I'm trying a few new varieties this year and am ready to report on a couple. The first is an heirloom zucchini called Ron de Nice (yes, it's from France.) Here are a couple specimens:

I don't notice any difference in flavor when cooked. But it is extraordinarily tender, the skin was like slicing through butter. The small one (with almost no seeds inside) is a little smaller than my fist, the larger one is a little bigger than a softball. Very pretty and unusual shape.

I'm growing purple beans ("Romano Purpiat")--a bush variety that produces 4-5" long, wide flat beans. The plants are pretty with their purple flowers and the pods are a deep purple, VERY pretty and VERY prolific. They turn a jade green when cooked and a deep, almost black green when I put them in brine/lactic acid. Here is a picture that shows them (along with yellow and green beans) both before canning and after canning so you can see the color differences:

I tried Umpqua broccoli because it was an heirloom and "for its beautiful uniform heads and ability to produce over a long harvest window. Generous side shoot production." So far I'm not that impressed. We've had as ideal a growing season as a broccoli could ask for--very cool weather, esp at night. But the heads are not near as big as Waltham (my favorite) nor as compact and there are lots of stems instead of one big stalk. I prefer a big, thick stock because that can be used, it's not so stringy or woody.

My Wonderberry trial is going well. They look like weeds (I'll post a picture later) but are producing a LOT of sweet berries. They have an unusual flavor, almost like a buffaloberry. I think they will make a nice jam.