While blue roses and tulips have always been a grail of sorts for hybridizers—and still elude them—blue food crops aren’t quite as popular with gardeners or eaters. A report on trends reflected in home gardening as well as in catalogs notes an upturn in quirky vegetable and fruit varieties, going well beyond heirloom tomatoes (still all the rage here in Buffalo).
June Fletcher’s AP/WSJ article says “Get ready for maroon carrots, yellow watermelons and pink-and-white striped beets.” Though I don’t grow vegetables, I still love getting the seed catalogs for this very reason; I like to speculate on who buys all the bizarre varieties. I remember when blue potatoes became popular some time ago, but apparently there’s a limit on blue food—the color is considered unappetizing (hence the blue plate special). Fletcher quotes Western New York gardener Remy Orlowski as saying she “is on the lookout for ‘weird and ugly’ tomatoes, but then Orlowski admits she sometimes has trouble giving away the strangest of the cultivars.
Sadly, unless I do start a food garden, I’ll probably never get to try orange watermelon (which looks wonderful), round yellow cucumbers, or these gorgeous radishes.
I can imagine them as part of a composed salad or a fancy crudité platter. Maybe Remy will grow some for me.