Last Christmas I was involved in a seed swap organised by Emma over at The Alternative Kitchen Garden. Basically this involved sending five different seeds to five different people, who all reciprocated by sending five different seeds back to you. This meant that when you opened your presents on Christmas day you ended up with twenty five different seeds. Good idea huh?
The great thing about this was that some of the seeds that I ended up with were really unusual and certainly not things I would necessarily have bought myself. One of these was the beautiful little plant you can see growing in the picture above - the wonderfully named Achocha Fat Baby. This is a vegetable that is originally from South America but is surprisingly suited to our variable summers here in the UK. It is supposed to taste like cucumbers when it is used raw in salads but when it is fried it takes on a flavour much more similar to green pepper. One of the main benefits of it is that is much easier to cultivate successfully in the UK than pepper plants and also generally more productive.
I started these off in the greenhouse about four weeks ago and now that the weather's warming up I'm planning to move them outside in the next couple of days. Especially after the warning that when grown inside they can be real bullies and take over everything! I'll let you know how they get on as the season progresses. And if you want to have a go of growing some yourself next year you can buy seeds from here.