2014 Edible Garden Stars

Monday, January 5, 2015

2014 has already slipped away, but I wanted to document my veggie garden favorites from last year.  Two varieties emerged from the pack as stars: Alma Paprika Peppers and Solar Flare Tomatoes.

The Alma Paprika was the first sweet pepper ripe in the garden.  I used it as a fresh eating pepper and for frying.  The flavor was very sweet and mild, especially when red.

In the garden it demonstrated its worthiness by being free of blossom end rot.  All of my other sweet peppers suffered (usually because of my less than perfect watering) with this variety being the only exception.  The plants were also much more compact and less prone to tipping over/breaking off.

A couple weeks before the frost hit, I picked every ripe paprika, cut them in half or so and loaded them onto our pellet smoker.  After about 5 hours on the smoker I finished them off on the dehydrator overnight.  The result was the most delicious smoked paprika seasoning you could imagine!

All in all the Alma Paprika was a favorite new find and I will certainly be growing it again and sharing seeds with all my friends.

The second star was the Solar Flare tomato.  The flavor was great and the vines resisted disease much better than my other heirlooms and out yielded them with a more consistent fruit set up until frost.  Ignore the cracking you see in the photo, these were picked late in the year after a rain.  Overall the fruit was not prone to cracking. 

Solar Flare is this first variety of tomato bred by Brad of Wild Boar Farms that I have tried.  It out performed all of my other heirloom tomatoes by miles.  I am excited to try more of his tomatoes in the coming year to see if they are all this easy to grow.