Category: Vegetable Talk

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…

About Cabbage

About Cabbage
4 Jun

Known since ancient Greece and Rome, the modern cabbage is a descendant of wild mustard. The Roman statesman Cato the Elder wrote of its medicinal properties, “It is the cabbage which surpasses all other vegetables.” The seventeenth century English physician and botanist Nicholas Culpeper recommended using cabbage to treat hoarseness, snake bites, kidney stones, liver…

About Onions

About Onions
20 Mar

Learn about onions (Allium cepa) & shallots (A. cepa aggreatum) Onions represent perhaps the most ancient of cultivated vegetables, dating back to the Bronze Age, as early as 5000 BC. Or, at least the archaeological evidence suggests that onions were eaten as food at that time. Cultivation may not have occurred until 3000 BC, in…

About Cucumbers

About Cucumbers
7 Jan

Cucumbers originated in India where they have been in cultivation for at least 3,000 years. The English word “cucumber” is a derivation of the Indian word kachumbar, which is still used today to describe an Indian salad made from cucumber, tomato, onion, and yoghurt. Cucumbers are mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh and twice in…

About Squash

About Squash
15 Sep

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 Melons

About Melons
15 Sep

About Melons: Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) & Muskmelon (Cucumis melo) One of the basic facts about melons is that they can be challenging to grow well here in south coastal BC. But with a bit of added heat they can be very productive. Melons picked fresh from the vine are unbelievably sweet and, like so many…