Monday, August 15, 2016

100 Vegetables and Where They Came From, by William Woys Weaver. Algonquin Books, 2000

The title pretty much says it all; the book tells us about 100 vegetables, what they taste like, where they are from, and how they are prepared. What the title doesn’t tell us is that these vegetables are special; they are some of the tastiest plants on the planet. Consider golden corn salad from Italy, whose large leaves make a salad beautiful; or the Petaluma Gold Rush bean, which when used dried keeps a marvelous meaty taste and texture. The Re Umberto tomato is a paste tomato that is incredibly productive and has an unmatched flavor. Some plants are included mainly because they are different and pretty, but most are included because of flavor. Being both gardener and foodie, I found myself looking up seed sources and bookmarking them numerous times while reading.

The prose is chatty and an easy, fast read. Nice line drawings illustrate the veggies. My only problem with the book is that an awful lot of these wonderful plants won’t grow in my short season area!

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This in no way influenced my review. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Stargazer lilies

What with being sick for so long and everything in the garden going faster this year, I've missed taking pictures of most things. That is a shame, because many of the plants have been not just early for extraordinary.

 Take the Stargazer lilies; most years they only have a couple of buds, and about the time they are starting to open, the deer eat them all gone. This year, for some strange reason, the deer have allowed them to bloom! They haven't been eating my roses yet, either, and some of them bloomed like crazy. The grasshoppers, on the other hand, have been fruitful and multiplied this year and are eating the leaves and stems of the vegetable, annuals, and even some perennials. When you walk outside, they are all over your legs, taking off and crashing into you. I see no way to get rid of them, sadly, that doesn't involve chemicals I don't want to use. Next year I'll try and remember this and get some of the organic grasshopper bait early; you have to start early in the season for it to start.