A Healthy and Tasty Reward

The sweet satisfaction of eating a salad or pasta made with fresh vegetables that you harvested only hours before in your back yard is something gardeners look forward to year after year. Here are a few of this year’s delectable new varieties of vegetables.

Summer squash is a longtime vegetable garden favorite because of its dependable production in almost any growing conditions. Burpee’s ‘Cupcake’ hybrid summer squash, pictured, is a new variety that gets its name from its cupcake shape. The fruits are 2 to 5 inches across and boast a flavor that is somewhat sweet and somewhat savory. It’s great for roasting, slicing, grilling, boiling and stuffing. ‘Cupcake’ combines patty-pan squash’s rich, sweet flavor and zucchini’s soft skin. This large, trailing plant yields dozens of round, green squash. — 800-888-1447, burpee.com

Radishes are a great garden choice for beginners and kids because they are easy to grow and quickly produce a delicious crop. Starburst hybrid radish is a Chinese type of radish that grows edible roots as big as tangerines, with insides as red as watermelons. Expect Starburst globes to reach 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter with a white, green-tinged outside rind, red flesh and pale green shoots. These radishes mature steadily and, like most radish varieties, grow best in moist, well-drained soil. Radishes will be ready to harvest 60 days after sowing seeds. — 800-845-3369, parkseed.com

Low in calories, high in fiber and packed with nutritional benefits, organic sprouts have become a favorite part of healthy eating. Alfalfa sprouts are one of the most popular sprouts because they can be added to salads, sandwiches and many other dishes. They have a sweet, fresh taste and are an excellent source of vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E and K. Mung bean sprouts, which have been cultivated in Asia for thousands of years, have a crisp, nutty flavor that can be stir-fried or eaten raw in salads. Today, bean sprouts are virtually synonymous with mung bean sprouts, and the popularity of this nutritious sprout continues to grow. They are a good source of protein, fiber and vitamins. Sungarden Sprouts offers alfalfa and mung bean seeds for sprouting, plus broccoli, clover, wheat, spicy mix, crispy mix and bean mix. — 800-544-7938, harrisseeds.com


Categories: Gardening