Friday Catalog Review – Southern Exposure

Not much going on in the garden this week, and there probably won’t be for a few weeks. You’ll have to excuse me if all I get around to for the next few weeks is a couple posts here and there. Next Friday is Christmas! Can you believe it? Things will start happening again by the end of January, when we start planning the garden for next year!

This week I’m reviewing the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange Catalog. SESE is a lot like Seed Savers Exchange, except, well…they’re Southern! They are based in Virginia, and a lot of their seed growers also reside in the south. The reason this is important, is their seeds are grown and saved in hot, humid regions, so they are likely well-adapted to dealing with our hot climate. It might be interesting to try the same varieties from both Seed Savers and Southern Exposure just to see if there are any differences in how they perform for us here in Kansas.

SESE has a number of “new” items this year, but I’m mostly going to highlight some varieties that they have, but might be hard to find elsewhere.

Purple Podded Yard Long BeanThis pole bean is a type of asparagus bean, or Chinese yard long bean. This particular bean is a very vigorous grower and has gorgeous dark purple beans that retain the purple color when stir-fried. You need a big trellis!

Pole Lima Beans – SESE has a nice selection of Pole Lima Beans that are hard to find otherwise. Black Knight Butterbean is a new variety that sounds intriguing.  Violet’s Multi-Colored Butterbean is hilarious to grow, because every pod yields different colored beans. I’ve always thought it would be fun to try to isolate and breed individual varieties out of this variety.

Tashkent French Marigold – Okay, this seems like a really interesting French Marigold variety, but I have to be honest that it is mostly intriguing to me because it was found in Uzbekistan, and I find Uzbekistan an intriguing country. It is also supposedly sweet smelling, rather than astringent like most marigolds.

Asian Tempest Garlic – What’s not to love with a name like Asian Tempest? This is a very hot garlic raw, but mellow after roasting. Of course, we are past the planting window for garlic now, but keep it in mind for next year!

Grey Griselle Shallot – SESE is one of the only sources I’ve found in the U.S. for French Grey Shallots. Prized for French cooking, some consider these shallots the only “true” shallot. As with the garlic, we are past the planting time for this year.

Have a great weekend! Get all that Christmas shopping done!

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on December 18, 2009, in Around the Garden and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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