capsicum annuum

Shishito pepper

These are small and finger-long, slender, and thin-walled. The peppers turn from green to red, but normally harvested when green. They say that about one out of every ten shishito peppers will be spicy, the others being mild. The occurrence of pungent fruit is induced by such factors as exposure to sunlight, and other environmental stresses. Capsaicin, the active ingredient in chilies that make them spicy, forms more easily in hot and dry conditions in the summer.

A hole is poked in the pepper beforehand to keep expanding hot air from bursting the pepper. It may be skewered then broiled (grilled), or pan-fried in oil, stewed in a soy sauce- and dashi-based liquid, or simply eaten raw in a salad or as a condiment. It is thin-skinned and will blister and char easily compared with thicker-skinned varieties of peppers.

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Cucumis melo var. flexuosus

Armenian Cucumber

This is a type of long, slender fruit which tastes like a cucumber and looks somewhat like a cucumber inside. It is actually a variety of muskmelon! The skin is very thin, light green, and bumpless but with ridges. It has no bitterness and the fruit is almost always used without peeling. They are most often eaten raw but can also be grilled, puréed, or pickled.

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Serpente di Sicilia edible gourd

A popular Italian edible gourd. Long, slender fruit is a brilliant, light green color; very tender and delicious with a rich flavor. The Italians eat these steamed, sautéed, or stuffed and baked. It is actually a gourd (it has white flowers rather than yellow like squash), but is grown and eaten like a summer squash. Much favored by people from Southern Italy. Fruit can grow up to three feet long, but tastes best when picked young, no more than 12 inches. Vigorous grower with long vines so leave plenty of room. Vines can easily run 25 feet; does well on a terrace. Pinch the growing tips of the vines and saute them in olive oil; they are very tasty that way. 70-75 days

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Cucumis sativus

sikkim cucumber

Sikkim heirloom cucumbers are native to the Himalayas and named for Sikkim, a state in northwest India. The vines are long and vigorous, the leaves and flowers much bigger than those of the cucumbers you might be used to growing. The fruits are especially interesting. They can get huge, often weighing in at 2 or even 3 pounds. On the outside they look like a cross between a giraffe and a cantaloupe, with a tough skin of dark rust red striated with cream colored cracks. Inside, however, the taste is unmistakably that of a cucumber, though stronger than most green varieties.

This is basically what all cucumbers used to look like before they were selected for the smooth, waxy skin. Sir Joseph Hooker first discovered it in the eastern Himalayas in 1848. Here is part of what he wrote about it: “So abundant were the fruits, that for days together I saw gnawed fruits lying by the natives’ paths by the thousands, and every man, woman and child seemed engaged throughout the day in devouring them.”

This cucumber is good raw (most people will peel off the outer skin with a pealer). 60 - 65 days.

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Perilla frutescens var. frutescens

Korean Shiso

In stature this plant resembles a large basil, and the cultivation is very similar. A native of the Southeast Asia and Indian highlands, and used all over Asia as an herb, this variety is especially used by the Koreans. This plant is also attractive to butterflies when flowering. The leaves of this plant are used raw, cooked, or pickled. Regular shiso is more common in sushi but sometimes korean shiso is used. The seeds are either toasted and grounded into powder called deulkkae-garu or toasted and pressed to make perilla oil.

Grow in Full to part sun. Pinch flowers to encourage bushiness of plants.

Little Green Eggplant

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Solanum melongena

Little Green Eggplant

A charming, single-stemmed plants yield green fruits to 3 ½ inches long, 3 inches in diameter. A new introduction from the former Soviet Union. It has a mild flavor and cooks up extra creamy. It can be used in any recipe that calls for regular eggplant. 75 days.

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Solanum sessiliflorum


The cocona plant is a much-branched, herbaceous, tropical shrub that can reach over 6 feet tall in a frost free environment. The fruit of cocona is a red, orange or yellow edible berry. This fairly rare fruit (in cultivation) is native to the Andean region of South America, where it is occasionally cultivated. Coconas will bear fruit in as little as 9 months, or as long as 24.


Capsicum chinense × Capsicum frutescens

Bhut Jolokia Pepper

An interspecific hybrid chili pepper cultivated in India. It is 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. This chili is rated at more than 1 million Scoville heat units. Once the hottest known pepper in the world, it was eventually superseded by the Infinity chili in 2011, followed by the Naga Viper, the Trinidad moruga scorpion and the Carolina Reaper on August 7, 2013. But this chili is still stupid hot.

Plants get 17–47 inches tall.

Capsicum annuum

Ethiopian Brown Pepper

Ethiopian Brown chile peppers have an elongated shape, measuring an average of 10 to 15 centimeters, and taper to a point. The peppers mature from green to a dark, chocolate brown and may have the occasional red hue. Ethiopian Brown chile peppers measure anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville Heat Units. This pepper is often used in the preparation of berbere which is a spice blend that has been used in Ethiopian cuisine for over hundreds of years. The spice is used for meats, chicken, soups, stews, and lentil dishes. The sauces and pastes are usually consumed alongside injera, a spongy flatbread. This chili hails from Ethiopia and Eritrea, which sits along the Red Sea on the east coast of Africa. Chile peppers were first brought to northeastern Africa by the Portuguese sometime during the 16th and 17th centuries. 

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Capsicum annuum

Rezha Macedonian Pepper

80 days. The name means “engraved.” Another local name, Vezeni Piperki, means “embroidered.” Both names refer to the curious lines on the skins of tapering, long, thin peppers. The fruit, which range from mild to sometimes very pungent, are to be seen hanging in great clusters, drying in Macedonian warm late autumn sun.  This is a very old pepper grown in Macedonia for 100+ years, but relatively new to the rest of the world. The pepper ripens from green to a brilliant red and are approximately 4″ – 7″ long. These peppers are best eaten cooked or pickled to soften up the skin. They have a fairly juicy flesh. Flavor is often mild, sweet and slightly nutty and the heat can vary but most often about 8000 Scoville Heat Units.

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Cucurbita moschata

Magdalena Big Cheese


Ocimum basilicum

Genovese Basil

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Basella alba

red malabar spinach