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The Country Enterprise Handbook
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Growing vegetables
...Timing your veg
...In heavy Soil
...In light Soil
...With Organic Manure
...Your enemies & friends
...After germination
...Presenting the product
>..Specialist veg
...Sprouts to Endive
...Eggplant to Salsify
...Sea Kale etc

There are a few seedsmen who now specialise in selling exotic varieties of vegetable seeds.

In a suburban area, the market for exotic vegetables like yellow tomatoes and red beans can often be tapped through a high-class greengrocer's or health shop. There are often even outlets in supermarkets in towns. The essentials for exotic vegetables are professional packaging and standard production. It is much more complicated to produce a succession of exotic vegetables through the season than to grow the traditional crops. However, if that kind of challenge appeals to you, it is certainly most worthwhile and often a lot of fun.

Children, and adults who have never come across tiny cherry tomatoes, are hooked for life. How about growing spaghetti plants? Even a few regular customers, becoming converted to the fascination of eating hitherto unseen varieties, leads to continuing sales. Even vegetables that were once popular, such as sea-kale, are unknown by many today. Often all a vegetable like this needs to increase its local popularity is a recipe leaflet. If you consider how we all happily consume avocado pears, kiwi fruits and other exotic fruits it is clear how powerful effective marketing is.

Some less usual vegetables to consider are Jerusalem artichokes. Grow the smooth-skinned variety; their long stalks make excellent game cover. Globe artichokes are delicious but never as prolific here as on the Continent. Asparagus peas are tiny tender little things and very popular in a speciality market. Try unusual coloured beans and even home-grown haricot beans. Haricot beans do not provide a heavy crop but they are finer in flavour than the mass-produced ones. If you follow a really good, complicated recipe for baking them, guess what? They taste just like canned ones! Not nearly as many red beetroot are sold fresh as cooked but there are a lot of good recipes for borsch about and if you introduce them to your customers, you can sell the fresh roots.