This variety of achocha has been known in the Caribbean since the 1930s. It produces an abundance of plump, yellow-green fruits covered with soft spines. Best picked when young and tender if using fresh, when the mild cucumber flavour can be appreciated. When a little more mature they can be fried, or stuffed and braised.
Passed to our donor’s grandfather in 1930. He grew them until 1980 and handed them down to his son, our donor’s uncle, who continued their cultivation until 1996. The beans were thought to have been lost, however; a rediscovered jar of seeds meant he could continue growing them again. Produces long pods full of flavoursome beans.
This ex-commercial, summer variety was supplied by Sutton & Sons in the early 20th century and is thought to have last appeared in catalogues in 1978. Their 1933 catalogue states, “Undoubtedly the quickest of all the spring-sown cabbages. Habit dwarf, with scarcely any outer leaves. Hearts tender and delicate in flavour.” Suitable for sowing under glass in January/February for planting out in late May/early June, or for sowing direct from March to June.
A very large heirloom variety developed by an unknown Irish allotment holder, who saved seeds from his largest specimen and shared them with his allotment neighbours. Spring sown for late summer/autumn use it is a vigorous grower, producing large firm heads that stand well until late autumn/early winter. Delicious raw, very crunchy with a spicy flavour. Retains both its texture and flavour when cooked. One HSL member commented, “The best autumn cabbage I have grown in 60 years of cultivating.”
The most spectacular of the callaloos, with deep red and green colouration. A real feature in ornamental flower beds, particularly when the dramatic purple-red flower spikes form. Otherwise, it can be used as greens in Indian or Bangladeshi cooking with tomatoes, onions and spices.
A dark green variety from India. The leaves can be substituted for spinach and are particularly good in curries with potatoes or chick peas. Slightly slower to start than other varieties of callaloo, but it soon catches up. The upright pale green flowers develop into very prickly seed heads.
No need to contact us about the spelling, please, it was always (if erroneously) named this way! This early 19th century variety is listed in Carters Catalogue for 1842 and described by D Guiheneuf in The Garden (May 1st 1876) as “An English variety, readily distinguished from any other. It is said to have originated in Altrincham, a village in the vicinity of Chester.” It produces cylindrical roots, 20-50cm long, that taper towards their end. The orange flesh is crunchy and mild-flavoured.