The Beginner's Guide to Growing Heirloom Vegetables: The 100 Easiest-to-Grow, Tastiest-to-Eat Vegetables for Your Garden

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Overview

Are heirloom vegetables more difficult to grow than conventional hybrids? The Beginner's Guide to Growing Heirloom Vegetables debunks this myth by highlighting the 100 heirloom vegetables that are the easiest to grow and the tastiest to eat.

Marie Iannotti makes it simple for beginning gardeners to jump on the heirloom trend by presenting an edited list based on years of gardening trial and error. Her plant criteria is threefold: The 100 plants must be amazing to eat, bring ...

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The Beginner's Guide to Growing Heirloom Vegetables: The 100 Easiest-to-Grow, Tastiest-to-Eat Vegetables for Your Garden

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Overview

Are heirloom vegetables more difficult to grow than conventional hybrids? The Beginner's Guide to Growing Heirloom Vegetables debunks this myth by highlighting the 100 heirloom vegetables that are the easiest to grow and the tastiest to eat.

Marie Iannotti makes it simple for beginning gardeners to jump on the heirloom trend by presenting an edited list based on years of gardening trial and error. Her plant criteria is threefold: The 100 plants must be amazing to eat, bring something unique to the table, and — most importantly — they have to be unfussy and easy to grow. Her list includes garden favorites like the meaty and mellow 'Lacinato' Kale, the underused and earthy 'Turkish Orange' Eggplant, and the unexpected sweetness of 'Apollo' Arugula.

Plant profiles include color photographs, flavor notes, and growing tips — everything beginning gardeners need to successfully grow a variety of heirloom vegetables.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Heirloom veggies—the ones grandma and grandpa used to grow—are all the rage, and master gardener and garden writer Iannotti will hold the garden-gloved hands of those who are new to the old reliables. She selects a cornucopia of veggies from artichokes to zucchini, with emphasis on easy-to-grow. She also highlights standouts that exhibit 10 particular vegetable virtues, like beautiful (the stunning violet cauliflower Di Sicilia Violetto); classic (the timeless spinach Bloomsdale Long Standing); and unusual (rat’s tail radish deserves its name). In addition to profiling 100 heirlooms, Iannotti also appends a variety of helpful materials, including resource and reading lists, a glossary, and a basic guide to seed saving. This is a friendly introduction to the vast world of heirlooms, which are good for the palate and great for the planet. Adding seductive evidence to the case are 116 lovely color photos of vegetables at their peak, great veggie porn. (Feb.)
Booklist
"To qualify as an heirloom, nationally recognized gardening writer Iannotti explains, a vegetable plant must be more than 50 years old, “storied or historic,” and open pollinated (no hybrids). Heirlooms are invaluable for their “genetic uniqueness” and because they “have developed natural resistance to pests and diseases.” Heirloom vegetables have been zealously reclaimed of late as gardeners seek to cultivate high-quality produce and recognize just how crucial it is to maintain biological diversity in the edible plant world. So what criteria did Iannotti use to select her 100 favorite heirloom vegetables out of today’s great inventory? Taste. But as her 10 selection categories (aromatic, beautiful, classic, colorful, long season, prolific, spicy, sweet, unusual, and versatile) reveal, there is much more to consider. Each lively vegetable profile includes an analysis of its flavor, notes and tips on growing and harvesting, and pleasingly informative and artistic color photographs. Iannotti also offers “Seed-Saving Basics” to encourage gardeners to safeguard heirloom legacies. Iannotti’s enthusiastic, handsome, and useful guide is, indeed, ideal for beginners, but it will also appeal to experienced gardeners and every cook interested in securing the most luscious and alluring vegetables."
Chicago Tribune
"Not surprisingly, this is a great book for anybody who grows any sort of vegetable. Iannotti waxes poetic about these plants — and the gorgeous photos throughout the book back her up."
Natural Home and Garden
"Not surprisingly, this is a great book for anybody who grows any sort of vegetable. Iannotti waxes poetic about these plants — and the gorgeous photos throughout the book back her up."
It's Easy Being Green
"Iannotti goes into incredible detail so you can savor a delectable array of old-world vegetables when it comes time to harvest."
Curbly.com
"Heirloom veggies—the ones grandma and grandpa used to grow—are all the rage, and master gardener and garden writer Iannotti will hold the garden-gloved hands of those who are new to the old reliables. She selects a cornucopia of veggies from artichokes to zucchini, with emphasis on easy-to-grow. She also highlights standouts that exhibit 10 particular vegetable virtues, like beautiful (the stunning violet cauliflower Di Sicilia Violetto); classic (the timeless spinach Bloomsdale Long Standing); and unusual (rat’s tail radish deserves its name). In addition to profiling 100 heirlooms, Iannotti also appends a variety of helpful materials, including resource and reading lists, a glossary, and a basic guide to seed saving. This is a friendly introduction to the vast world of heirlooms, which are good for the palate and great for the planet. Adding seductive evidence to the case are 116 lovely color photos of vegetables at their peak, great veggie porn."
Flowery Prose
"Don't let the title of Marie Iannotti's new title from Timber Press fool you. Her guide for growing all that is heirloom is perfect for the beginner and the experienced gardener alike."
The New York Times Book Review
Equally delicious, and deliciously dirt-filled, is THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO GROWING HEIRLOOM VEGETABLES: The 100 Easiest-to-Grow, Tastiest Vegetables for Your Garden (Timber Press, paper, $19.95), by Marie Iannotti. There’s no strict definition for what constitutes an heirloom vegetable, but most sources agree that open pollination among plants of the same variety is critical (as opposed to modern hybrids bred for industrial farming) and so is age — most heirloom varieties are more than 50 years old. Iannotti credits her father, a lifelong gardener, with passing along “an obsessive compulsion for heirloom vegetables.” She has a welcoming, breezy style and is refreshingly honest about the veggies that have let her down — “Strawberry” popcorn, “Moon and Stars” watermelon. “Every novice heirloom gardener should grow all kinds of beans,” she advises. This is a book for those who get no kick from Champagne, unless it’s served with ramps.
Chicago Tribune - Dominique Browning
"To qualify as an heirloom, nationally recognized gardening writer Iannotti explains, a vegetable plant must be more than 50 years old, “storied or historic,” and open pollinated (no hybrids). Heirlooms are invaluable for their “genetic uniqueness” and because they “have developed natural resistance to pests and diseases.” Heirloom vegetables have been zealously reclaimed of late as gardeners seek to cultivate high-quality produce and recognize just how crucial it is to maintain biological diversity in the edible plant world. So what criteria did Iannotti use to select her 100 favorite heirloom vegetables out of today’s great inventory? Taste. But as her 10 selection categories (aromatic, beautiful, classic, colorful, long season, prolific, spicy, sweet, unusual, and versatile) reveal, there is much more to consider. Each lively vegetable profile includes an analysis of its flavor, notes and tips on growing and harvesting, and pleasingly informative and artistic color photographs. Iannotti also offers “Seed-Saving Basics” to encourage gardeners to safeguard heirloom legacies. Iannotti’s enthusiastic, handsome, and useful guide is, indeed, ideal for beginners, but it will also appeal to experienced gardeners and every cook interested in securing the most luscious and alluring vegetables."
New York Times Book Review
"Add to this the fantastic stories of the origins of some of these veggies and you’ve got my hands-down favourite gardening book of the season so far."
From the Publisher
Equally delicious, and deliciously dirt-filled, is THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO GROWING HEIRLOOM VEGETABLES: The 100 Easiest-to-Grow, Tastiest Vegetables for Your Garden (Timber Press, paper, $19.95), by Marie Iannotti. There’s no strict definition for what constitutes an heirloom vegetable, but most sources agree that open pollination among plants of the same variety is critical (as opposed to modern hybrids bred for industrial farming) and so is age — most heirloom varieties are more than 50 years old. Iannotti credits her father, a lifelong gardener, with passing along “an obsessive compulsion for heirloom vegetables.” She has a welcoming, breezy style and is refreshingly honest about the veggies that have let her down — “Strawberry” popcorn, “Moon and Stars” watermelon. “Every novice heirloom gardener should grow all kinds of beans,” she advises. This is a book for those who get no kick from Champagne, unless it’s served with ramps.
Dominique Browning
[Iannotti] has a welcoming, breezy style and is refreshingly honest about the veggies that have let her down…This is a book for those who get no kick from Champagne, unless it's served with ramps.
—The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604691887
  • Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/11/2012
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 493,369
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Marie Iannotti is a longtime Master Gardener the former owner of Yore Vegetables, an heirloom seedling nursery. She also served as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture educator and as a Master Gardener program coordinator. Her writing has been featured in newspapers and magazines throughout the country and she has appeared on Martha Stewart Living Radio and National Public Radio. She is the former editor of The Mid-Hudson Gardening Guide. She lives in Lake Katrine, NY.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Heirloom Vegetables and Why we Prize Them 11

