This year we will have organic veggies and herbs at Sandy’s Back Porch! We have selected some great varieties to choose from.

Organic Veggies for 2016!

Organic Vegetables(Our plants are delivered throughout the season and are subject to availability.)

‘Autumn Star’ Kalettes‘Autumn Star’ combines the best of Brussels Sprouts and Kale. Tall, vigorous, cold hardy plants look like Brussels Sprouts but instead line the stem with little Kale heads in the axil of each leaf. The flavor sweetens as the weather cools! Like its parents Kale and Brussels Sprouts, Kalettes are a nutritional powerhouse loaded with vitamins A, C & K. In addition, it has powerful cholesterol reducing abilities. They have a mild, slightly sweet taste. Can be roasted, sautéed or steamed.
‘Black Beauty’ Eggplant‘Black Beauty’ has been a dependable producer for decades. The dark purple fruits are high-quality and have great flavor. Well adapted to warm climates and northern areas with longer seasons. They can produce up to 15 fruits per plant.  Fruits are 6-1/2″ long by 5″ diameter and may weigh up to 3 lbs. Best harvested when smaller. Excellent flavor.
‘Midnight Lightning’ ZucchiniExtra long and slender zucchini with dark green, almost-black coloring. These single-stemmed plants are sturdy and the stems have less spines than most other varieties, and are tolerant to powdery mildew. Open Pollinated
‘Arava’ Galia MelonThis green-fleshed tropical melon is deliriously aromatic, sweet and crisp. Arava is a reliable producer year after year. Galia melons were developed by crossing a honeydew to a cantaloupe, resulting in a perfectly round melon with smooth, netted skin that turns yellow when ripe. Produces heavy yields of blemish-free, 3-4 lb. melons. 77 Days to Maturity. Melons need heat to grow well and this makes them a terrific plant to grow in our Midwest climate. Plant in May and harvest when they are very fragrant.

Hot Peppers

Organic veggies

‘Magnum’ Habañero‘Magnum’ has bright orange skin and a lantern or bonnet shape. This variety produces loads of uniform high heat fruits that will add a kick that no one can deny to any dish!  Magnum rates 210,000 on the Scoville heat index!
‘Early’ JalapeñoHarvest these medium to high heat peppers early for green salsa spice, or allow them to ripen to red and smoke them for your very own chipotle peppers! These are highly prolific plants. This jalepeño rates 2,500 – 10,000 on the Scoville heat index
‘Gigante’ Jalapeño‘Gigante’ is the largest jalapeño, measurin up to 5 inches long! They are easy to grow in a sunny garden or large container. These peppers can be harvested throughout the summer when they are green or red. Perfect for salsa or stuffing as poppers. This jalepeño rates 2,500 to 8,000 on the Scoville heat index.
‘Joe’s Long’ CayenneThis is a long, slender cayenne that is on hot side. The bright red fruits are excellent for homemade hot sauce and dry well for ristras (strings of chili peppers) and make great dried hot pepper flakes. The 8-10″ long, thin-fleshed fruits taper to a skinny point. This cayenne rates 20,000 – 50,000 on the Scoville heat index.

Scoville Test For Capsaicin — A Thermal Richter Scale
(Margen, S. et. al (1992). The wellness encyclopedia of food and nutrition: How to buy, store, and prepare every variety of fresh food.)

“All hot peppers contain capsaicinoids, natural substances that produce a burning sensation in the mouth, causing the eyes to water and the nose to run, and even induce perspiration. Capsaicinoids have no flavor or odor, but act directly on the pain receptors in the mouth and throat. The primary capsaicinoid, capsaicin, is so hot that a single drop diluted in 100,000 drops of water will produce a blistering of the tongue.

“Capsaicinoids are found primarily in the pepper’s placenta–the white “ribs” that run down the middle and along the sides of a pepper. Since the seeds are in such close contact with the ribs, they are also often hot. In the rest of the vegetable, capsaicinoids are unevenly distributed throughout the flesh, so it is likely that one part of the same pepper may be hotter or milder than another. You can reduce the amount of heat in a chili pepper by removing the ribs and seeds, but you must wear gloves while doing so.

