Category: Vegetable Talk

About Squash

About Squash
6 Jun

Squash (Curcurbita sp.)

Of all the vegetable varieties, squashes are by far the most diverse in shape, size, and overall appearance. The sheer complexity of this vegetable group invites growers on a life-long adventure. There are many hundreds of different named varieties of squash (perhaps more types in cultivation than any other group of vegetable), each with its own fascinating history, but there are countless more yet to be developed, as the plants are so easy to breed and prone to cross-pollination.

About Amaranth

Burgundy Grain Amaranth Seeds MU516-1
4 Jun

About Amaranth: All Amaranths are annuals or short lived perennials with oval, pointed leaves of various colours, which are followed by minute flowers borne on (sometimes drooping), tassel-like spikes that last until the end of summer. These then give way to copious seeds. Originally spelled “amarant,” the derivation is from the Greek amarantos, meaning “unwilting.”…

About Beans

About Beans
30 May

The bean is an annual plant of the family Fabaceae. This is a huge plant family, with over 19,000 species, so there are many interesting facts about beans. Only orchids and asters outnumber the members of this botanical group. Among the bean plant’s many close relatives are peas, runner beans, broad beans, soya beans, peanuts,…

About Peppers

About Peppers
15 May

About Peppers (Capiscum sp.) Peppers appear to have played a role in the diet (and cultures) of the Americas since as early as 7500 BC, and have been in cultivation for at least 6,000 years. Not surprisingly, a rich culture surrounding peppers developed in places like Mexico, where they have been in use for so…

Homegrown Super Foods

Shanghai Express (Goji)
14 May

All homegrown vegetables are nutritious. The fact that you can eat them fresh, just after they have been harvested, means that they will be at the peak of both flavour and nutrient value. But among the many food plants you can grow at home are a handful of homegrown super foods, plants that contain significantly…

About Parsnips

About Parsnips | How to Grow Parsnips
26 Mar

Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) As a member of the family Apiaciae, the parsnip counts among its close cousins the carrot, parsley, dill, fennel, cilantro, and celery. All of these bear tall umbels of flowers, but like the carrot, parsnip is biennial, and will not bloom or set seed until its second year of growth. Also like…

About Leeks

Varna Organic Leek Seeds closeup LK443
19 Mar

Leeks (Allium ampeloprasum, var. porrum, syn. A. porrum) This member of the Allium family is thought to have been in cultivation since the 2nd century BC, from ancient Egypt to Mesopotamia. The Romans believed that eating leeks imparted a sonorous voice — to the point that the emperor Nero had leek soup served to him…

About Cress and Watercress

About Cress
16 Mar

Cress (Lepidium sativum) & Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) Cress (sometimes called garden cress, garden pepper cress, pepperwort, or pepper grass) is a leafy annual herb from the Brassica family. It is harvested when immature, around one to two weeks after germination, but will grow to a height of around 60cm (24”) if left undisturbed, and then…

About Cauliflower

Multi-Colour Blend
5 Mar

About Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea Botrytis group) Modern cauliflower has been grown since the 15th century, and it was grown almost exclusively in Italy until the 16th century when it gradually migrated to France and then to American gardens 100 years later. The Italians grew a variety of different kinds, including the traditional white and Romanesco,…

About Tomatoes

About Tomatoes
1 Mar

There are some very interesting facts about tomatoes. No one can say for certain, but the ancestor of all modern tomato varieties appears to have been a scrambling vine that was native to the highlands of Peru. Archaeological evidence suggests that these wild plants were harvested for their small green berries. The first domestication of…

About Celery & Celeriac

About Celery
26 Feb

Celery (Apium graveolens var. dulce) & Celeriac (A. graveolens var. rapaceum) The Latin names for the different types of celery are revealing. In both cases, graveolens means “strong smelling” or “heavily scented.” Dulce implies sweetness, while rapaceum means “turnip-like.” Few vegetables boast such accurately descriptive names. Celery leaves and flowers were among the plants discovered…