The Roundup -

County Agent Update


New Romaine Lettuce is a Winner!

Romaine lettuce has become one of the most popular vegetables in our North Dakota Home Garden Variety Trials. It’s more popular than our leaf lettuce, butterhead lettuce and iceberg lettuce trials— combined. Gardeners in these trials have discovered romaine lettuce is easy to grow and delicious.

This summer, 33 families compared the new romaine variety ‘Fusion’ with ‘Green Forest’, a standout performer in ND for years.

‘Fusion’ is a cross between leaf and romaine lettuce. Gardeners discovered it had the best qualities of both: the wavy leaves of leaf lettuce and the crisp texture of romaine.

‘Fusion’ tolerated the summer heat and resisted going to seed. Some gardeners harvested all summer. They enjoyed its mild flavor and its ability to regrow after each harvest. They commented:

“I liked its glossy green color and ruffled edges. Milder and superior taste.”

- Rolette County gardener

“Full, sturdy plants. Delicious, mild flavor. Heads were quite large and did not go to seed until late. I was still picking in August and sharing with neighbors.”

- Mountrail County gardener

Twenty-five of the 33 (76%) gardeners preferred ‘Fusion’ over ‘Green Forest’ and 31 (94%) gardeners recommended ‘Fusion’ for North Dakota. That’s a winner! Look for ‘Fusion’ in your 2017 catalogs.

Would you like to join our research team? Everyone is welcome! Go to homegardenvarietytrials/.

Edamame for North Dakota

Do you want a healthy snack? Try edamame. What’s edamame?

Edamame are soybeans harvested when young, before the seeds inside the pods harden. The pods are boiled or steamed before served.

When living in Taiwan, I learned edamame is a snack as popular as potato chips or peanuts in the USA. A bowl of edamame would always appear whenever a group of people gathered together. We would shell the pods and pop the sweet seeds into our mouths. Edamame was especially popular with beer.

The key to great edamame is to eat it when it is fresh. Farmers in Taiwan would harvest the crop in the middle of the night (when the sugar content was highest) and then freeze it immediately to export to Japan.

Fresh edamame is a delight, but the Asian varieties struggle to ripen before frost in North Dakota. The variety ‘Envy’ matures early and has performed best in research trials, but its yields are low and its flavor is only satisfactory.

Both of the above topics are from the North Dakota State University Extension Service Yard and Garden Report.This year we compared ‘Envy’ with ‘Tohya’. The performance of ‘Tohya’ was remarkable. It was earlier and more productive. The pods were bigger and the seeds were more delicious. I invite you to try ‘Tohya’ next year. You can prepare it like lima beans for dinner, or eat it as a snack any time!


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