“Capsaicinoid content is measured in parts per million. These parts per million are converted into Scoville heat units, the industry standard for measuring a pepper’s punch. One part per million is equivalent to 15 Scoville units. Bell peppers have a value of zero Scoville units, whereas habaneros— the hottest peppers—register a blistering 200,000 to 300,000.  Pure capsaicin has a Scoville heat unit score of 16 million.” The Bhut Joloka (aka Ghost Pepper) rates 855,000–2,199,999 units on the scale and as of 2007 it was certified as the hottest chili pepper on the planet in The Guinness Book of World Records.

Sweet Peppers

Organic veggies

‘Olympus’ Sweet Bell PepperThis hybrid bell pepper offers high yields and jumbo sized blocky bell shape. The plants are heat tolerant and have glossy red 4″ wide fruits!
Sweet Stuff ‘Corno Di Toro’This Italian heirloom produces huge 8-10″, deep crimson red fruits that are perfect for stuffing or grilling. The name means ‘Corn of the Bull’ and the tapered peppers have a slight curve like a horn.
‘Bangles’ Mix Mini Bell PepperThese adorable red, gold and chocolate baby bells great for snacking, stuffing or pickling. The large seed cavity is perfect for stuffing. The 18-24″ upright plants are excellent grown in containers.
‘Sweet Chocolate’ Dark Bell PepperThis bell pepper is brown with a red undercast when ripe. It has a distinctive sweet and mild flavor, and will hold it’s color when cooked. Fruits are medium-small in size and ripen earlier than most bells.
‘Sweet Sunrise’ Bell PepperSweet Sunrise is a medium-large, blocky, yellow-orange pepper with fruity sweet flavor. Fruits ripen early, and plants are sturdy with good yield.
‘Oranos’Oranos has eye-catching vivid gold fruit with sweet flavor and early, heavy yields. The thick walls are great for stuffing and color is beautiful in salads. Exceptional flavor! Tapered 5-6″ fruits


(see disease and growth habit keys below)
Organic veggies

‘Beefsteak’ TomatoBright red and juicy with classic tomato flavor. Vigorous vines are high-yielding producing fruits weighing up to 2 pounds. Resistant to VFNASt and to cracking. Indeterminate
‘Brandywine’ Beefsteak Tomato This Amish heirloom is considered by many to be the benchmark of tomato flavor. Brandywine ranges from 1-2 pounds, and has a rosy-red skin packed with juicy deliciousness. Indeterminate
‘Black Krim’ Beefsteak TomatoThis Heirloom originated from an isle in the Black Sea. Brown-red color gets darker with heat. Tangy, rich and sweet. Fruit is about half a pound. Indeterminate
‘Dr.Wychee’s Beefsteak Tomato This heirloom was introduced to Seed Savers Exchange by the late Dr. John Wyche, who at one time owned the Cole Brothers Circus and used the manure of elephants to fertilize his heritage gardens. The 1 lb glowing tangerine-orange fruit is solid with a smooth texture and a tropical, sweet taste. Indeterminate
‘Green Zebra’ Salad or All Purpose TomatoSweet and zesty flavor are trademarks of this yellow and green striped medium-sized tomato (2.5-3.5″). High yields and resistance to cracking make this one a real winner. Indeterminate
‘Roma’ Sauce TomatoRoma is a standard for sauce tomatoes. It is a deep red plum tomato with good disease resistance. Fruits average 4-6 oz. Resistant to VFA. Determinate
‘Esterina’ CherryThis hybrid golden yellow cherry has outstanding sweetness. It is considered to be even sweeter than Sungold with a brighter yellow color and better crack resistance! Known for good disease resistance. Indeterminate
‘Peacevine’ CherryPeacevine is in an open-pollinated, highly nutritious package.produces high yields of uniform 1″ tomatoes. This cherry tomato has a sweet but acid balance in flavor.  In addition to high vitamin C, Peacevine contains high levels of an amino acid thought to help calm the body. Indeterminate
‘Black Cherry’These is a popular heirlooms cherry tomato. It is deep purple color, and the fruits are candy-sweet, and prolific. They are crack resistant with good disease resistance. Indeterminate

