Oriental & other ethnic vegetables

jcatblum(7)February 8, 2012

I will be selling in a military town, there are many Korean & German women who shop at the farmers market. I would like to offer some specialty veggies this yr. Is there any that has produced well that survive the heat? Most veggies that appeal to these customers are cool season crops. Normally our heat is too much for cool season crops in the spring, we are already getting some 65-70 degree days!

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Do Koreans eat bitter melon? You could look for their preferred types of cucumbers and squash,both summer and winter....maybe melons they like. I think many Asians like the Kabocha squash. How about Okra? Don't have an idea on that.You can check out the Kitazawa online catalog.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 9:24PM
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Germans like food, especially potatoes, cabbage(for kraut), and basically good quality food. I don't think anything is special to me, since I grew up with German heritage and communities.

Asian, best bet is to go to one or two of 'their' stores and look around. If it's not there, chances are it's not what they want.

Orientals usually like their okra larger than what regular Southerners do. Be sure to grow snow peas if you can, and not the little bitty ones.

I've sold to both, and good quality food is what people, no matter what nationality. I haven't really noticed much difference.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 7:23AM
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Bitter melon, long beans, green beans, chiles, tomatoes, okra (all kinds), sorrel lemon grass, culantro, mint, basil, squash (all kinds), eggplants (check out Baker Creek for Asian varieties), onions, garlic, garlic chives, check out Evergreen seeds for varieties of greens that will grow in all seasons. For German you might want to look into celeriac, carrots, dill, turnips (we grow turnips all summer)...

Here is a link that might be useful: Asian Vegetable Seeds

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 12:15PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I had not thought about bitter melon & will look into it. I had planned on the basics (beans, okra, tomatoes, eggplants, etc).I will check out the links, but honestly anything that isn't heat or drought tolerant I am not going to attempt. They are saying this yr is suppose to be a repeat of last. We had 88 days in a row of 100+ temps -- some days as high as 115. We didn't see a drop of rain from May - until August 11th. I am planning for the worst. On the plus side, eggplant & okra both do really well in the heat.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 2:47PM
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I grow a lot of Asian varieties, but in a cooler environment than you. My best success, because of this, comes from crops common to Japan rather than more tropical countries with equally popular cuisines, such as Viet Nam or Thailand. I raise a lot of European vegetables as well, but the cultures to which I market are influenced by French and Italian cuisines. I market exclusively to chefs, and I find that culinary magazines and ethnic cookbooks are often a far better source of ideas for what to plant than gardening sources. That said, both Kitazawa and Evergreen, mentioned earlier, have been resources for me. Lemon grass, Thai Basil and ginger may be good things to consider for that market. For European varieties, I like Franchi Sementi, Vilmorin, and B&T World Seeds. Graines Baumaux is another excellent source, but the website is in French. German cuisine uses cabbage, potatoes, onion,radishes, and dill in large quantities, celery root, parsley root, and fennel would be good choices for less common and higher profit crops. My impression, because of your climate, is that you might be best suited to growing your European varieties on either end of the growing cycle, and would likely benefit from employing some season-extending techniques to allow you to market year-round. I applaud your marketing savvy, but the climactic conditions will increase your challenge, because both Germany and Korea are more temperate climates. It may take some effort to find the right mix of market and suitable growing conditions to suit the cuisines you are targeting.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 3:39PM
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Armenian Cucumber takes heat and is popular with Asian cooks (and other styles too).

What I remember from Korean markets when I was there (early June) were the melons ... piles of melons being sold. And the high tunnel growing areas we flew over near Seoul.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 3:34PM
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I did order more seeds from Kitazawa. Some bitter melon, gourds, other peas & beans. I looked at some reviews on Red Noodle & it is suppose to do very well in the heat, plus it looks pretty! I am not even going to look at Evergreen seeds, if I did it would FORCE me to order more things I NEED. I can't order anymore seeds! I just can't! DH asked me how much I had spent so far on seeds, told him I haven't totaled it & I am scared to do so!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 3:11PM
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