What’s in my garden.

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 6b (but more accurately in a zone 5ish microclimate)

Sunset Climate Zone 1A

I live in the Central Oregon high desert, where the frost-free growing season miiiiight extend to 50 days, if I’m lucky! (Usually it’s more like 30 to 40 days.)

Most of my plants are started from seed. (I usually save my own seeds or buy from my favorite seed catalogs each year.) I gravitate toward growing unusual plants, sometimes at the expense of flavor—but I can’t resist “ugly” vegetables and odd-looking things with warts, scars, and cracks, what I see as interesting features but others may view as flaws.

I like growing vegetables that come in unconventional colors, especially purple (unless it’s eggplant—purple eggplant is boring 😁 and mine are always white, green, or striped). I love seeking out rare varieties and plants you’ve probably never heard of—and neither did I, until I started growing them.

I follow a few permaculture principles and teach lazy gardening techniques, so I grow lots of low-maintenance edible perennials and strive for a closed-loop, regenerative garden on our 1 1/2 acres of land.

Some of the herbs and fruits below are not hardy to my climate, and that’s because they moved with me from Southern California and are now living happily inside our house or in the greenhouse.

Favorite plant: Purple tomatoes. I’ve grown dozens of varieties, but my all-time favorite (and the first one I ever grew) is Cherokee Purple.

Weirdest plant I’ve grown: Oyster leaf. The leaves of this perennial green tastes like fresh oysters and earthy seawater. (It’s better than it sounds.)

Check back here every season as I continually update this list! (All links go to my growing guides.)

Annual vegetables

  • Amaranth (Edible Red Leaf)
  • Arugula
  • Arugula (Wasabi)
  • Bean, Bush (Beurre de Rocquencourt)
  • Bean, Bush (Red Swan Bush)
  • Beet (Ruby Queen)
  • Bok choy (Milk)
  • Bok choy (Purple Lady)
  • Cabbage (Napa)
  • Carrot (Kyoto)
  • Carrot (Rainbow)
  • Chard (Five Color Silverbeet)
  • Cucumber (Spacemaster Bush)
  • Cucumber (Spring Burpless)
  • Garlic (Music)
  • Kale (Russian Red)
  • Kale (Scarlet)
  • Kale (Thousand Head)
  • Kale (Tronchuda)
  • Kohlrabi (Early Purple Vienna)
  • Komatsuna (Old Tokyo)
  • Lettuce (Cosmic Crimson Mix)
  • Mizuna (Beni Houshi)
  • Mizuna (Early)
  • Onion (Red Welsh)
  • Pea (Sugar Snap)
  • Pepper (Golden California Wonder)
  • Radish (Hailstone)
  • Radish (Pink Beauty)
  • Radish (Purple Plum)
  • Soybean (Disoy)
  • Spinach (Bloomsdale)
  • Spinach (Winter Giant)
  • Summer squash (Early White Bush Scallop)
  • Summer squash (Yellow Crookneck)
  • Tomato (Big Beef)
  • Tomato (Black Krim)
  • Tomato (Early Girl)
  • Tomato (Red Grape)
  • Tomato (Valencia)
  • Tomato (Yellow Pear)
  • Turnip (Golden Ball)
  • Turnip (Nagasaki Akari Kabu)
  • Zucchini
  • Zucchini (Cocozelle)

Perennial vegetables

Edible flowers

  • Borage
  • Calendula (Playtime Mix)
  • Daylily
  • Dianthus (Clove Pink)
  • Dianthus (Sweet Pink)
  • Echinacea
  • Nasturtium (Tom Thumb Mix)


  • Apple (multi-grafted Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp, McIntosh)
  • Apple (Honeycrisp)
  • Apple (McIntosh)
  • Apple (Pink Pearl)
  • Apple (Queen Cox)
  • Asian pear (multi-grafted 20th Century/Nijisseiki, Chojuro, Hosui, Shinseiki)
  • Asian pear (20th Century/Nijisseiki)
  • Asian pear (Shinseiki)
  • Avocado (Fantastic)
  • Avocado (Poncho)
  • Banana (Apple)
  • Blueberry
  • Cherry (Lapins)
  • Cherry (Rainier)
  • Gooseberry (Hinnomaki Yellow)
  • Gooseberry (Jahn’s Prairie)
  • Hardy kiwi (Andrey male)
  • Hardy kiwi (Hardy Red)
  • Hardy kiwi (Michigan State)
  • Honeyberry (Blue Forest)
  • Honeyberry (Blue Sea)
  • Honeyberry (Honeybee)
  • Honeyberry (Tana)
  • Lime (Bearss)
  • Lime (Kaffir)
  • Marionberry
  • Nectarine (Harko)
  • Orange (Moro Blood)
  • Peach (Contender)
  • Peach (Polly)
  • Peach (Vivid)
  • Pear (multi-grafted Bartlett, Comice, Red Barlett)
  • Pear (Summercrisp)
  • Plum (Burgundy)
  • Pluot (Dapple Dandy)
  • Pluot (Splash)
  • Raspberry (Killarney)
  • Raspberry (Nova)
  • Raspberry (Jewel)
  • Shipova (Dwarf Baby)
  • Strawberry, Everbearing (Albion)
  • Strawberry, Everbearing (Fort Laramie)
  • Strawberry, Everbearing (Quinalt)
  • Strawberry, Everbearing (San Andrea)
  • Strawberry, Everbearing (Seascape)
  • Strawberry, Everbearing (Snowy Sweet)
  • Strawberry, Everbearing (Tristar)
  • Strawberry, Junebearing (Allstar)
  • Strawberry, Junebearing (Earliglow)
  • Strawberry, Junebearing (Galleta)
  • Strawberry, Junebearing (Honeoye)
  • Strawberry, Junebearing (Jewel)
  • Strawberry, Junebearing (Keepsake)