Vegetable garden successes

One of the joys of this otherwise largely depressing year has been hearing the stories of first-time vegetable gardeners who took the step of growing some of their own food due to economic insecurity, extra time on their hands, a desire to give back to a community via food donation, or a need to be outdoors more. Welcome to the club! We would have a secret handshake, but that’s not such a great plan right now. Distance elbow bump pantomime!

The fall months are a good time to look back on the season and assess what worked and what didn’t. In this post I’m going to mention some of the plants and cultivars that produced well for me this year. I emphasize me and this year because a secret of vegetable gardening is that each year is different and each garden is different, so I’m not guaranteeing these will be as great for you, or even for me next year. But if the descriptions sound good to you, they may be worth trying.

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Karifurore or Fioretto cauliflower

You know how sometimes you just – quick! snap a photo, and then it takes you down a rabbit hole? I was recently in a market in Fuling, China (that was the big trip I posted about preparing for last month), eagerly photographing the displays of produce, and got this shot:


We’d been served this vegetable at meals several times previously. It’s clearly cauliflower, but not a variety I was familiar with – all loose and lacy, with lots of delicate stem.

So I got back, and recovered from jet lag, and was casting around for a topic for today’s post, and remembered the cauliflower. What the heck was that? It took a little google-fu to get started – “Asian cauliflower” just provides recipes, but “Asian cauliflower varieties” began to yield results. Continue reading