Back in August I gave a quick review of some of my favorites that I had been harvesting and eating at the time. Now it’s December, and I have a few more favorites to add to that list. I do like to try out new varieties, and even though not all of them work out for me here I often make new favorites that way. This year was no exception, and here are a few more of my favorites.
Aji Rico is a hybrid hot pepper from the Capsicum baccatum species. This 2017 AAS Winner has crunchy, mildly hot peppers with a sweet citrus flavor. The plants are early to bear also – at least for a baccatum pepper. And my plants are always loaded with fruit. They are great for fresh use and for turning into hot sauce, which is what I do with a lot of ours. I have grown it successfully both in containers and for in-ground plantings. The plants do get tall and can use some support when loaded with peppers, and I use cages or stakes for my plants.
One new green I tried this year is called Turnbroc, and it was an instant favorite the first time I cooked it up. It’s a green that resulted from a cross between turnips and broccoli, though to me the smooth leaves look more like turnips than broccoli. It has a mild flavor when cooked. Frost improves the flavor too, and the greens are tender when braised or sauteed. I got the seeds from Kitazawa Seed Company. I’ll be growing it again for sure.
Since this is my first year growing it, I don’t know if the Turnbroc will live through our winter weather or not. I have it growing uncovered and lightly mulched, and so far it has survived low temperatures down to 20°F and other nights in the low 20s. The plants are still growing strong, and a five foot long single row has kept the two of us well supplied along with the other greens I am growing.
In the non-edible department, Coleus Main Street Beale Street is a 2020 AAS Winner with deep red foliage. It is later to flower than other coleus I have grown, and didn’t require pinching out or deadheading at all during the summer. It is the first-ever coleus to be named an AAS Winner, and is available in plant form only. I have brought ours indoors for the winter, and took a couple of cuttings to grow for next year.
It can tolerate both full sun and shade, and we had ours sitting out a sunny spot with other potted annuals. It made for a stunning display all summer long, and once potted up it needed no attention other than watering.
I hope you have enjoyed this review of some of my favorite things from the garden in 2021. I’ll be back soon with more adventures from Happy Acres!
You are such an impressive gardener, Dave! I’ve learned from your efforts this year so thanks. Where are the aji rico seeds from? I did very well with hot peppers this year but would like to grow some with less heat. Yesterday, before our first snow, I picked the last of the brussel sprouts and some collards, cut the last of the rosemary, all in northern New England. Strange year indeed!
Thanks Lane! I got my Aji Rico seeds from Territorial Seed, but they are available from other sources like High Mowing Seeds and Totally Tomatoes. I am impressed with your Brussels sprouts harvest, because I have a really hard time growing them here.