Some excellent varieties of vegetables are available for the first time this year. Golden EH (everlasting heritage) sweet corn, an introduction of Stokes Seeds, is particularly outstanding.
Whereas the standard super sweet or extra sweet varieties require isolation from all other corn varieties to keep cross pollination from causing it to revert to tasteless field corn, this new corn does not require isolation, and all of the kernels are super sweet.
It has excellent keeping qualities as the sugar is changed to starch as extremely slow rate. Unrefrigerated corn cooked five days after picking still has virtually the same sweet flavor as freshly-picked corn.
The corn can be picked over a longer period of time due to a slower rate of maturity during the edible period and ther kernels have extremely thin, tender skins.
Other new vegetables from Stokes include Northern Vee corn, Portage M.I. lettuce, Cameo petite pois peas, royal Burgundy bush bean, Ice Queen cabbage and Vee Pick paste tomato.
All of the new vegetables are described in the Stokes Seeds catalog, which will be sent free upon request from 7156 Stokes Bldg., Buffalo, N.Y. 14240.
Burpee is introducing Sugar Bush watermelon and Triple Treat pumpkin. The pumpkin is the perfect shape and color for Halloween Jack O'Lanterns, has thick meat for making delicious pies, plus hull-less seeds with a rich nutty flavor raw, roasted or fried lightly in a little oil.
Sugar Bush watermelon needs only about six square feet of growing space per plant and produces lucious ripe melons ready for picking 80 days after seed sowing. Each plant, with short branched vines three-to-3 1/2-feet long, bears two to four lightly oval type melons weighing six to eight pound each.
The Burpe catalog will be mailed free upon request to the branch office nearest you: Warminster, Pa. 18974; Clinton, Iowa 52732; or Riverside, Calif. 92502.
Parks is introducing Short 'N Sweet cantaloupe and Bush Whopper cucumber.
The cantaloupe bears many sugary flavor fruits per vine, has bushy growth with no long vines to take up space, can be grown in containers, is resistant to heat, drought and powdery mildew.
Bush Whopper cucumber is a dwarf, mound-shaped plant, with no runners and bears cukes six to eight inches long, deliciously crisp. It bears profusely and is suitably and is suitable for most climates.
For a free copy of the park catalog write George W. Park Seed Co., P.O. Box 31, Greenwood, S.C. 29647.
Harris is introducing Early Dawn muskmelon and Pacer Hybrid cucumber. Early Dawn is extra early and a big producer of fine, large melons. The flesh is thick, firm and juicy with a rich orange color, the plants are resistant to powsery mildew. Pacer Hybrid is a heavy yielder, the cucumbers are delicious to eat, and the plants have good resistance to scab and mosaic.
For a free copy of the Harris catalog write Joseph Harris Co., Moreton Farm, Rochester, N.Y. 14624.
Thompson & Morgan are introducing melon squash, which has the appearance and extraordinary keeping quality of winter squash but the flavor and aroma are more like a cantaloupe. It can be eaten raw like a melon or cooked like a squash. A California plant explorer found it it Tahiti.
The Thompson & Morgon seed catalog will be sent free upon request: Box 24, Somerdale, N.J. 08083.
Four vegetables were All-America 1977 winners: Savoy Ace cabbage hybrid, Melody spinach hybrid, Spirit pumpkin hybrid and Scallopini Squash hybrid. They are listed in the seed catalogs.
There was a time when most new flowers and vegetables were introduced by plant explorers searching remote areas of the world for new varieties.
Most new flower and vegetable varieties today, however, are produced by a small group of professional establishments headed by a small group of dedicated breeders who spend their time conducting thousands of experimental crosses and waiting patiently for years to see their objectives materialize.