As far as growing your own fruit and vegetables is concerned, variety is truly the spice of life! The great freedom of having any space at all in which to grow your own food is that you are completely free to grow anything that you please. Outside of the usual supermarket staples, there are countless unusual, interesting and incredibly tasty edibles that are dead easy to grow at home. With this is mind, here are five of my favourite easy to grow unusual edibles.
Achocha is a frankly better and significantly easier to grow version of your usual supermarket peppers. It is a vigourous climbing vine that can easily be grown outside and produces an absolute mountain of small green fruits. When cooked, these fruits are incredibly versatile and taste exactly like green peppers! A guide to growing Achocha is here and seeds are available from here.
Without exaggeration, there are only two steps required to grow Jerusalem Artichokes. Plant the tubers in Spring and then harvest copious amounts of delicious tubers from Autumn onwards and throughout Winter. They have a lovely nutty taste and are great in soups or roasted. A guide to growing them is here and tubers are available from here. As a sunflower relative, they also produce lovely flowers in the Summer.
If you can grow cucumbers then you can easily grow cucamelons! The plants produce an abundance of delightful miniature fruits which taste like cucumbers with an added tangy hint of citrus. They’re absolutely great in salads, pickled and even as fancy cocktail garnishes. A guide to growing Cucamelons is here and seeds are available from here.
Hablitzia Tamnoides is a shade loving climbing perennial whose edible leaves taste distinctly and very pleasantly like spinach. Unlike homegrown spinach however, it won’t go to seed after the slightest change in temperature and it will produce an abundance of tasty leaves year after year with no almost effort at all required. A guide to growing Hablitzia is here and seeds are available from here.
Ok, ok, I know that Winter Squash are not actually that unusual at all! However, aside from the common and often average butternut types there are lots of more unusual varieties that are far better and just as easy grow. Black Futsu is a Japanese variety that has lovely firm and nutty flesh and will store for months throughout Winter. Gold Nugget is a compact bush variety that produces portion size squashes and is perfect for growing in small spaces. Finally, Kakai Squashes are filled will hull-less seeds which are perfect for roasting.
As always, I’d love to know what everyone else has been sowing, growing or harvesting this week. So please let me know please in the comments or via Twitter.