Two of my three seed swaps have come in and I thought you might be interested in hearing about some of seeds I’ve received from other participants. As a recap, I’ve outlined how the swaps worked below.
How it works: Each swap has a specified number of participants and this is the number of packets that each person sends in. The idea is that each contributor gets a packet of seeds from everyone else. This means that if there are 50 swappers each person gets 50 new packets of seeds and they can be ANYTHING.
I participated in three swaps this fall; 20 packs, 50 packs & 80 packs. I have received the 20 pack and 50 pack swaps back and they have some gems in them! Let’s talk about some of the exciting varieties that I received. Of the 70 packets I’ve gotten back, I have picked 11 that stood out as unique/rare/exciting.
1. Dragon’s tongue beans: yellow and purple striped bush beans and much like traditional green beans they can be used both with and without the pod.
2. Cucuzza squash: ranging from 1-3 feet in length, these zucchini-like squash are said to have a rich, nutty squash flavor.
3. Chinese five color pepper: at only an inch long these peppers pack a heavy punch, ringing in at 30,000-50,000 Scoville. Fruits mature from purple to cream, yellow, orange and various shades of red.
4. Loofah: no, these are not sea creatures. They are a squash and can be eaten or dried and peeled to reveal a sponge-like bath scrubby.
5. Behemoth sunflower: 14 foot stalks support 16-18 inch dazzling heads that are full of one inch black and white seeds, enjoyed by humans and birds alike.
6. Glass gem corn: a flint corn best used for cornmeal and popcorn.
7. Butterfly pea: not vegetables — flowers. Vining foliage with brilliant blue flowers that are said to mimic a woman’s ladybits. (How scandalous!) They are often used as a natural food coloring and are commonly found in tea, accompanied by lemon grass and honey.
8. Musquee de maroc: noted as a rare variety of squash that resembles a bewitched pumpkin, but don’t let the green warts fool you. The flesh is quite sweet and makes a delightful puree for baking.
9. Aji Cachucha pepper: these sweet, smokey peppers range from 0-1000 Scoville. They are native to the Caribbean and ripen from pale green to orange when mature.
10. Crenshaw melon: a cross between Persian and Casaba melons, they are said to be of irresistible sweetness. Their rind is yellow and their flesh runs from peach to salmon pink.
11. Breadseed poppy: also known as florist poppies, they’re native to southeastern Europe and western Asia and known for their breathtaking blooms.
I am thrilled to try some of these unique varieties myself (follow along next spring to see how they perform) and also to share many of the seeds I have received with my family and friends. T’is the season of giving, after all. 😁 Cheers, friends!