatillo

  • Tiger Nuts

  • Chickpeas

  • Multi coloured sweetcorn

  • Cucamelons

  • Soybeans

  • Coloured Cauliflower

  • Yacon

  • Oca

These suggestions came from a few people including Matt Oliver (of #UKGiantPumpkin fame), SpadeSharp (Richard Chivers) & Modern Veg Plot – all on Twitter and worthy of a follow.

Some I will try in the future – Achocha, Kiwano and Oca being the top of the list. With Oca I will be looking into the Oca breeders guild and once I have read up a little, am quite keen on joining the program to contribute to the breeding of this plant. My basic understanding is the idea is to do with Oca much like was done with Potatoes years ago. Find varieties that work in our climate and breed those to make them a more readily available and viable crop source, an exciting prospect to be involved in.

After going through the twitter responses and a little looking myself I settled on three others to join the Kohl Rabi. These being Tomatillo, Tiger nuts and Root Parsley. All of which I will blog about as the growing season progresses.

Growing unusual edibles is a great way to experience veg or fruit that you cant get in the shops, and I believe will be a rewarding and fun thing to start. So I would like encourage you all to have a look and find at least one unusual edible out there to have a go at growing it yourself, who knows what culinary delight you might stumble upon.

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