Even though I prefer fall and winter weather, I must say I get excited about planting my garden in the early spring and summer. The ground is still pretty cold here in the Chicago area, but the minute I can start planting, lettuces, peas, and some others will be the first ones in. I get excited when my chives and mint pop up, because then I know planting can soon begin. My garden is not large, but I squeeze a lot into it, plus we have wonderful Farmer’s Markets in our area, so whatever I can’t grow myself, I know I will find it at the market.
Many of our familiar vegetables were cultivated in historic times. The ancient Egyptians grew onions, garlic, radishes, lettuces, and broad beans. The Greeks and Romans farmed produce which was native to their own countries and discovered a wider range of plants thanks to their contact with other cultures. By the Middle Ages, a wealth of vegetables was available and recipes for them were recorded in the first cookery books.
We have such a marvelous range of local and imported vegetables in our country. This book provides an identification guide to the vegetables of the world, together with essential information on varieties, including what to look for when buying and how to prepare and store them. There are beautiful illustrations of over 180 types and varieties of vegetables, along with the history of each, and nutritional information.
One of my favorite seed catalogs is from Nichols Garden Nursery in Albany, Oregon. They have been around for over 60 years and cater to the home gardener. You will find endless varieties of vegetable and flower seeds, along with plants, cookbooks, garden accessories, herbal personal care products, spices, fragrant oils, cheese making kits and books, home brewing and wine making needs, and teas. Go to their website, http://www.nicholsgardennursery.com/ to read more and order a catalog. Happy Gardening!
I have to say happy birthday today to my little brother, Ken, who is youngest of the my three brothers. Ken and his wife Amy live right up the road from where my favorite Point Reyes blue cheese is made. Happy Birthday, Ken – and you will always be my little brother Kenny, no matter how old we are!