Cucumber Cucumis sativus

Originating in India, the foothills of the Himalayas. It has been cultivated for over 3,000 years in Western Asia, and was introduced to other parts of Europe by the Greeks & Romans. Traveling to North America around the mid-16th century. Orginally possessing a quite bitter taste being used for soups & saute. Modern cultivars often have a sweet taste making them suitable for fresh eating. Fruits are also pickled as an important food in many countries.

Varieties we grow:
Armenian, Delikatesse, Gherkin, Lemon, Richmond Apple, Poona Kheera, Sikkim, Soyu Long.

Recipes:

  • Quick Pickles
  • Tabbouleh
  • Tzatziki Cucumber
  • Cucumber Curry
  • Raw Cucumber Soup

Bitter Melon Momordica charantia

Bitter melon is generally consumed cooked in the green or early yellowing stage. The young shoots and leaves of the bitter melon may also be eaten as greens. Bitter melon is often used in Chinese cooking for its bitter flavor, typically in stir-fries (often with pork and douchi), soups, and also in tisanes. It has also been used in place of hops as the bittering ingredient in some Chinese and Okinawan beers.

  • Bitter Melon salad

Luffa Luffa aegyptiaca

This smooth skin gourd is dark green and slightly ribbed.  The young fruit are cooked or used in salad.  The immature flesh is especially good stir-fried like Zucchini with peppers & cashews. When mature, the fruit is dried for its fiber and used as a sponge.

  • Thai Luffa

Chayote Sechium edule

Chayote is originally native to Mexico or Central America where it grows abundantly. When cooked, chayote is usually handled like summer squash, it is generally lightly cooked to retain the crisp flavor[clarification needed]. Though rare and often regarded as especially unpalatable and tough in texture, raw chayote may be added to salads or salsas, most often marinated with lemon or lime juice. Whether raw or cooked, chayote is a good source of amino acids and vitamin C.

  • Grilled Cho-cho

Tinda Praecitrullus fistulosus

Green colored, apple sized fruits are also known as the Indian Baby Pumpkin. This unique squash-like gourd is native to India, very popular in Pakistani cooking, usually curried as you might a squash.

  • Tinda Bharwa
  • Stuffed Apple Gourd

Melon  Cucumis melo

Indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East, to the plateaus of Afghanistan. Domestication is thought to have been in China over 2000 years ago, and then brought back to the Mediterranean some time after the fall of the Romans. The ripe fruits are often eaten fresh as a snack or desert.  Immature fruits can be pickled or used as you would a cucumber, in marinated salads & sautes.

Varieties we grow:
Ananas, Banana, Charentais, D’Alger, Ineya, Noir De Carmes, Petite De Gris, Piel De Sapo

  • Savory Armenian Salad
  • Melon Tomato Gazpacho
  • Agua Fresca

Watermelon  Citrullus lanatus

Originating in subtropical Africa, the San people of the Kalahari Desert used the wild “tsama” as an important water source in dry seasons. Domesticated in the Mediterranean and distributed across most the world. Eaten Fresh.

Squash Cucurbita Pepo, Moschata, Maxima

Indigenous to Mesoamerica; Cucurbita pepo is believed to be one of the first known crops, being dated over 10,000 years ago. C. Pepo. consists of  most Summer Squash, Acorn, Spaghetti and some Pumpkins. C. Moschata was probably domesticated in the humid lowlands of Central and South America, its most notable variety is Butternut squash. C. Maxima appears to have originated from the northern parts of South America. Distinguished by it’s soft & cork like fruit stalk; its varieties include Hokkaido, Hubbards, Sweet Dumplings and many more. Summer squash is great on the grill, Winter squash is great in the oven, but with squash you can prepare it in almost any fashion.

Varieties we grow:
Summer: Benning’s Scallop, Costata Romanesco, Lebonese White Marrow, Rugosa Fruilana.
Winter: Black Futsu, Black Kabocha, Blue Ballet Hubbard, Delicata, Georgian Candy Roaster, Guatemalan Blue, Iranian Pumpkin, Pink Banana, Red Kuri, Spaghetti, Strawberry Crown, Thelma Sander’s Cream, Tuffy Acorn, Waltham Butternut

Recipes:

  • Roasted Butternut
  • Black Curry

Costata Romanesco

An Italian zucchini with a slightly nutty flavor and exceptional texture. Tender, gray-green stripped skin with ribbing.”

