Category: Vegetable Talk

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…

About Asparagus

About Asparagus
23 Jan

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) Asparagus has very few close botanical relatives in its own family, Asparagaceae. The name “asparagus” simply comes from the Latin botanical title, with its roots in Greek and the original Persian, asparag, meaning “shoots.” The asparagus we eat, of course, are actually the young shoots of a large perennial plant, harvested shortly…

Growing Edible Weeds

4 Jan

Most of the vegetables we eat on a regular basis are cultivated adaptations from some older source. A good example is broccoli, which is the very same species of plant as cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, and kohlrabi. All of these were bred over time from a common ancestor. The modern tomato, even in its…

About Arugula

About Arugula
4 Jan

About Arugula Arugula is a low-growing member of the Brassica family that forms rosettes that resemble a cross between lettuce and dandelions. Its leaves have deep, round indentations reminiscent of oak leaves. These, as well as the flowers and seed pods are edible. Arugula grows naturally all around the Mediterranean, and has been collected since…

About Artichokes

About Artichokes
27 Nov

Artichokes are heat-loving plants of the large family, Asteraceae. The genus Cynara includes eight other wild, thistle-like plants, including C. humilis, which was grown as a food crop in North Africa. Some people grow these plants for their splendid purple flower heads and striking foliage. The plants, with their silvery foliage, can grow to 3m…

How to Harvest Quinoa

How to Harvest Quinoa
16 Sep

Every fall people ask us how to harvest quinoa. These tall plants produce masses of seeds, each seed resulting from the pollination of a single flower in their beautiful inflorescences (flower clusters). When the seeds are fully ripe and ready for harvest, they will fall out of the seed head easily. If part of the…

How and When to Harvest Potatoes

How and When to Harvest Potatoes
22 Jul

Whether the goal is to harvest tender, immature “new potatoes,” or to harvest fully mature potatoes for storage and use over the fall and winter, it’s helpful to follow some basic guidelines on how and when to harvest potatoes. Our Certified Organic seed potatoes ship in March. Order now! New Potatoes All potato varieties can…