Back to the roots | Re-discover old vegetable varieties

Alte Gemüsesorten Pastinaken
Alte Gemüsesorten Pastinaken Foto: Pixabay.com

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Who does not like to remember the moments in the garden of the grandparents. Their own vegetables grew magnificently and the children were allowed not only to eat strawberries, but also peas and carrots. The resilience of these old vegetable varieties has long been known to ecologically working amateur gardeners. Old vegetable varieties are now rediscovered thanks to robust growth and high resistance. Last but not least, they show a good balance of vitamins and minerals. The healthy diet for the family begins directly in the vegetable bed.

No scrambling! Old vegetable varieties are becoming more and more popular

Many conventionally working gardeners may turn their noses upside down. The potato plants of „Bamberger Hörnchen“ or violet potatoes look different. Different vegetable varieties from the past are completely unknown. Sugar beet, turnip and asparagus peas are about as a rule only the older generation still a term.

By the way, the beet has been nominated by the association for the preservation of the crops of plant variety of the year 2017/2018!

Over the years the market has pushed these, basically very good, varieties with the inclusion of European quality standards. However, in modern times, more and more consumers are looking for organic vegetables not only in the supermarkets, but also as seeds that do not need gene manipulation. In the past decades, many farmers have already joined together to form small organizations, and they are getting the tasty, old vegetable varieties with their work. This also includes the colorful variety of numerous tomato varieties. Some of them are far more resistant to brown rot than conventional tomato plants on a biological basis.

A colorful palette of old vegetable varieties Ecological farms ensure the preservation

Organic farms also provide for the preservation of old vegetables. They plant the plants in their shrubs and sell the seed of old vegetable varieties for the private garden. In this context, private exchange exchanges have also developed for seed. They are now found throughout Europe. Farmers in Switzerland and Austria also like to give their seeds to gardeners who are ready to experiment. Thanks to the Internet, like-minded amateur gardeners can quickly get together and share their experiences in the different regions in forums for private gardeners. The internationally active Kampagne für Saatgut-Souveränität (campaign for seed sovereignty) is a good starting point as well as the Verein zur Erhaltung der Nutzpflanzenvielfalt e.V.

Potatoes, rarities and old varieties

Kartoffel Raritäten gehören zu historischem Gemüse
Foto: Pixabay.com

The potato is the German dearest child. But with a glance at potato rarities and particularly old varieties, it soon becomes clear that the potato has been popular around the world for centuries. One of these old potato varieties belonged to the Andean gold from Brittany.

A really good tasting potato with yellow fruit pulp and a shelf life of up to five weeks. The potato the year 2015 was the Heideniere. Good to recognize by the light-kidney-shaped, elongated form and the yellow shell. Also the meat is yellowish. In the taste, the Heideniere has a spicy, very spicy flavor. It belongs to the medium early potatoes and is suitable as a solid boiling potato very well as salad potatoes. From a horticultural point of view it convinces with a high resistance to tuber rot.

The classic of old potato varieties is and will remain the Bamberger Hörnchen. It belongs to one of the oldest potato cultivars in Germany and enthusiastically hobbies gardeners with their taste and their butter-soft consistency. Basically, a pot of steaming hot potatoes on the table, along with fresh herbs, butter and salt. If you would like to buy croquettes, do not miss the Bamberger Hörnchen. You can buy genuine Bamberger squirrels here: https://www.erlesene-kartoffeln.de/product/bamberger-hoernchen-das-original-aus-bamberg/7

Forgotten vegetable varieties are now trend again

This year, you will be impressed by the beauty and the good yields of old vegetable varieties. Especially gardeners, who have already tried many old vegetable varieties, will be enthusiastic about the growth and the yields of historical vegetable varieties. Also on the bottom of the list is the black root. Admittedly, at first glance, it looks not very appealing. But their taste is all the better! In the GDR, it was often referred to as „false asparagus“. In fact, it is a really fine aroma and soft fruit pudding, which awaits the connoisseur after the peeling of the black root. In combination with a mealy potato and a piece of meat the black root is simply a pleasure. Particularly advantageous: Black roots can be frozen very well. After the blanching, the long stems are packed into a plastic can or freezer bag and lose hardly any vitamins, until they are then consumed in autumn or winter. Alternatively, the typical winter vegetables can also stay in the ground until it is finally eaten. Probably one of the most effective ways to make vegetables durable.

You may also be interested in these articls (in German):

A popular shop, which offers historical vegetable varieties, can be found in the following link. If you work with your heart and soul in your garden, you will find an old vegetable garden and certainly a few new favorite plants.