Tomato Disease Key

F=Fusarium Wilt
Fusarium wilt symptoms begin in tomatoes as slight vein clearing on outer leaflets and drooping of leaf petioles. Later the lower leaves wilt, turn yellow and die and the entire plant may be killed, often before the plant reaches maturity. In many cases a single shoot wilts before the rest of the plant shows symptoms or one side of the plant is affected first. If the main stem is cut, dark, chocolate-brown streaks may be seen running lengthwise through the stem. This discoloration often extends upward for some distance and is especially evident at the point where the petiole joins the stem.
FF=Fusarium Wilt Races 1 and 2

V=Verticillium Wilt
Verticillium wilt symptoms on tomatoes are similar to those of Fusarium wilt. Often no symptoms are seen until the plant is bearing heavily or a dry period occurs. The bottom leaves become pale, then tips and edges die and leaves finally die and drop off. V-shaped lesions at leaf tips are typical of Verticillium wilt of tomato. Infected plants usually survive the season but are somewhat stunted and both yields and fruits may be small depending on severity of attack.

N= Nematodes
Plant parasitic nematodes, are small microscopic roundworms which live in the soil and attack the roots of plants. Yield reductions can be extensive but vary significantly between plant and nematode species. In addition to the direct crop damage caused by nematodes, many of these species have also been shown to predispose plants to infection by fungal or bacterial pathogens or to transmit virus diseases, which contributes to additional yield reductions.

T=Tobacco Mosaic Virus
The foliage shows mosaic (mottled) areas with alternating yellowish and dark green areas. Leaves are sometimes fern-like in appearance and sharply pointed. Infections of young plants reduce fruit set and occasionally cause blemishes and distortions of the fruit. The dark green areas of the mottle often appear thicker and somewhat elevated giving the leaves a blister-like appearance.

A= Alternaria Stem Canker
Symptoms appear on stems, leaves, and fruit. Dark brown to black cankers with concentric zonation occur on stems near the soil line or above ground. Cankers enlarge, girdle the stem before harvest, and kill the plants. Vascular tissue about 2 inches above and below the cankers exhibit brown streaks. Dark brown to black areas of dead tissue between leaf veins are caused by a toxin produced by the fungus.

St=Stemphylium Grey Leaf Spot
The disease is limited to the leaf blades. The fungus infects plants from the earliest seedling stage to maturity. Initial symptoms include one to several minute brownish black specks that appear on both surfaces of the leaf. The area changes in color from brownish black to grayish brown, as the spots enlarge and these centers crack and partially drop out to give the leaf a shot-hole appearance. The entire leaf then turns yellow, droops, and eventually dies.

Tomato Growth Habit Key

Determinate means short vines, bushlike, compact, terminal blossom clusters (meaning the top of the stem usually is flowers not foliage). Most produce fruits in a short time span while others may produce all season.

means long vines, subterminal blossom clusters (meaning flowers occur along the sides of the stem), usually produce well until frost. Needs to be staked or caged

Semi-determinate-means a happy medium between the above two. Needs to be staked or caged.