Spaghetti

This variety is known as “Vegetable Spaghetti” for if it is baked or boiled, the fibers separated into long noodles.

Hokkaido

A traditional Japanese variety with a hard outer skin, firm  flesh and a very delicate chestnut like flavor.

Winged bean Psophocarpus tetragonolobus

Originally from Africa, this bean was domesticated in Asia a few centuries ago and is still used as a subsistence crop in much of south-east Asia.  Sometimes called the “one species supermarket” for the plants complete edibility, root to seed. The tender pods are the most widely eaten part, their flavor has been called similar to asparagus. They cook them like any green bean; steam, saute.

  • Seseme Winged Bean
  • Thai Winged Bean Salad

Fava bean Vicia faba

Broad beans first record dates back to 5000 B.C. in the city of Jericho. A prolific & nutritious crop, it spread quickly over the temperate regions of the world becoming a  major food source to many communities. Sold fresh as  a shelling beans or dried these beans have a buttery texture, slight bitterness and lovely, nutty flavor. They can be use in soup, steamed, boiled, sauteed, fried, baked, or made into a traditional hummus.

  • Foul
  • Falafal
  • Mit’in Shiro

Yardlong bean Vigna unguiculata

Yard long beans are only distantly related to beans, it is a variety of the cow pea family. Indigenous to Africa, it was possible domesticated in Ethiopia making its way some 2000 years ago to Asia. In southern China it was crossed with a small bean variety creating the “Yard Long”, also known as the Asparagus Bean for its similarity in taste. They are better sauteed in oil, than with water methods preferred on other green beans. Or eat them fresh, my favorite way.

  • Nasi Kerabu
  • Roasted Asparagus Beans

Okra Abelmoschus esculentus

Okra is believed  to be of African origin, but is widely dispersed around the Southwest Asia and Mediterranean. It was brought to the United States three centuries ago by African slaves, becoming a staple in Southern cuisine. Okra is mucilaginous, or described as “gooey”  so to minimize sliminess; keeping the pods intact, use a quick cooking method like frying, roasting. Okra is traditionally used to thicken soups, such as “Gumbo”, but is also great to eaten fresh or pickeled.

Varieties We Grow:
Burgandy, Hill Country Red, Silver Queen, Star of David

Recipes:

  • Fried Okra
  • Moroccan Tagine

Roselle Hibiscus sabdariffa

Roselle is said to have come originally from Southeast Asia. Today, it is known widely in Egypt & Sudan, the West Indies and Mexico. Roselle is best known for it’s tart, bright-red hibiscus tea known as Karkady, or Jamaica locally, made from the dried or fresh calyxes.

Recipes:

  • Sudan Tea
  • Agua de Jamaica

Corn Zea mays subsp. mays

Corn (meaning grain) is a tall, large-grain, grain plant domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain the grain, which are seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a starch. The Olmec and Mayans cultivated it in numerous varieties throughout Mesoamerica, cooked, ground or processed through nixtamalization. Beginning about 2500 BC, the crop spread through much of the Americas. The region developed a trade network based on surplus and varieties of maize crops. After European contact with the Americas in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, explorers and traders carried maize back to Europe and introduced it to other countries.

  • Corn Fritters

Oats Avena sativa

The wild ancestor of Avena sativa and the closely related minor crop, A. byzantina, is the hexaploid wild oat A. sterilis. Genetic evidence shows the ancestral forms of A. sterilis grew in the Fertile Crescent of the Near East. Domesticated oats appear relatively late, and far from the Near East, in Bronze Age Europe. Oats, like rye, are usually considered a secondary crop, i.e., derived from a weed of the primary cereal domesticates wheat and barley.

Sorghum Sorghum bicolor

Sorghum is also known as durra, jowari, or milo. It is a grass species cultivated for its grain, which is used for food, both for animals and humans, and for ethanol production. Sorghum originated in northern Africa, and is now cultivated widely in tropical and subtropical regions.

