Selection of varieties is critical to successful vegetable and fruit production. We have found the following to be of merit in our climate. ‘Multikeeper’ cabbage from Stokes Seeds is a reliable performer; heads hold well in the field up to a four pound size without splitting. It is suited for harvest from early August through mid-October and offers good disease resistance. Tastes good too.
Stokes is also the source of the bell pepper ‘Intruder.’ The stout plants tend toward multiple branching, making for an increased opportunity for fruit set – more flowers on more stems. The peppers are thick walled, blocky at three and one-half inches and mostly four lobed. They are excellent stuffed, fresh or from the freezer.
We now grow only one variety of raspberry, ‘Joan J’, sourced from Nourse Farms in Whatley, Mass. Our business association goes back to 1979 when we bought 40,000 strawberries and a transplanting machine from Tim Nourse. He is a man of integrity and a pioneer in the production of virus-free small fruits.
‘Joan J’ is an ever bearer that will give a summer crop on last year’s canes and a fall crop on this summer’s new canes. We grow for the fall crop only, culturing new canes from plants that were mown four inches high last November. They are heavy with promise. The berries are refreshing, lightly tart with complex flavors. They size well, big as the tip of a man’s ring finger, and make superb pies and jam even from frozen. This is our family’s favorite small fruit.