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Litchi Tomato or Morelle De Balbis
GR112
$3.50
Rating:
71%

75-90 days. The most intriguing garden berry we have ever seen, and with superb creamy and mild cherry flavor. A totally unique fruit, it is delightful to imagine litchi tomato into myriad culinary interpretations from mock cherry pies to chutneys and pickles. Its Latin name is Solanum sisymbriifolium, but it goes by many aliases: Vila Vila in Latin America, litchi tomato in the U.S. and in France, Morelle de Balbis. It is a favorite fruit here at Baker Creek and has even been seen growing in the home garden of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau. While the alien-like plants may seem like a new innovation, litchi tomato was celebrated in seed catalogs of antiquity as an exotic and delicious fruit. The 1896 Wilson’s Seed Farm catalog featured a plant referred to as Solanum anthrophagorum. It was described as a bright red fruit that lends well to pies and sauces. The Wilson’s catalog also told of the fruit being used as a condiment for a cannibal’s meal of human flesh in Fiji. Botanists believe the litchi tomato to be native to South America, yet early accounts mention it as a plant growing in the islands of the South Pacific. Large plants grow to 5 feet and are covered with thorns, sweet red fruit, and large white flowers. Lovely to look at, but be careful with the thorns! The fruit is about the size of a cherry and tastes like a cherry crossed with a tomato. A very pretty and attractive plant that originated in South America, but has been naturalized in many countries. You can grow litchi tomato just as you would grow regular tomatoes. A great source of vitamins A and C!

  • 8-12 hours of Sun
  • Sprouts in 14-21 Days
  • Ideal Temperature: 75-85 Degrees F
  • Seed Depth: 1/8"
  • Plant Spacing: 18"
  • Frost Hardy: No
  • Solanum sisymbriifolium

Growing Tips: Start transplants indoors 12-24 weeks before last frost, barely covering. Hold at warm temps, 70-85F; do not allow soil to dry out. Transplant after last frost.

Strawberry Spinach
GR107
$3.00
Rating:
80%

90 days. An old-fashioned plant that is poised for a comeback! Native to moist mountain valleys of North America, but also popular in Europe dating back to the 1600s. Plants are fascinating; the arrow shaped leaves remind us that it is a relative of spinach and the flavor and nutritional profile are reminiscent of spinach as well. Perhaps most intriguing quality is its small bright red berries! Young under ripe berries will be mild in flavor and appropriate for salads and savory applications, allow the berries to fully ripen to a deep crimson for juicy sweet flavor. We find the ripe berries to have a watermelon-berry flavor, addictive for snacking and irresistible for deserts. Like its spinach cousin, the leaves are high in oxalates so those with sensitivities to oxalates should take note. The delicious edible berries contain small seeds that in very large quantity may haves some toxic effects, but are considered perfectly safe when consumed in relative moderation. The very easy to grow and adaptable plants grow in a similar fashion to their wild cousin, lambsquarter. The original seeds for this particular variety were found in a monastery garden in Europe. The leaves are a good source of vitamins C and A!

    • 8-12 hours of Sun
    • Sprouts in 7-14 Days
    • Ideal Temperature: 45-75 Degrees F
    • Seed Depth: 1/4"
    • Plant Spacing: 12"
    • Frost Hardy: Yes
    • Chenopodium capitatum

Growing Tips: Direct sow several weeks before last frost of spring; succession-plant until midsummer. Harvest red berries in summer to early fall. Remove spent blooms to prevent seed formation, control spreading.

Garden Huckleberry
GR103
$3.00
Rating:
83%

75 days. An antioxidant rich garden berry that undergoes the most miraculous flavor transformation when cooked and just lightly sweetened! There is a stark contrast between eating the berries raw and cooked and sweetened state. The raw ripe berries have a tart flavor, similar to tomatillo, yummy for savory snacking and salsas. The cooked and lightly sweetened berries are reminiscent of blackberry or gooseberry. The garden huckleberry is native to Africa and is a solanaceous berry in the tomato family. The intense purple black hue of the berries indicates high levels of the antioxidant anthocyanin. We adore this nutritious, quick maturing annual which produces masses of fruit in a short season. For very best flavor it is important to harvest at the correct stage. Berries will be a shiny, green to black when under-mature; at this stage the flavor will be unpleasant and the berries may be slightly poisonous. The berries mature to a dull black color and should be slightly soft to the touch; at this point the berries are perfect to eat and quite tasty. The truly spectacular flavor of these berries is revealed when the berries are cooked and sweetened; this brings out a fruity, blackberry-like flavor that is simply sublime. We have seen these berries re-imagined into delectable jams, pies, syrups and fillings--easily one of the most rewarding fruit crops to grow!

    • 6-12 hours of Sun
    • Sprouts in 7-21 Days
    • Ideal Temperature: 65-75 Degrees F
    • Seed Depth: 1/8"
    • Plant Spacing: 15-18"
    • Frost Hardy: No
    • Solanum melanocerasum

Growing Tips: Start indoors in fine, moist soil, 6-8 weeks before setting out after frost. Harvest berries only when fully ripe, very black and soft.

Black Goji Berry (Black Wolfberry)
GR159
$6.00
Rating:
65%

(Black Wolfberry) This spectacular super food is native throughout Central Asia. The black goji berry is very rarely found in Western cuisine but has long been celebrated in the Himalayan region as a powerful medicinal and health food. The black goji is known to be more healthful and potent than the more widely known red goji, and we find the flavor sweeter. The tasty, inky black berries are exceptionally high in antioxidants and are said to boost the immune system and improve circulation. Thanks to their ability to fight free radicals, they have been hailed as a food to promote healthy, graceful aging. The potent berries create an outstanding blue color when steeped or added to foods. These tasty berries are quickly becoming a popular super fruit added to smoothies and brewed into tea. The dried berries are great in granola and muffins or snacked on alone; you can also eat the berries fresh off the plant. Steep the berries into a beautiful blue tea; adding a few drops of lemon will turn the tea a lovely purple/pink color. Gardeners will be pleased to know this exciting berry is highly prolific and easy to grow! Plants thrive in zones 5-10. It grows as a shrub reaching 4-6 feet in height, and the plants are self fertile. The fruit ripens from summer through early fall.

  • 6-12 hrs of Sun
  • Sprouts in 14-21 Days
  • Ideal Temperature: 70-85 F
  • Seed Depth: 1/4"
  • Plant Spacing: 36"
  • Frost Hardy: Yes
  • Lycium ruthenicum

Growing Tips: Soak seeds in warm (70-85 F) water for 24 hours before planting. Add sand to potting mix. Goji prefers an alkaline soil and perfers to stay fairly dry, but tolerates most soils.

Art Combe's Ancient Watermelon
WM187
$4.00
Rating:
90%
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