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Little Veggie, Big Taste Baby Vegetable Varieties for Your Organic Garden

If you find 20 pound zucchinis and baseball bat-sized carrots overwhelming and unpleasant to deal with, you're not alone. The trend in vegetable gardening is moving towards cute, petite veggies that make perfect single-portions and won't give you a hernia when you harvest them.

Here are a few mini vegetable varieties that you might enjoy trying. These little veggies grow on full-sized plants that would be at home in just about any organic garden.

  1. Golden Baby Belle Pepper--This little yellow pepper is only 1 to 2'' long when it is ready to harvest. According to Burpee Seeds, the peppers grow "in pretty bunches on extremely prolific plants".
     
  2. Minicor carrots--this variety is one of my personal favorites. Only 55 days after seeding, it produces 3 ''-4'' carrots that are slender, tender and ready for harvest. They are very sweet and tend to be very straight and uniform in their growth habit. They are proportioned just like their bigger cousins and are a treat to eat! I've also found that they stay fairly sweet and tender if you don't get around to harvesting them for a while but they won't be "baby carrots" anymore--they'll be 7''-8'' long and all grown-up!
     
  3. Bonus Baby Corn--Aren't those little ears of corn that are used in Chinese food cute? If baby corn makes you oooh and aaaah, you can grow your own by planting "Bonus". The plants will grow tall (up to 5') but will start producing 3 1/2'' baby corn ears when they are only about 18'' tall. These plants can be grown very close together (1'' or so apart) and each plant will produce about 3 mini ears of corn.
     
  4. Twinkle Eggplant-- these eggplants are at their best if you harvest them when they are only 2''-3'' long. Their beautiful purple and white striped skin just adds to their cuteness. If you enjoy pickling eggplant, this might be a good variety to try--it should make very attractive and striking pickles. Otherwise, try them as mini-stuffed eggplants or use them in stews.
     
  5. Red Currant Tomato-- Mercifully, these teeny tiny tomatoes grow in clusters of up to 20 fruits. Otherwise, you'd spend all day picking them! According to some "Red Currant" fans, they'd be worth growing even then: their intensely sweet flavor would be well worth the effort and their small size (about as big as currants or small blueberries) is perfect for snacking.
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Tammy Biondi has been growing organic produce for over 10 years. Besides running Blue Horizon Farm, Tammy teaches about sustainable farming at the Central Carolina Community College. She also is a successful freelance writer, focusing on agricultural topics. Contact her at tammy@bluehorizonfarm.com.