Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners
Curious about which vegetable varieties might grow best in your garden? Cornell University Department of Horticulture and the New York Cooperative Extension Service have developed Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners, a citizen science online program that compiles information from gardeners around the country on more than 4,000 vegetable varieties, including a star rating system. You can either use this site as a visitor or become a member of the community of gardeners that share their experiences of what worked and what didn't. There are lots of varieties that still haven't been evaluated, so take advantage of this opportunity to share your own experiences as well as learn about those of others.
Tool or Gardening Product
Harvest Moon Farms & Seed Co.
Seed and nursery mail-order catalogs arrive earlier and earlier each year, with many now arriving in November. Although that may seem a waste, given the hectic nature of the holidays, think of these early catalogs as a way to escape and dream. One of my favorite mail-order companies is Harvest Moon Farms & Seed Company in Tatum, New Mexico. They are a family-owned business that specializes in over 2,000 varieties of heirloom and gourmet seeds from around the world, but especially from Italy, Germany, Belgium, and France. You'll not only find varieties that you've never heard of before, but totally unknown vegetables. Their seeds are high quality and relatively inexpensive, and the packets are usually large.
I especially like the 'Grunkohl' kale variety they carry from Eastern Europe; the flavor is incredibly sweet and it makes a great baby salad green. Their Internet stores include http://www.gourmetseed.com, http://www.italianseedandtool.com, http://www.fothergillsusa.com, http://www.johnsons-seedusa.com, and http://www.italianseed.net.