Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

Welcome to What’s In …, a new feature offering a peek inside HOMEGROWN members’ pantries, fridges, and more. This week, Iowa mom and suburban farmer Heirloom Lizzie took her seed stash out of the fridge for a quick photo shoot. “Buying seeds is a weakness of mine, but in my defense, I've found some great varieties that way,” she says. Got questions for Lizzie or want to volunteer your own food storage for a future installment? Post comments below!

1. GYPSY TOMATO: “I bought seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds last year, and these were a free gift that came with my order. I'm not a big fan of slicing tomatoes (I'm a paste tomato girl), but the color of these intrigued me. I grew one plant in a container last year and fell in love. They are not as pink as the picture but are more similar to a black tomato. The flavor is very rich, and it’s one of the few tomatoes I enjoy eating raw by itself.”
TRY IT YOURSELF: Follow HOMEGROWN member Chris’s how-to on saving tomato seeds

2. AMISH PASTE TOMATOES: “I bought the original seeds from St. Clare Heirloom Seeds. I was looking for something that produced well and tasted good, and these delivered. The fruits are larger than most paste tomatoes, but they are still very meaty. The plants can get huge! They grow differently than other tomato plants I've seen: really spindly, almost vine-y, and the leaves are narrower. These also dry well. I sliced and dehydrated more than half of my harvest last year.”
TRY IT YOURSELF: Find ideas for more things to dry in Cynthia’s album Dehydrator Fun

3. FILDERKRAUT CABBAGE: “I bought these from Annie's Heirloom Seeds last year. This variety has a pointed head and is exceptionally suited to making sauerkraut, which is one of the traditional food skills I want to work on. I was hoping to grow some last year but didn't get a chance to because we were getting ready to move.”
TRY IT YOURSELF: Sauerkraut 101

4. BLACK CARROTS: “I bought these on Ebay last year after stumbling across a picture of black carrots online. I planted some last spring, but the weeds got ahead of me before they could fully mature. The few that I pulled while I could still find them were really white, but I could see the beginning tinges of purple when I cut them up.”
TRY IT YOURSELF: Selecting Seeds 101

5. BASILICO MOSTRUOSO BASIL: “These are homegrown; I bought the originals from Pinetree Garden Seeds. This is my favorite basil by far, and I went through a ton of varieties before finding this one. The plants get to about 2 feet tall and have really big leaves. It’s described as having a strong anise flavor, but it reminds me more of fennel, which is part of why I love it so much. It’s is the perfect basil for pasta and pizza sauces.”
TRY IT YOURSELF: Harvesting Herbs 101

6. EARTH TONES DENT CORN: “These are also homegrown, but the original seeds were from Livingston. While this is intended to be an ornamental corn, I got it to use in corn meal and hominy. I wanted a multicolored corn because I feel there’s a wider variety of vitamins and minerals. I've been selecting seeds to get a strain that is better for fresh eating as well, so this is definitely multipurpose for me.”
TRY IT YOURSELF: Seed Starting 101

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