Spotlight on Spring Varieties

Look for these specialty items at local farmers markets and grocery stores this spring.
By Tabitha Alterman
February/March 2011
Add to My MSN

Meyer lemons are sweeter, juicier, more tender and less acidic than regular lemons, and they’re exquisite in lemonades and marmalades.

Content Tools

Related Content

The Best Garden Seed for Spring 1997

Mort Mather shares his favorite picks for best garden seed for spring 1997, includes seed variety ...

Preparing for Spring: New Seed Varieties and a New Herbs Book

Through the winter of 1981, gardeners had new seed varieties and a new herbs book to comtemplate as ...

How to Grow Peas in Hot Weather

Learn how to grow healthy peas in hot weather by giving them lots of water. Originally published as ...

Best Vegetable Varieties of 1983

Despite bad weather, the MOTHER EARTH NEWS vegetable-seed evaluator found a number of great newcomer...

Black Radishes: Less juicy than red radishes but with more bite; excellent raw but also stand up to baking.

Cheddar Cauliflower: Just as delicious as its paler relative, but with 25 times more beta carotene.

Meyer Lemons: Sweeter, juicier, more tender and less acidic than regular lemons; exquisite in lemonades and marmalades.

Orange Thyme: You could get addicted to the citrusy-sweet fragrance of this herb staple.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli: Iron-rich and vitamin-packed; strong, spring-greens-flavored shoots.

Seckel Pears: Adorably snack-sized and exceptionally sweet; often called “sugar pears.”

Treviso Radicchio: Deep maroon heads with crisp white ribs; less bitter and more flavorful than many other radicchio varieties.

Spring Food Foraging: Wild and Ephemeral Edibles

Go foraging for these tasty treasures. 

  • Brussels sprout tops
  • cactus pears
  • cattails
  • dandelion greens
  • fiddlehead ferns
  • lamb’s-quarters
  • miner’s lettuce
  • morel mushrooms
  • nettles
  • pokeweed
  • purslane
  • ramps

Looking for Local Food and Farmers?

Check out How to Find Local Food and Farmers for a list of resources.

We Want Your Input

What are your favorite wild edible plants and heirloom or otherwise interesting varieties of food? Send your suggestions to with the subject line “Best Varieties.”

Post a comment below.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.