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Choosing Vegetable and Fruit Varieties
As you page through any seed catalog, you'll discover that each vegetable and fruit is usually available in a number of varieties. Some may be particularly good for freezing; others maintain their quality best when canned. Certain varieties dry better than others, and some hold their flavor and texture well in underground storage. If you're planning to preserve a good part of your harvest, you'd do well to decide how you will be storing your garden surplus before you order your seeds, and then choose those fruit and vegetable varieties accordingly.
We've made that process a little easier for you here, by listing in the charts that follow those vegetables and fruits that are generally recognized as being best for freezing; canning; drying; pickling; juicing; turning into a sauce; making jam, jelly, and preserves; and keeping in some kind of cold storage, be it in a root cellar, basement, or outdoor storage area (noted here as "good keeper").
After each variety you'll find the name of seed companies that sell that variety. If your favorite seed company is not listed, forgive us. It does not necessarily mean that the company doesn't carry the variety in question; it merely means that we have only noted the larger and more popular seed companies that we are most familiar with. We know that some small companies sell some of the same varieties, and we also know that they may offer other varieties just as good for particular storage methods.
This is the third edition of Stocking Up,
and the third time that we have extensively revised these charts. Each time we went back to the seed catalogs we were amazed at how much had changed since the last time, which only goes to show that the seed business is far from a static one. New varieties and hybrids are being developed all the time, so keep a lookout for varieties too new to make this present chart.
Copyright © 1986 by Rodale Press, Inc.