Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Extr-Value Veggies New Burpee Line Boosts Nutrients

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Extr-Value Veggies New Burpee Line Boosts Nutrients

Article excerpt

One of the many advantages of gardening is picking fresh, healthy produce. Vegetables harvested from your own garden plot will always be better for you than anything from the grocery store.

Now W. Atlee Burpee Co. has upped the ante by introducing a line a vegetables bred to have even higher amounts of nutrients than standard varieties. Burpee Boost is a collection of six vegetables.

"We knew there was a need out there for higher nutrition vegetables," said Chelsey Fields, Burpee's vegetable product manager.

Using conventional breeding techniques, her team created heathier vegetables that also taste good. The results are standard hybrid varieties, not genetically modified organisms. Ms. Fields trialed all six varieties in the field and with the help of many Burpee employees selected the winners.

'Cherry Punch' has 30 percent more vitamin C and 40 percent more lycopene than the average tomato. It stays compact with a trailing habit. The cherry tomatoes are early, too, ready 48 days after planting. A half cup delivers 90 percent of the recommended daily vitamin C dose.

"It's great for containers, indeterminate and fruits prolifically," says Ms. Fields. "It's not difficult to get kids to have their nutrition when it's the vegetables they already like to eat, like cherry tomatoes."

'Power Pop' tomato puts on smaller tomatoes than 'Cherry Punch' but is three days earlier and also works for containers such as hanging baskets. The tomato offers 55 percent more lycopene and 40 percent more carotenoids than standard tomatoes.

'Solar Power' has the largest plant habit of the three. It's best planted in the garden or very large containers. Of the three varieties, this golden orange tomato produces the biggest fruits, weighing 4 ounces. It has a creamy texture and provides three times the beta carotene of standard tomatoes.

"Color is usually pretty indicative of nutritional value," says Ms. Fields, and the new cucumber 'Gold Standard' bears that out. This variety can grow in a wide range of conditions and does well whether grown in California or Pennsylvania. It's also prolific, setting lots of fruit on 6-foot vines. …

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