Nombo Giant Philippine Okra

A favourite of the Phillipines this okra produces long skinny smooth cylindrical pods that come to a quill-like tip. Pods are best when around 6-7 inches long. The plants grow to a manageable 5-6 feet tall. The Filipino community in Hawaii raves about this variety and many people there are pushing to introduce it into larger cultivation as a market crop. Like other okras it can be used as a steamed vegetable, and like the famous gumbo of Louisiana it can be added to stews and give flavor and body. Like all okra, it needs moisture, good drainage and warmth. Order it now!

Cetriolo Mezzo Lungo Verde Polignano

A stout dark green cucumber from that is probably well adapted to hot weather. It is originally from the area around the town of Polignano, in the Puglia region of southern Italy. Order it now!

Cicoria a Foglia Frastagliate

A specialty variety with thick succulent stems from southern Italy. These stems are the part used in salads. Order it now!

Carosello Tondo Liscio di Manduria

Carosello melons are a time-honoured crop of southern Italy. They come in many forms, and sometimes the names get confusing. Most of them come from Italy although a few are found in the Middle East as well. They are raised like melons but harvested and used like cucumbers, and they are excellent in salads. This variety is one of the standard varieties with round fruits and smooth, mostly hairless skin. Order it now!

Surami Dry Pea

In the market in Zestafoni, a village in the central Asian republic of Georgia, a stout red-faced woman was standing offering all kinds of "garden" delights, including these peas old fashioned soup peas. Dry soup peas were once common throughout Europe and in America during the colonial period. Peas are of prime food value and make for hearty soups and good eating during the long winter months. Order it now!

Volta White Maize

White maize or corn is ubiquitous throughout the world. The impact of maize on the human condition is impossible to overstate: maize is responsible for the wellbeing and survival of billions of people on the planet that we share. Each region has its own varieties or landraces that are adapted to local conditions. This landrace is commonly grown throughout the Volta River region of Ghana. Virtually every meal features this maize in one form or another, whether it is akple or kenkey used to scoop food out of soup bowls, or it is in stews such as ayibli made with beans and groundnuts, or it is made into porridge for breakfast, or to prepare alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks called aliha. The versatility of white maize in the local diet is astounding and, for the local Ewe people, it is impossible to imagine life without it. Every square meter of growing space is used to grow it, even in open rooms of buildings under construction as long as there is soil, light and water! This Volta White landrace is a starch corn for dry processing and it is not eaten fresh like sweet corn, although it is sometimes roasted or boiled and eaten on the cob. Order it now!

Avakli Bean

A traditional favourite of the Ewe people of the Volta region of West Africa. Harvest time is eagerly anticipated when the beans, along with maize and groundnuts, are cooked in seasonal dishes such as ayibli and ayikple. The mottled beans are commonly cooked whole or they are first roasted and ground and then cooked to make nutritious stews and breakfast porridge. Drought resistant and sweeter tasting than other beans. Traditionally planted in May or June and harvested in August. Order it now!

Torkuviahe Bean

An old variety grown by the Ewe people of West Africa. As far as we know only a few farmers in the Lake Volta region are still growing it. Beautiful small red beans are borne in long straight pale-yellow pods. Traditionally cooked in stews or simply cooked with rice and served with any spicy fish, meat or vegetable sauce on top. Can also be eaten like string beans when young and tender.Order it now!

Voatavu Cowpea

Many years ago our intrepid plant explorer, Joseph Simcox, was given some impressive cowpeas from Madagascar. The shape was almost round and somewhat flat, a shape that was completely different from that of almost all other cowpeas. Years later when driving on a desolate road in southwest Madagascar he came upon the same distinctively shaped seeds. This unique form is only found in Madagascar, and where it came from, or how it first came to be, is still a mystery. The centre of biodiversity for cowpeas is in Zambia and Zimbabwe, so cowpeas probably came from there. But after centuries of cultivation on the island of Madagascar, the worlds fourth largest, it seems that this form developed in relative isolation from the rest of the world. As Joe says, this is a really cool bean to grow and share with friends.Order it now!

Voatavu Bean

This large white bean is grown locally in the small village of Voatavu, in Madagascar. Beans are popular in most parts of Madagascar in stews and soups. Beans such as this white bean were undoubtedly introduced by the French during colonization and became popular food staples ever since. But over the years the original French varieties gradually evolved, becoming distinct landraces adapted to the local conditions and local preferences. Order it now!

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