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Thai ‘Pink Egg’ Tomato ripens to an amazing magenta color. (Photo from rareseeds.com online catalog.)
Thai Baby Watermelon is harvested when about 3 inches long. Nothing like the mongo watermelons we grow in the U.S. It’s used in Thai stir fries and curries. (Photo from rareseeds.com online catalog.)
Peth Nam Eak is a Chinese kale that tastes like a cross between kale and broccoli. (Photo from rareseeds.com online catalog.)
It’s only February and I’m already insanely psyched for this summer’s food gardens. That’s not good, because we have a way to go until planting time. Patience.
It’s not too early, however, to order seeds. It looks like everything will be grown from seed this year. We’ve settled on Thai and Japanese foods (and a few Chinese greens) for the 2017 gardens. But to keep our families happy, we will dedicate a part of one garden to the traditional heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, and squash, and buy the young seedlings of these veggies instead of starting from seed.
Here is the list of Thai and Asian seeds that we’ve ordered so far:
Thai ‘Pink Egg’ Tomato – this grape tomato is popular throughout Thailand. It matures into a brilliant magenta-pink color and is rich and sweet.
Peth Nam Eak – a Chinese kale that tastes like a cross between kale and broccoli.
Oros – another Chinese kale, milder than Peth Nam Eak, this one is fast growing and will be an early harvest.
Thai Purple Podded Yard Long Bean – this is a favorite veggie in Thailand. All varieties of long beans are a staple crop in Thailand.
Thai White Podded Yard Long Bean – this is another favorite veggie in Thailand. All varieties of long beans are a staple crop throughout Thailand.
Thai Baby Watermelon – Popular in Thailand in stir fries, curries, and soups. They’re harvested when they’re about 3 inches long. The sweet flesh is orange-pink.
Burapa Pepper – a super-hot, small red pepper that matures late in summer. A native pepper of Thailand, where it’s used for flavoring lots of dishes. I LOOOVE hot peppers.
Thai Long Green Eggplant – A mild, sweet eggplant, very slender and about 12 inches long. An heirloom eggplant in Thailand. I’ve seen this recently on menus at local Asian restaurants, so it’s getting some attention here.
Thai Hairy Lemon Basil – used in a lot of Asian recipes, this is another basil used widely in Thailand.
Kapoor (Thai Sweet Basil) – essential to Thai cooking, this is hugely popular in Thailand. Sweet and spicy.
Pangako Sa’Yo (Holy Kaprao Basil) – this basil is popular in Thai cooking, but it’s most widely used as a religious herb by Hindus and a healing herb by Ayurveda practitioners. I plan to keep large pots of it around the perimeter of the house and a small amount in the food gardens. It has a strong clove scent and taste, so we probably won’t use it much for cooking. I also plan to dry and powder some for use on my skin, as a tea, and as an offering at our indoor shrine, where the beautiful Thai Buddha is seated.
And from Seeds from Italy, I ordered Wild Rucola seeds – an uncultivated Italian arugula that is said to have a sharper flavor than cultivated arugula. I like the spiciest arugula I can get.
This is the time of year where I do a lot of watching the mailbox. With these seed orders and another earlier one on the way, February is more fun, exciting, and full of magic than Christmas ever was.
Live in peace.