In the Garden: Unusual veggies to grow

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) You have an interesting collection of things here! Well, it is vegetable season and it's time to start growing things you like to eat. And sometimes its good to expand the palate a little bit. There's nothing wrong with carrots, peas and beans and tomatoes, but I got some unusual things here. This one is Florence fennel. You eat the bottoms of these, right? Yes! These are the ones that have that anise or licorice flavor to them. You can eat the leaves if you want, but the best way to grow them is to transplant them and these bottoms will swell up. Then that's what you will end up picking, chopping it up in salads, or grilling.

It's like a cole slaw. I've had it, it's really yummy! Yes, it's very good. And fennel is also nice because if you let a few of them just go to seed, they produce these yellow flowers that beneficial insects and butterflies love. So, it's an ornamental in the garden, too.

Win-win all the way around. And you must love globe artichoke? You can grow globe artichokes here in our climate. You can get transplants like these in garden centers. They've already been vernalized, or winterized so they think they've gone through a winter, though they haven't. And you just pop them in the ground, you'll get about six to eight artichokes per plant. You can put them in a pot, too. You have to fertilize them well and water. That's what they really like, nice well-drained soil, but a lot of fertility, and they'll get big and bushy and you can have globe artichokes and impress your friends.
That is exciting. I love those.

And another way to impress everyone is to grow strawberries. This is a strawberry in a basket, it even has a little strawberry on it! So these are really easy to grow. If you are growing strawberries look for the everybearing and the day-neutral types. These are the types that will keep producing all summer long. With your June bearing ones they produce once and that's it. These will keep producing right through July and August. Strawberry shortcake right through the summer? Again, you can put them in containers, like you were saying, or put them in a small hanging basket! And they are perennials, so they'll come back every year.