This manic time of the year is so different from the dark times of the winter when I look forward to curling up by the fire to read seed catalogs. Now a quick run around the Homer Farmers Market or glance at the Alaska Food Hub products page will show you the varieties that were successfully chosen.
But today I pulled up a seed catalog on my computer and searched “Yad Fah” on Baker Creek Seeds. It’s a flowering broccoli, or the kind of brassica that has little broccoli shoots instead of a big head of broccoli. You eat the whole plant rather than just the broccoli head.
I saw it at Robert Heimbach’s booth, but I know that Robert is a huge fan of “Happy Rich” flowering broccoli. He would never stop talking about it if you gave him the chance. So how did Yad Fah win over Robert?
That’s the beauty of buying fresh veggies at the market. Robert tastes his produce. All the farmers eat what they grow too. They are growing food that tastes good to them, not just card-board flavored commodities that grow the right size for the mechanized harvesting machines.
According to Baker Creek, “Not only is this vegetable a taste test winner, but also nutritional superfood, as our tests show it can contain over 100% of your vitamin A and 50% or your vitamin C in daily requirements, plus protein, calcium and more!”
You get to choose what you eat. Castellani’s has a beet variety that I also had to look up (“boro”) because it was so amazingly dark red, and the skin so smooth it would be easy to clean and prepare. Christina at Snowshoe Hollow Farm has experimented with a small pumpkin that stores so well she had some on display at the end of July, but she said the super thick flesh didn’t have much flavor. It still will make a great decoration until a perfect recipe is found for it.
So come on down to the market on Ocean Drive this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or Wednesday from 2-5 p.m. and choose the veggies that are right for your tastes.