Eggplant Solanum melongena

The eggplant, also known as Aubergine was native to the Indian Subcontinent, likely domesticated from the species S. incanum. It has been cultivated in southern and eastern Asia since prehistory, and appears to have entered the Western world sometime in the 1500’s via the Arabs, documented through etymology. Since the middle ages it has become a staple to many Mediterranian cultures. In the north it is often stewed, as in the French ratatouille, or deep fried as in the Italian parmigiana di melanzane. In the Middle East the most notable dish is the hummus like baba ghanoush or the Turkish karnıyarık and musakka. In India it is widely used in sambhar, dalma, chutneys, currys, and achaar, often referred to as the “king of Vegetables” due to it’s versatile.

Varieties we grow:
Aswad, Burkina Faso, Casper, Calliope, Cambodian Green Giant, Ethiopian, Fengyuem, Kazakhstan, Oriental Express, Round Mauve, Thai Green, Togo Stripped

Recipes:

  • Baba Ghanoush
  • Musakka
  • Bharli Vangi
  • Ratatouille

Pepper Capsicum annuum

Indigenous to Central and South America, this plant was developed around 3000 B.C. and is now cultivated world wide.  Most varieties commercially available are Capsicum annuul, but some such as Habaneros & Jolokias are Capsicum chinense, and African Birdseye & Thai are Capsicum frutescens. Peppers range in taste greatly from very sweet, to intensely hot! Sweet peppers can be used fresh in salads, sautes, soups, and some can be stuffed and baked. Hot peppers are often used to make sauces, pickles and other condiments, or dried and used as a spice.

Varieties we grow:
Alma Paprika, Anahiem, Ancho Pablano, Antohi Romanian, Bhut Jolokia, Black Hungarian, Bulgarian Carrot, Capperino, Cascabel, Corbaci, Corno Di Toro Giallo, Giant Aconcagua, Habanero, Islander, Jalapeno, Lemon Drops, Mustard Habanero, Padron, Pasilla Bajio, Pepperoncini, Pimento, Purple Beauty, Quadrato D’Asti, Red Cheese, Round of Hungry, Serrano, Sweet Banana, Sweet Chocolate, Tunisian Baklouti

Recipes:

  • Romesco Sauce
  • Ghost Chutney
  • Pickled Peppers
  • Chocolate mole
  • Stuffed Pimento

Selected Varieties:

Bhut Jolakia

Also known as Ghost Pepper, Naga Morich. One of the world’s hottest peppers, if not the hottest, with readings in excess of 1,000,000 Scoville units! Though in dry climates it is far less hot.  “The thin-walled, wrinkled, pointed fruits reach 2-3” in length, ripening mostly to red.”

Pasilla Bajo

These long cylindrical peppers are thin walled and ripen to dark brown. They have a mild but smoky flavor and can be added fresh to salsas & salads, or dried and ground for a sauces & soups.

Pimento

Pimentos are large, red and often heart-shape .The flesh of the pimento is thick, sweet, succulent and more aromatic than that of the red bell. Typically used fresh or pickled , some varieties are also great for stuffing.

Cape Gooseberry Physalis peruviana

It is indigenous to South America, but has been cultivated in England since the late 18th century and in South Africa in the region of the Cape of Good Hope since at least the start of the 19th century. Physalis peruviana is closely related to the tomatillo, a fellow member of the genus Physalis. The fruit is a smooth berry, resembling a miniature spherical yellow tomato covered in a paper like calyx, it is about the size of a marble. It is bright yellow to orange in color, and it is sweet when ripe, with a characteristic, mildly tart flavor, making it ideal for snacks, pies or jams.

Tomatillo Physalis philadelphica

The tomatillo is also known as the husk tomato, jamberry, husk cherry, or Mexican tomato, as it originated in Mexico, where it remains a staple of that country’s cuisine. Today, Tomatillos are grown as annuals throughout much of the Western Hemisphere.As the fruit matures, it fills the husk and can split it open by harvest. The husk turns brown, and the fruit can be several colors when ripe, including yellow, red, green, or even purple. Tomatillos are the key ingredient in fresh and cooked Latin American green sauces.

Tomatoes Solanum lycopersicum


Real Conventional

Lettuce Love Farms is Certified Organic by C.C.O.F. Contact; lettucelovefarms@gmail.com