The vegetable garden that we dreamt of in January came to life this summer. With excitement, we harvested some of our carrots yesterday.

Oh, look. Here’s one of Lenny‘s 287 sunflower seed stashes; found all over Morning Bray Farm. Thank you, Lenny.

Aren’t the cosmic purple carrots gorgeous?

Poor Patrick and Nigel. I just set the basket down for a moment. I didn’t mean to torture you.

From left to right: Cosmic purple, White Belgian (Blanche A Collet Vert), and Berlicum 2.

Samples, anyone? (Don’t miss Ellsworth’s and Nigel’s cute mouths; they’re drooling with anticipation.)

Patrick: Dad, I don’t care which flavor. Honest.

Patrick: Mmm. Good. Carrots are your pal.

Bernard: Ellsworth, do you need help with that? Here, let me help you. That’s what best friends are for… 

Our houseplants so graciously carry us throughout the winter.

They’re like good friends who keep us company. 

For the first time this year, we’re also making ourselves happy by planning a vegetable garden, which we’ll be planting in raised beds this spring.

Come along as we share a sampling of the seeds we chose, along with the description given over at I can’t wait to start planting!

Albino Bullnose Pepper

Beautiful, blocky 3-4” peppers are a lovely cream color. They have a nice mild, sweet flavor and ripen to a beautiful redish-orange. It produces loads of fruit from early summer until frost on very compact, dwarf plants. It is very popular here at Baker Creek and much used in our restaurant. This is one of the first varieties I read about when I first became interested in heirloom seeds.

Atomic Red Carrot

Brilliant red carrots are so healthy and unique-looking, sure to add color to your garden. The 8-inch roots are high in lycopene, which has been shown in studies to help prevent several types of cancer. Crisp roots are at their best when cooked, and this helps to make the lycopene more useable.

Berlicum 2 Carrot

Beautiful 8″, good-sized roots are extra-smooth, long and blunt-ended. A deep orange color with a fine carrot flavor makes this variety popular in the markets of Europe. Slender roots tend to stay tender and not get woody.

Chioggia Beet

Pre-1840 Italian heirloom beet, this variety arrived in the USA prior to 1865. They have light red skin and beautiful rings inside, like red and white candy stripes. The flesh is very tender, mild and sweet. Named after a fishing town in Italy, a favorite here.

Cosmic Purple Carrot

This one is causing excitement at farmers’ markets. Carrots have bright-purple skin with flesh that comes in shades of yellow and orange.

Detroit Dark Red Beet

The most popular, old standard, all-purpose, red beet, uniform and smooth, blood-red flesh that is sweet and tasty. 14-inch tops make good greens. Heirloom variety introduced in 1892.

Emerald Evergreen Tomato

Medium-large fruit that stay “evergreen”. This heirloom variety was introduced by Glecklers Seedsmen around 1950. The large plants set heavy yields of these beauties having lovely lime-green color. The flavor is rich and superbly sweet. It’s one of the best.

Golden Beet

This variety dates back to the 1820’s or before. The beets are a rich, golden-yellow and very sweet. A beautiful beet that won’t bleed like red beets. The greens are also very tasty. A favorite of many.

Golden Jublilee Tomato

A very popular orange variety; fine, sweet, mild flavor; good size and yield. An old standard.

Marketmore 76 Cucumber

Dark green 8-9 inch fruit; great slicer! Good yields! Excellent flavor.

Paul Robeson Tomato

This famous tomato has almost a cult following among seed collectors and tomato connoisseurs. They simply cannot get enough of this variety’s amazing flavor that is so distinctive, sweet and smokey. 7-10 oz. fruit are a black-brick color. Named in honor of the famous opera singer star of ‘King Solomon’s Mines’, 1937. Paul Robeson was also a Russian and Equal Rights Advocate for Blacks. This Russian heirloom was lovingly named in his honor.

Purple Beauty Pepper

Purple peppers are always a favorite, as they are so colorful. This variety produces loads of beautiful bells on compact, bushy plants. Crisp texture and mild, sweet flavor makes this one popular with everyone. I even believe Peter Piper picked a peck of these purple peppers and I don’t blame him.

Quadrato D’asti Rosso Pepper

Very thick, brilliant red flesh, the fruit are huge with delicious rich-sweet taste. Excellent for frying, salads or stuffing, one of the largest red bells, beautiful and blocky, The perfect pepper for home and market growers, produces large yields. Very popular with many fine markets in Italy. Superb!

Weissbehaarte Tomato

We are proud to introduce this rare, old German heirloom that produces lovely, little 2 oz. cream to pale yellow jewels that are very juicy and sweet. Large vines set high yields, and tender fruit are globe shaped; skin is shiny and silky smooth.

Last, but certainly not least… for the boys:

White Belgian (Blanche A Collet Vert) Carrot

A big, heavy carrot that was once common on many of Europe’s small farms, but has now become quite scarce. The long roots are white with green shoulders, and can be used in the kitchen or, as used in the 1800’s, as an animal feed. Vilmorin said in 1885, “This is a field carrot par excellence. There is hardly any farm on which it is not grown to some extent for feeding cattle, and especially horses.” They also said it was developed from the Long White carrot, which was almost gone from France at that time. Not frost-hardy, but a great old carrot that is perfect for farmers wanting to grow their own feed.