This is a prolific and rampant climber reaching 3-4m so will need supporting with trellis or a frame. The small, cucumber-like fruits have a fresh flavour, a cross between a minty cucumber and a green pepper. Eat raw or in stir fries when young; when mature they have tougher skins so stuff with meat, fish or cheese, and then bake or make an achocha curry. Can also be used pickled or as a base for chutney. The flowers are also attractive to pollinating insects. For more information, contact us for a copy of the ‘Achocha Variety Profile’ from Seed News 25.
Syn. Aquadulce Claudia. This variety is now included, under its synonym, in the UK National List, so this will be the first, and last, time we offer it in the HSL Catalogue. Suitable for autumn sowing, the plants will grow to more than 1.2m, so it will require some staking.
An ex-commercial variety developed by Arthur White from the small hamlet of Arkport, New York State in 1941. It is thought to have been named after Catskill Park, a forested and mountainous region in New York State which fringes Arkport. Still very popular in the USA, this robust heritage variety grows to around 50-75cm in height and produces richly flavoured sprouts around 5cm in diameter. Great for eating fresh or for freezing.
Our donor acquired this variety from organic crofters in Burland, near Scalloway, Shetland. Reputedly grown on Shetland since the 16th Century, it was a crucial source of winter food for livestock and spring greens for the crofters. It is a very hardy, wind resistant brassica, forming loose heads and developing some purple colouration as the temperatures fall.
Originating from Bangladesh, this pleasantly mild-flavoured, mid-sized cucumber has a triangular cross-section when cut. Remove the male flowers to avoid bitter fruits; which will begin to appear in July from an April sowing. For eating pick fruits when over 15cm long, they grow squat and stout rather than conventionally long and thin. Be sure to let the fruit fully ripen (to yellow or brown) or you won’t tell the difference between this and a normal cucumber, but grown under cover it’s easy, fruitful and relatively trouble free.
An ex-commercial variety, originally from Suttons, but deleted from the National List in 1995. This variety produces fruits with sweet-flavoured, crunchy flesh and a thin, very pale green skin. Primarily a greenhouse cucumber, it can be grown outdoors in sheltered areas.
Thought to have been known in England since 1825, this variety produces sturdy plants with thick stems and attractive flowers followed by beautiful pale green pods heavily speckled with red. Seed Guardian Miss Gotts describes them as a “very robust bean!” Sweet and tender when picked as young beans, but when dried the pretty white beans with red speckles have a rich, full flavour; perfect for soups and stews.
This black seeded French heirloom variety produces compact, bushy plants that display both drought and cold tolerance. Dark lilac flowers are followed by pencil pods: crisp and tasty when eaten whole and as podded green beans. When dried the beans have a lovely nutty flavour, and are particularly good for use in Mexican and Cuban recipes. Sow to harvest 85 days (approx.)
Known in France since before 1775; however, our donor acquired these seeds from Robinson’s of Lancashire. The violet pods, purple-tinged leaves and lilac flowers of this variety are beautiful. Superb when in full flower, but equally attractive when bearing its masses of pods, which turn green on cooking. The whole pod can be eaten when young and the shelled beans are lovely when lightly steamed or eaten raw in salads. Mature, dried beans store well and are really tasty in soups. A hardy, reliable and prolific cropper.