25 Plants in our Garden Beds

A young gardener with a large zucchini harvested from the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park Garden and Compost Site in the Bronx, NY.Each year our Spring Garden Interns spend time planning what will grow in our garden for the season and develop a planting chart. Below are 25 plants Brendan, Vanessa, Blessing and Alexia decided to plant during our 25th Anniversary Year and some of the reasons they made their decisions!  All of the produce we grow is either used in cooking demonstrations at our Youth Run Farm Stand at Amalgamated Houses or is donated to Marble Hill Senior Center.

  • Black and yellow cherry tomatoes– We picked this for its unusual color, we want people to see something that’s not the normal tomato.
  • Red and Green Okra- They are a good source of vitamins and iron. The plant grows tall with fruits at each leaf.
  • Eggplants- The leaves are really fluffy and children who visit the garden love to touch them. They feel like a “teddy bear” or their “favorite blanket”. This year we have the fancy black type and smaller table eggplants
  • Carrots- People used to grow carrots for medicinal reasons. They come in red, yellow, and purple varieties in addition to the orange kind you often see.
  • Cantaloupe- One of our favorite type of melons so we decided to grow it.
  • Pumpkin- People use them for jack-o-lanterns but we planted the smaller variety.
  • Sunchokes- Also called Jerusalem Artichokes are a good of potassium.
  • Cherries- This tree sits by our picnic table. They belong to the rose family along with almonds, peaches and plums. We hope the birds don’t eat them all this year.
  • Hot peppers- Serrano peppers to be exact along with a few other varieties. There are over 1000 varieties of peppers. Ours will become Bronx Hot Sauce this year.
  • Lettuce- Did you know this is the second most popular vegetable in the S.?
  • Asparagus- This perennial will hopefully be around for many years in our garden. An early spring plant it has already started to grow this year.
  • Mint- Used for tea and candy it has a good scent and visitors like to try it when they come to our garden.
  • Strawberries- They are sweet and delicate.
  • Broccoli- Can be used in many dishes and is always good covered in cheese. School children love this one because it is easily recognizable.
  • Garlic- Can be used for seasoning and it keeps the vampires away! Because garlic is a bulb last years interns planted it in the fall and we will harvest it this summer when they mature.
  • Cabbage- Good with rice.
  • Green zucchini- You can bake it into zucchini bread like we did- it was delicious.
  • Cucumbers- really good in salads or to flavor water and have a lot of vitamins.
  • Chives- used in many dishes to flavor food. Our chives were started 5 years ago and grow back every year.
  • Basil- Grows really well with tomatoes.
  • Kale- Can be added to smoothies and salads. The variety we choose are tall with curly green leaves but there are flat leaf and even purple varieties.
  • Onions- both red and yellow are planted this year.
  • Purple and red potatoes- Yes we have purple potatoes but beware the plants contain a chemical that makes it toxic so only eat the tuber.
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard- Tall green leaves with colorful red, purple, yellow or white stems and has a taste similar to spinach.
  • Blueberry Bushes- This perennial will be another plant we leave behind in the garden for many years. 
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