Having just had some boiled dinner for Saint Patrick’s Day, cabbage should still be top of mind, right? Certainly if you’d like to plant some Winningstadt Cabbage, one of the Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) Grow-out vegetables, now is a good time to order those seeds.
According to the Seed Savers Exchange website, the Winningstadt Cabbage was first listed in America by J. J. H. Gregory (do not miss Mr. Gregory’s biography – it is fascinating.) & Sons of Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1866.
It is an upright and compact plant with a spread of 28-30″. Thick firm leaves are dark bluish-green and distinctively waved. Extremely hard, pointed heads are 7-9″ tall and 6-7″ in diameter.
The Winningstadt Cabbage has a mild flavor and is an excellent keeper, so perhaps you can store it in your root cellar well enough that you can enjoy it in next year’s Saint Patrick’s Day boiled dinner. Or, perhaps you’d prefer it sauteed, or in coleslaw, or stuffed. However you like it, be sure to be on the lookout for it at farmers markets and Rhode Island Grow-out restaurants at harvest time.
According to the Seed Savers Exchange website, the Boothby’s Blonde Cucumber originated with the Boothby family of Livermore, Maine. It is one of the foods being grown in the Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) Grow-out project.
The plants produce vigorously oval creamy-yellow warty fruits with black spines.
The Boothby’s Blonde Cucumber has an excellent crisp sweet flavor, and peeling is not necessary. They are best when eaten about 4″ long and are very good for bread and butter pickles.
If you’d like to grow the Boothby’s Blonde Cucumber in your own garden, seeds are available at Seed Savers Exchange.
According to the Seed Savers Exchange website, the Siberian Sweet Watermelon was evaluated by the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station in 1901 along with Green and Gold, Jones’ Jumbo, Ruby Gold and Kleckley Sweet.
Of those varieties, only Siberian Sweet and Kleckley Sweet still survive today.
The Sweet Siberian Watermelon was reintroduced several years ago by Seed Savers Exchange member Glenn Drowns, who obtained seed from the USDA. The Siberian Sweet Watermelon is one of the Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) Grow-out project foods.
The watermelons are a light green with apricot-colored flesh and small black seeds. If you’d like to grow them in your own garden, seeds may be purchased at Seed Savers Exchange.
The Wethersfield Onion is a red onion believed to have originated in Connecticut. Drawings of it on the Monticello (Thomas Jefferson’s abode) website date from 1885, and the description states that it grows to a large, flattened bulb, approximately 5-inches in diameter. It is one of the Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) Grow-out varieties, and if you’d like to grow it in your own garden, seeds are available from Monticello.
We’ll be sure to remind you later in the season about which restaurants are featuring the Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) Grow-out foods, but to help you start sorting out your harvest season “must-visit” restaurant list, here is the list of RAFT Grow-out restaurants:
The Inn at Castle Hill
Tastings Wine Bar + Bistro
New Rivers Restaurant
As we learn what dishes the chefs will be preparing – later in the year, of course – we’ll keep you posted so you can firm up those dining-out plans of yours.
The Trophy Tomato is a Rhode Island original introduced by Colonel George Waring of Newport in 1870. According to the Seed Savers Exchange website, seeds of the Trophy Tomato were sold for $5.00 per packet, which is roughly the equivalent of $70.00 in today’s dollars.
The high price was offset by the hope of those growing the tomato that they would win their local fair prize for best specimen tomato – a prize that frequently brought a reward of $100 (or the equivalent of $1,400 in 2009).
Edible Rhody will be featuring the Trophy Tomato in an article in their spring 2009 issue, so be on the lookout for that, and definitely be on the lookout for the Trophy Tomato itself at farmers markets and in restaurant offerings later in the year.
If you would like to grow the Trophy Tomato in your own garden – cash prize not guaranteed – seeds are available at Seed Savers Exchange.
The True Red Cranberry bean is one of the oldest American bean varieties and is on the Slow Food USA Ark of Taste. It is one of the varieties being grown in the Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) Grow-out project.
Its geographical location is concentrated around the northeastern region of the US. The Abenaki Indians and woodsmen, who inhabited the area that is now known as Maine, historically used this bean. The True Red Cranberry bean is a rare heirloom that was rediscovered by bean collector, John Withee, after an 11-year search in Steep Falls, Maine. As their name suggests, the mature True Red Cranberry bean is a deep lipstick-red color and looks like a ripe cranberry. The beans are fat and shiny and are mostly used in their dried form.
If you would like to grow the True Red Cranberry Bean, seeds are available from Seed Savers Exchange.