My Top 5 Crops for Flavour

I’ve been getting a bit excited with the weather being so nice over the last few days, and whilst I’ve been finishing off my new bamboo fence I’ve been dreaming of what I’m going to grow this year. I really love cooking, and eating, so there are some things that I just love growing – these are my all time top 5:

  1. Golden Beetroot – if you like beetroot, then you HAVE to try this! The colour is just phenomenal (it looks so great on the dish when you serve it up) and I personally think that the taste is better than purple beetroots.
  2. Queensland Blue Winter Squash – I don’t think I’m alone in believing that this is the BEST tasting squash that you can grow. It has the perfect texture, quite starchy and potato like, which makes it quite filling unlike other more watery varieties, and it’s nice and nutty too. I don’t think you can really beat this squash, but don’t forget that they can grow to a pretty big size (I harvested a 10.5kg squash last year, which would have easily served about 30 people!)
  3. Mangetout – These are one of my all-time favourite crops to grow. Not only are the pea pods deliciously sweet and crunchy, straight from the plant, but the flowers are so pretty and sweet-pea like as well. Plus you get a long cropping time, harvesting for several weeks before they start to give up. Way better than buying them in the shops!
  4. Sweetcorn ‘Sweet Nugget’ – You are never going to eat a sweeter, more juicy corn-on-the-cob than one that has been harvested just minuted before it is cooked. Fact. This is my top tip for anybody who is growing their own – if you really want to taste the difference between homegrown and shop bought, sweetcorn is the crop to grow. Sweet Nugget is a great variety, and, as the name suggests, it is really lovely and sweet in flavour.
  5. Strawberries ‘Elsanta’ – if, like me, you are partial to popping a juicy strawberry in your mouth as you’re tending your veg patch, then Elsanta is the way to grow. I had some deliciously sweet berries from these plants last summer, and the size and texture is good too.