Published: 2016-01-25


ECHO’s Seed Bank has several new vegetable varieties, profiled below. Tropical pumpkin, variety ‘Trinidad’ ( Cucurbita moschata). The vigorous vines require ample space for optimal growth. Fruits have dark green skin and deep orange, sweet flesh inside. The mark where the pumpkin touches the ground will change color from light green to cream to deep orange, indicating when the fruit is ready for harvest. This variety is originally from Trinidad, and came to us via Hope Seeds. Okra, variety ‘Burmese’ ( Abelmoschus esculentus). This plant was one of the top 5 best varieties in an observation trial of 25 varieties at the ECHO farm in Florida. The leaves are large— typically 40 cm (16 in) across. Pods are borne continuously, beginning when plants are 45 cm (18 in) tall (approximately 60 days after planting). The spineless pods are best when harvested at 25 cm (10 in) inches long. Pods are tender and sweet, less mucilaginous than other okra, and can be eaten raw or cooked. Broccoli, variety ‘Waltham 29’ (Brassica oleracea var. italica). This open-pollinated broccoli variety was developed at the University of Massachusetts in the 1950s. It produces uniform large heads with consistent color. The plant has good cold resistance, and grows well during cooler seasons in warmer climates. Active development workers can request free sample packets of these seeds through their profile on www.ECHOcommunity.org.