Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Seeds of Italy

 A little piece of heaven right here in West London is the Seeds of Italy HQ, I went there this weekend for a peek at their new 2014 catalogue and to enjoy a festive celebration with free Panetone and Coffee!
 Paolo is the seventh generation of seedsmen here, someone with whom I am not afraid to have a totally nerdy conversation about varieties of vegetables!  His knowledge of the regional vegetable varieties in Italy is just amazing!  Many varieties suit the British climate well, Italy has its share of cooler, wetter climates too.
 So my early Christmas treat was to browse the shelves for unusual vegetables!
 I was in veggie heaven!
 So much to choose... so what did I go for?
Stevia - officially I must call this a decorative shrubby plant, for it is not legal to sell it as a natural sweetner... 250 times sweeter than sugar!... might mix with some rhubarb next year..
Melon Cucumbers - just sounds wonderful
Long red Onions - I've tried these before, they are amazing
Climbing yellow flat beans - won't these look wonderful with my purple Blauhilde next year?
Valerian - a soothing herb to promote relaxation...after a hard day turning the compost heap
Aniseed - I look forward to making some interesting drinks next Summer..aniseed gin anyone?
Vegetable Spaghetti - Never grown this before, always wanted to....can't wait.


At 9:24 AM, Blogger VP said...

Paolo is a fund of knowledge - I went to a fab talk by him a couple of years ago in Oxford. His recipe book is great too :)

My new to try from him for 2014 is Puntarelle.

At 11:46 AM, Blogger Mark Willis said...

Yes, Paolo is incredibly passionate about his veg! I have grown many of the Franchi seeds over the years and seldom been disappointed. One exception though is the yellow beans. Mine were pathetic this year - very poor yield and individually not nice (lots of them developed brown spots on the pods). Hopefully this was just due to the conditions on my plot, and yours will be better.

At 4:49 PM, Blogger Anna said...

Sounds like a good do :) Have grown their seeds for a number of years and always find that they are good quality and very generous with packet content.

At 7:01 PM, Blogger Jelliebabe said...

Ooooh I've grown spaghetti squash in my garden! Im not too far from you do you should well! Must do them again!

At 10:15 PM, Blogger Margit said...

I have grown the Zuchetta and love them. I'll never grow Zucchini again.


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