We asked Allan Jenkins, semi-biodynamic gardener and editor of Observer Food Monthly in the UK about his all-time favorites in the vegetable garden. The seeds which he would always sow—and the potatoes he would always chit—are as follows:
Photographs by Howard Sooley.
Above: Tagetes Ild kong. "An old lost variety from the Agricultural Museum in Denmark," says Allan. "We were given some of this early on and it is totemic for us; the most stunning deep red velvet. The best tagetes ever."
Above: Danish tagetes Ild kong, which translates as "Fire King."
Above: "Painted Mountain Corn because there is nothing you can grow that is as beautiful," says Allan Jenkins. "And you don't know what color it will be until you peel it." A packet of Painted Mountain Corn seeds is $3.35 from Territorial Seeds.
Above: Mr Little's Yetholm Gypsy Potatoes (£7.44 per bag from Heritage Potatoes). "A gorgeous red, blue and white heritage potato with extraordinary flavor; unmatched I think."
Above: "Calendula—whether Flashback from Frank Morton in Oregon or pot marigold from Jekka's Herb Farm—for the joy its rich color gives and for companion planting." Flashback (with longer petals) $3 per packet from Wild Garden Seed; Pot Marigold, calendula officinalis, from £1.90 at Jekkas Herb Farm.
Above: Calendula Flashback, rabbit's eye view.
Above: Painted Mountain Corn. For more information on obtaining seed, go to Seed We Need, based in North Dakota.
Above: Bullsblood Beet (the dark leaves on Nancy Sooley's head). "Because color and flavor are everything," says Allan, "and this is the best color; its crimson leaves setting off the fresh greens elsewhere." Widely available; $4.95 per packet from Burpee.
For more about Allan Jenkins' and Howard Sooley's vegetable plot, see Bounty from a North London Allotment.