Too Favorite Heirloom Vegetables 18

Marie's Top Picks 19

Artichokes and Jerusalem Artichokes 20

Asparagus 25

Beets 28

Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, and Kohlrabi 35

Carrots, Celeriac, and Fennel 49

Cooking Greens 58

Corn 68

Cucumbers 72

Eggplants 81

Legumes 89

Melons 114

Okra 120

Onion Family 123

Parsnips, Rutabagas, Salsify, and Turnips 131

Peppers 146

Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes 156

Radishes 162

Rhubarb and Sorrel 172

Salad Greens 177

Summer Squash and Zucchini 194

Tomatoes, Tomatillos, and Ground Cherries 201

Winter Squash 218

Creating Your Own Heirlooms 229

Seed-Saving Basics 230

Vegetable Seed-Saving Guide 232

Glossary 238

Hardiness Zones 239

Resources 240

Suggested Reading 242

Index 244

Photography Credits 250

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 24, 2013

    Excellent book! I have always wondered about heirloom seeds and

    Excellent book! I have always wondered about heirloom seeds and how to save them; this book explains it all, including what works and what doesn't work. Don't let the one star rating below deter you from ordering this book as the person is griping about B&N's delivery service, not the book itself.The rating is supposed to be about the content of the book, not the delivery service!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    B & N online service is bad, but book is good...a nice intro to the topic.

    The book is good, but B & N mail order service is bad. This book arrived in decent condition even thought it was poorly secured in the box. With my next order I wasn't so lucky. The book (ordered to give as a gift) was thrown into a box that was too large and not secured. It had big dents to say the least. The service I received in response to the problem was shabby. I will continue to stay with Amazon and closed my account with B & N.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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