Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.

Veggies of a different color

Posted by: Lynn Underwood under Farmers markets, Fruit and berries, Vegetables Updated: May 14, 2014 - 5:32 PM

Would a blue tomato taste as luscious as a red one?
Will you want to bite into corn with kernels that look like a string of Technicolor beads?

Nurseries and seed companies are introducing colorful incredible edibles for home gardeners who want the next best thing since a sliced tomato. Sara Woodruff of NPR included these two colorful crops in her top picks in a Salt article (http://n.pr/ROCUfX). They would definitely turn heads at the local farmers markets.

Glass Gem Corn: A corn breeder in Oklahoma, Carl Barnes, crossed different vibrant colored Native American corns and ended up with the aptly named Glass Gem Corn. It’s best popped for popcorn or ground for polenta or corn bread.  Since it was introduced on Facebook in 2012, Native Seeds/SEARCH, a nonprofit seed conservation group in Arizona, has sold more than 10,000 seed packets.

Indigo tomatoes: The ink blue veggie was bred by Jim Myers, from the Oregon State University’s horticulture department. They might even be better for you than red tomatoes because of a higher antioxidant potential and are purportedly very flavorful. Varieties available are Indigo Rose, which takes an eternal 90 days to ripen. The Indigo Pear Drops and Cherry Drops  are a quicker 70-day maturity.

To me, after  a lifetime of munching green beans, red tomatoes and yellow corn, these new veggies look like they came from an animated Disney movie, not a garden bed.

What do you think about designer veggies? Do you want to grow them to impress your gardening buddies?

Photo credits: Greg Schoen/Native Seeds and Oregon State University

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