Tropical tomatoes in Sask.: Gardener and dietitian experiments with crops and recipes

There were parts of produce Michelle Way didn't even know could be consumed. 

But when some radishes were left in her garden too long and she decided to look for a way to make use of them rather than waste them, she discovered the pods could be consumed. 

That started Way, who is a dietician and operates Martha's Garden in Southey, Sask., on a search for other types of produce and crops.

That's lead to discoveries for her like that fact that the leaves, stem and petals of the sunflower can also be worked into recipes. 

"You can pretty much eat the whole plant," she said. 

Way describes her interest in gardening as an accident.

She says she loved helping her grandmothers out with their gardens when she was a child, but admits she only started putting extra time into her own gardening recently. 

"I think the dietician side of me probably influences the garden more than the other way around." 

While she was on maternity leave, she decided to work on an orchard. Then, while waiting for the orchard to mature, Way began planting vegetables and discovered the world of specialized seeds and produce uncommon to Saskatchewan. 

She's planted tropical tomatoes and sunchokes — also called Jerusalem artichokes — in her garden. 

"The most exciting part, for me, is trying different stuff and finding out if we can grow it here in Saskatchewan," she said.

In some cases, it has been trial and error. 

"Something I hadn't thought about was some of the plants require short days," Way said.

But by the time the days get shorter in the province, it's getting too cold and there's frost forming, she added.

Way said she is always looking for something nutritious to try out. She'll get a chance at Saturday's Regina seed exchange, aptly titled Seedy Saturday.

Seed vendors and gardeners will be at St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral in Regina for a seed exchange from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. CST Saturday.