Wednesday, April 17, 2019


I'm going through my seeds, getting ready to start sowing. I'm seeing I have quite a varied selection -- heirlooms, more modern open pollinated ones, hybrids. No GMOs. 

Why do I include heirloom vegetables in my gardens? Basically it comes down to flavor. Many of the newer varieties often grow better, are sturdier, more disease and pest resistant. Some are even more tender than heirlooms. Others are faster growing, thus harvestable sooner. But it's all about taste. 

But don't jump to the conclusion that all heirlooms taste better. That's not always the case. But many do. So I often grow those. 

...Black Valentine bean. Talk about flavor! One of my favorites. 
...Yellow Pear tomato. Sassy and delicious, perfect for snacking. 
...Mammoth Melting snow pea. Fresh flavor. 
...Chiogga beet. Sweet and tender. 
...Fordhook Giant Chard. Tender. Nice flavor. Productive. 
...Golden Bantam Corn. Old time corn flavor. Not sweet like the sweet corns of today, but it really tastes like real corn.
...Amish Paste Tomato. Versatile. A very nice paste type tomato. 
...Parris Island Cos. Great romaine lettuce that doesn't get bitter here in Hawaii. 
...Dragon Tongue bean. Versatile. Good flavor. 
...Purple Majesty Potato. Excellent flavor as home fries. We like to eat them cooked then chilled. Sliced and dipped in hummus or homemade salad dressing, they're a tasty snack. 
...Chantenay Carrot. Real carrot taste. 
...Dinosaur Kale. The only kale I like. Great flavor, even raw. 

There are lots of heirlooms still out there, though sadly we've lost quite a few when corporations took over seed production. Home gardeners preserved many and they are starting to reappear in small seed catalogs as the seeds get donated to preservation. 

Every year I experiment with new varieties. I try a couple a heirlooms, seeing if they will survive and produce at my location. Many don't due to pests and disease. But the ones I like be one permanent residents on this farm. 


  1. I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your blog. It took me awhile to figure out how to comment. I have a wetside-Waimea garden. Nothing full time like yours, but I do have some "heritage" pole beans I would be happy to share with you. They were grown in Waimea by an old time paniolo family, possibly since the early 1900s, and I've been keeping them going since 2011 when they were given to me. They want a sunny exposure and something to climb, but they handle the wet very well and are tasty for both green and soup beans. drop me a paper note to PO box 475 Kamuela Hi 96743 if interested and share a phone or e-mail and I will get in touch. Also do you grow Portuguese cabbage? Another great perennial and it grows from cuttings and crosses with kale if they flower at the same time. Fun to experiment with!

    1. Wow, what a magnificent offer! I'd be thrilled to have some. I'll drop you a note. Thanks.

  2. I discovered about 55 years ago that my favorite staple was baked russet. I hadn't eaten in two days and I sat down to a big meal, with steak, veggies, and potato. I couldn't stop eating the potato. I ate the whole thing, stopping to add changing condaments. Then I ate the string beans, then steak, then salad. I used to eat foods seperately when I was young. I didn't eat milk with a meal because it didn't feel right. Later I found out milk is the hardest to digest and should be eaten alone, accourding to H. Shelton.
    I grew the purple potatoes 25 years ago but stopped because they were kept dying out on me. Also, they grew so irregularly, e.g., real big or very small.

    1. I've been a big potato eater most of my life. It's not uncommon for me to order just a baked potato when I go the Mehe's Kau Bar & Grill. It's a meal!