Organic Herbs for 2016

 Basil ‘Aroma 1’Annual – Culinary – This is a Genovese type Mediterranean sweet basil. It is the most common choice for Italian recipes such as pesto. Sweet basil is the most popular not only for cooking, but consumed fresh in many various cuisines. It is amongst the largest basil plants with 3 inch leaves averaging 20 to 24 inches in height at maturity and is and known for its aromatic scent.
 Basil ‘Genovese’Annual – Culinary – This Italian variety has extremely tender, fragrant, extra-large, dark green leaves and is superb for pesto.
 Basil ‘Mrs. Burn’s Lemon’Very bright green, 2 1/2″ long leaves with white blooms make this basil both attractive and intensely flavorful. Ht. 20-24″. Edible Flowers: Use the flowers in any recipe that calls for basil, or to garnish drinks, salads, soups, pasta, and desserts. Flavor is of intense basil and citrus.
 Basil ‘Sweet Thai’Annual – Culinary – Green, 2″ long leaves have a spicy, anise-clove flavor. Attractive purple stems and blooms. Called “Horapha” in its mother country, “Hun Que” in Vietnam. Ht. 12-18″. Edible Flowers: Use the flowers in any recipe that calls for basil, or to garnish drinks, salads, soups, pasta, and desserts. Flavor is of intense, spicy basil with notes of clove and anise.
 Cilantro ‘Santo’Annual – Culinary – Santo is a slow-bolting selection grown for its leaves. Direct seed every two weeks for a continuous supply of fresh leaves. Like the leaves and seeds, the flowers are also edible. Edible Flowers: Use them raw because the flavor fades quickly when cooked. Sprinkle to taste on salads, bean dishes, chicken, and spicy Southwestern dishes. Flavor is of mild cilantro.
Eucalyptus ‘Silver Dollar’Tender Perennial – Medicinal. Very aromatic with silvery/gray round leaves. It exudes a sticky resin. The essential oil is antiseptic, expectorant and antiviral. Generally used in flower arrangements. 20′ The Silver Dollar Eucalyptus is considered by many to be the most popular variety of Eucalyptus on the market. The Silver Dollar Eucalyptus is known for its long vase life and it widely used in arrangements of fresh wholesale flower as well as arrangements of preserved flowers. This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds. Water regularly; do not over water. Flowers are good for cutting. Provides winter interest.
Fennel ‘Orion’
Lemon BalmPerennial – Culinary – Fresh leaves for tea and salads. During the summer, small white flowers full of nectar appear which attract bees. Easy to grow.
Lemon VerbenaTender Perennial – Shiny green, pointed leaves with lemon flavor and aroma, especially when bruised. Excellent for culinary use and herbal remedies. White flowers. Pinch to encourage branching. Plants can be grown in containers in northern areas and brought inside to over-winter.
NasturtiumAnnual – Culinary – The dwarf, bushy nasturtiums add rainbows of cheerful color in annual beds and borders. Use the trailing forms on low fences or trellises, on a gravelly or sandy slope, or in a hanging container. Many gardeners include nasturtiums in the salad garden. Edible flowers and foliage are a gourmet treat. They taste peppery like watercress. Nasturtiums deter whiteflies and squash bugs.
OreganoOriganum vulgare – Perennial – Culinary and Medicinal. Oregano is a woody perennial with pungent dark green leaves. It is used in Italian and Mediterranean cooking and Mexican chili powders. Use in tomato sauce, fish, salad dressings, pizza. A tea made from the leaves soothes coughs, muscle spasms and headaches. The word oregano means “joy of the mountain” from the Greek oros, meaning mountain and ganos meaning joy.
PeppermintPeppermint Mentha – peperita var. – Perennial – Culinary and Medicinal – The name is derived from the name Mintha, a Greek mythological nymph who transformed herself into the plant, and from the Latin piper meaning “pepper.” Peppermint is widely used in food, cosmetics and medicines. Peppermint tea is proven helpful in treating the common cold, coughs and bronchitis as well as a variety of digestive issues.It is used topically as an analgesic and to treat headaches. It is on the FDA’s GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list. It is one of the world’s oldest medicinal herbs, and is used in both Eastern and Western traditions. Peppermint leaf and oil are used for folk medicine, as flavoring agents, and in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products throughout the world.
SpearmintCulinary – Perennial – The colonists brought mint with them to America. They used mints for teas, headaches, indigestion and to help them sleep. Mint is also an excellent culinary addition. Use to flavor tea, sauces, vegetables and lamb. 18-24”