For the last couple of years, we’ve been experimenting with homestead gardening, starting out with a few containers of tomatoes and increasing our vegetable varieties each season. We’ve had success with a number of herbs, fruits and vegetables but are always looking for either new or heirloom vegetables and seeds to try. This year, we’ve found some promising new edible plants and herbs to add to our list.
Here are our top choices for Indiana homestead gardens:
Black Krim Heirloom Tomatoes from Gurney’s Seed and Nursery are Unique and Intriguing
We’ve always included some heirloom vegetables in our Indiana homestead garden, so the Black Krim, promoted as being a good producer in hot weather, appeals to us. Their flavor is described as slightly salty but their color, a deep black, is sure to be a conversation starter at the dinner table.
They are indeterminate tomatoes (this means they produce fruit the entire growing season but tend to have larger vines which need support). Each tomato is approximately six inches in size. We’re also considering the Heiroom Rainbow blend, which contains plants of varied colors.
Price and details: Six plants cost $14.95 plus $6.95 shipping. The Heirloom Rainbow Blend costs the same for six plants
For Indiana Homestead Gardens on the Exotic Side, White Flower Farms Asian Thai Herb Collection Provides Needed Seasonings for Thai Recipes
I was delighted to see this assortment of herbs from White Flower Farms, perfect for any Indiana homestead gardener who also is willing to experiment with exotic herbs and spices. The collection includes fine chives, lemon grass, “Thai Dragon” pepper (spicy hot), Slam Queen Basil and Spearmint. Having grown different types of chives and basil, I’m eager to taste the unique varieties offered here. We’ve become fans of Thai foods so it will be fun to see what recipes we can develop to use these herbs and peppers.
Price and details: The collection includes five plants. The price? $33.95, excluding shipping. These plants will grow in nearly any zone but can not be shipped to Idaho, Nevada, Minnesota, Washington or Utah.
When it Comes to Green Peppers, Our Indiana Homestead Garden has to Contain Gurney’s Giant Hybrids
We make stuffed peppers regularly and Gurney’s Giant Hybrid green peppers are perfect for our homestead garden. They are huge enough to be able to make several batches of stuffed peppers. Equally delicious when plucked fresh from the vine, washed and eaten raw, they add color and crunch to salads or are perfect for slicing and serving with dips.If I had to pick one plant that I considered a necessity, it would be this hybrid green pepper.
Price and details: Six plants cost $14.95, plus shipping. They do take over 2 months to grow to maturity, so keep that in mind. Even though they are large, they can be grown in containers or raised beds with no problem.
In our Indiana Homestead Garden, the Dusky Eggplant Variety Produces Superior Results
Our soil provides optimum conditions for growing eggplants and the Dusky Variety from White Flower Farms is a favorite. The foliage is attractive enough to have this plant growing among sun loving flowers. We even had some down by our mailbox, producing several eggplants nearly every day.
If the weather was hot, we’d simply grill some sliced tomatoes and eggplant, mix it with some fresh oregano and basil and call it a meal (perhaps with some cheese sprinkled on top). Budget friendly and sure beats going to the store or eating out. As an alternative, nothing beats a freshly sliced tomato, mixed with bacon and mayo and layered in a sandwich.
Price and details: these plants are grown in zones 2 through 9. We’ve planted these in very large containers as well as in the ground (they did better in containers). Each plant from White Flower Farm costs $6.95 plus shipping and the quality of the seedlings is excellent.They produced so many eggplants that we could afford to give some away to neighbors or food pantries.