Our Top 3 New Edibles

By Erna

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

– Michael Pollan

One of the greatest joys of the gardening season is enjoying your hard work! Nothing quite beats the taste of garden-fresh veggies in the summer. Eating well is so much easier when it’s this tasty and nutritious. Whether they make it all the way to your table, or you just can’t resist snacking as you pick, we have some exciting new edibles for your garden this year.

Dragon Roll Pepper

These peppers are an absolute delight. We love them because they have a smoky and sweet flavour with just enough kick. A hybrid of the popular Shishito Pepper, younger Dragon Roll peppers pack a little punch but will grow in spice with time. At maturity you’ll have a pepper that is only about 1/10 as spicy as jalapenos – which is the perfect flavour for summer snacking. Try them roasted, sprinkled with salt or sesame seeds for a delicious treat. They are the perfect pairing with an ice cold beverage on your deck or patio this summer.

To grow these fun peppers at home, make sure that you choose a spot in your garden with as much sunshine and heat as possible. They’ll prefer moist and warm soil to grow, so mulching will be a big help in getting the tastiest peppers. Fertilize these plants with an all-purpose vegetable mix to give them a boost, but keep in mind that plants grown in drier and less fertilized conditions will give you much more spice – if you like to kick it up a notch. 

Try to catch your peppers while they are still a little immature and green. Always cut (rather than pulling or tearing) when you pick them, leaving part of the stem on the pepper. Your Dragon Roll Peppers will develop a little more after you pick them, turning an enticing shade of red that is full of flavour. Watch your peppers transform after they are picked and enjoy them in as many ways as you can imagine.

Steak Sandwich Tomato

Tomatoes are the garden veggie that always tastes better fresh. With tomatoes straight from your garden you can almost taste the sunshine in them! Steak Sandwich Tomatoes are no exception. These tomatoes are the perfect balance of everything. They’ve got the classic, sweet tomato flavour in a perfect, bright red package. They will stay firm when ripe, making them easy to slice onto sandwiches and burgers, but you won’t need to worry about cracking with moisture changes.

When you’re growing your own Steak Sandwich Tomatoes, find a spot for them that has good drainage and lots of sun. While they like well-draining soil, they will certainly be very thirsty plants, so keep them well-watered and use mulch to help keep that moisture at the roots where it is needed. While your tomatoes won’t be prone to cracking like some other varieties, they are vulnerable to root damage, which can cause rot. Keeping your plants healthy will help to avoid disappointment when it comes time to pick and eat your harvest! For smaller but plentiful harvests, you can plant without a stake and they will sprawl across your garden. For a larger tomato with a cleaner appearance, plant a stake to support the vines as they grow.

Pick your tomatoes when they are at their ripest! They are perfect for picking just when they look the most tempting – fully red and firm to a light squeeze. Harvesting will let more tomatoes grow, too! We probably don’t have to tell you to, but enjoy your tomatoes as quickly after picking as you can for the best flavour – but we bet you’ll be too excited to eat them for them to last very long.

Patio Snacker Cucumbers

The perfect pairing with the juicy taste of garden tomatoes, we also love light and crispy cucumbers from our gardens. The Patio Snacker really lives up to its name with the sweetest little cukes that are the perfect size for snacking. These little veggies are 3-bite size and a great choice for a patio planter, where you can keep them within arm’s reach all summer. If you can resist temptation long enough to get them from your garden to the kitchen, they are also a hit in crispy cucumber salads.

Cucumbers are a heat-loving vegetable and will soak up as much sun as you can give them. They like moist soil but hate wet feet, so make sure they are planted in soil with good drainage. Frequent but shallow watering will keep them happy, and a trellis or hanging basket will give you the best fruit. Despite their light flavour, these veggies are heavy feeders and will need plenty of all-purpose fertilizer as they grow.

Be sure to harvest these sweet little cukes often, before they get too big. If your cucumbers over-ripen on the vine, your plant might prematurely stop producing fruits. Also, your cucumbers taste their best when you pick them young. But remember, they won’t store very well because of their high water content. Don’t worry though, it’s amazing how fast they disappear into hungry mouths once they’re picked.

Summer is full of fresh, green growth and sunshine, and we are lucky to get to bring some of that freshness from our gardens right to our tables! Our weather is fantastic for growing some really great and tasty summer vegetables and this year’s newest edibles are no exception. These selections offer delicious flavours and remixes of old-fashioned classics, making your dinner table the community favourite this year. Happy harvesting!