Unusual looking but tasty vegetables you should try

Published 10:32 am Saturday, January 25, 2020

By Sheri Bethard

Certified Texas Master Gardener, Orange County Master Gardeners


There are many unusual vegetables that you don’t see on the market but if you look in seed catalogues you will find them. I found most of these going thru Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. https://www.rareseeds.com catalogues and thought they would be interesting to share with you. 

Brad’s Atomic Grape Tomato – This is an elongated, large cherry tomato that grows in clusters which the flavor is said to be a full-blown assault on the senses. Comes in lavender and purple stripes turning to technicolor olive-green, red and brown/blue stripes when fully ripe.

Chinese Pink Celery – This is a stunning bright pink celery originally from China that is easy to grow and very nutritional. It is much easier to grow than the Asian type celery and is a good choice for beginner gardeners. Has a yummy flavor and is slightly sweet with a light texture, crunchy and the eye-appeal of pink bubblegum.

Dragon Tongue Bush Beans – This is a Dutch heirloom bean with an incomparable flavor that is tender and has yellow pods with purple streaks. It makes compact plants with high yields.

Strawberry Spinach – An old-fashioned plant native to moist mountain valleys of North America. Plants have arrow shaped leaves tell us it is related to spinach along with having the flavor and nutritional value which are reminiscent of spinach. The bright red berries are even more interesting as when fully ripe they have a watermelon-berry flavor making them great for snacks or desserts. The leaves are high in oxalates so consume leaves and seeds in moderation. Easy to grow as it is adaptable like it’s cousin lambsquarter.


Papa’s Blue Corn – This is an early-maturing corn that makes great blue flour for supreme baked goods. Uniform 8 – 12-inch ears produce beautiful shades of blue ears of corn. These are compact plants that take the heat and drought in stride.

Black Nebula Carrot – This is one of the darkest carrots available that is delicious raw or cooked. It can be used as a dye and can be juiced into a stunning dark purple drink. Add squeezed lemon and it turns bright pink. When the carrot is cooked it retains its color.

Asparagus Pea – This is an unusual pea as it is not really a pea nor is it an asparagus but it tastes like both. It is known as a winged bean which produces ruffled, edible pods from pretty red flowers once they are pollinated.


Hope you have enjoyed this tidbit of out of the ordinary information on vegetables. I hope some of you will try some of them. Remember if you have any horticultural type question please contact out Hot Line at -82-7010 Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. or contact us thru our website https://txmg.org/orange or our Facebook page Orange County Texas Master Gardeners.

We meet the 2nd Thursday of each month at the Orange County EXPO Center from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. with speakers most months. Our annual Bloomin’ Crazy Plant Fair with be Saturday, March 14, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Cormier Park, 8235 FM 1442, Orangefield. Our next Master Gardener Certification class will start April 2 at 6 p.m. Please check our website or Facebook page for more information.