Ah, the beauty and bounty of heirloom vegetable plants in Ontario! These timeless treasures have been passed down from generation to generation, untouched by the selective breeding methods of modern times. Their unique shapes, colors, and flavours offer a delightful departure from the standard fare of conventional varieties.
Consider the Cherokee Purple Tomato, with its deep purple hue and rich, meaty texture. It is a true star in the garden, adding depth and flavor to sandwiches, salads, and more. Or, the Blue Hubbard Squash, a winter squash with a blue-grey exterior and a sweet, nutty flavor. It can be prepared in numerous ways, from roasting to baking to stewing, and will keep for months in a cool, dry space.
The Golden Detroit Beet is another colorful gem that adds vibrancy to salads and other dishes. With its bright yellow color and tender texture, it is perfect for roasting or pickling. And who could resist the mild, crunchy flavor of the Early Scarlet Globe Radish, perfect for snacking or adding to salads and sandwiches?
Lettuce lovers will delight in the speckled leaves and crisp texture of Forellenschluss Lettuce, which can be harvested young for a lovely bed of baby greens. Meanwhile, the Scarlet Runner Beans offer both visual appeal with their bright red flowers and tender pods that can be eaten fresh or cooked.
The Red Russian Kale, with its blue-green color and sweet, tender texture, adds both flavor and nutrition to salads, sautés, and soups. And the Lemon Cucumber, with its small, round shape and sweet, mild flavoor, is perfect for snacking or tossing into salads.
The Purple Top White Globe Turnip, with its striking purple top and sweet, mild flavor, is great for roasting, mashing, or adding to soups and stews. Finally, the Dragon Carrots, with their dark purple exterior and orange interior, offer a sweet and spicy flavour that is perfect for snacking or adding to salads.
These heirloom vegetable plants are available at local nurseries, seed companies, and farmer’s markets throughout Ontario. Though they may require special care and attention compared to conventional varieties, the rewards of their unique flavors and colors are worth the effort. Be sure to research the growing requirements for each specific plant and follow planting and care instructions accordingly. With a little dedication and love, you can enjoy a colorful and flavorful harvest of heirloom vegetables from your Ontario garden.