Perhaps some of my readers are wondering what is planted in the warm season gardens here. Upon entering through the gates you will notice these gardens have “Karma,” a red bell pepper. This in itself, should make a person “Jolly,” a yellow bell pepper. After a short stroll you might look at the soil and spot a “Little Gem,” a dark green romaine lettuce.
With such a start these gardens should give you a sense of “Homestead,” a main season red tomato. However, with a quick gaze you discover the French quarter “Moulin Rouge,” an eye stopping maroon sun flower. Suddenly, you see a world view of the gardens as you look at “Cairo,” a delicious red cabbage, maybe with origins from Egypt.
For those people with an investment mind of high finance, you certainly will see “Early Dividend,” a highly flavorful broccoli. Not to be outdone, Italy steps in with “Italian Sweet Basil,” to adorn our sauces and “Italian Parsley” will not tremble as a garnish for our plates and a flavor of its own rights. In this up and down financial world you can look forward to “Bright Lights,” a deliciously mild Swiss chard. What a worldly garden!
As you walk from garden to garden, you might spot a caretaker “Rosemary,” a delightful herb for chicken and fish. Standing next to Rosemary to assist her, is Mr. “Chives,” a well known member of the onion family having impeccable credentials. Suddenly, a chill goes down your spine, the cold of “Winter Thyme,” having an herbal flavor to warm your heart. By now you must be sitting on “Cloud Nine,” a delicate, mild, white eggplant.
Hopefully, these delightful colors and flavors will cause you to “Golden Rave,” a mild yellow plum tomato. Walking farther will give you a patriots view with “Market More 76,” a dark green slicing cucumber. Looking skyward “Starbursts,” a vivid mixed colored sun flower, could rival 4th of July fireworks. For those who like ice cream “Hales,” a deep rich cantaloupe yellow melon, wishes to partner up vanilla ice cream. Measuring up this whole situation is “Straight Eight,” another wonderful slicing cucumber.
Hopefully, this walk through the gardens will give you a feel for the varieties and colors growing in this warm season. There are many transplants in the greenhouse waiting to grow and mature. Most all varieties are selected for flavor and disease resistance. The bees and butterflies should be very happy with these gardens as well. It won’t be too long and I will be strolling through cool season gardens with those varieties, different from warm season types, by my side. As the seasons change so do the crops - Welcome to the soils of Cedar Key.
Cut your cantaloupe