In this encyclopedic guide to the history and cultivation of some of America's most treasured heirloom vegetables, food historian and organic gardener Will Weaver focuses on 280 profiled varieties of 37 vegetables and discusses nearly 400 others. He shares his over thirty years of original research from historical archives as well as hands-on gardening experience to help tIn this encyclopedic guide to the history and cultivation of some of America's most treasured heirloom vegetables, food historian and organic gardener Will Weaver focuses on 280 profiled varieties of 37 vegetables and discusses nearly 400 others. He shares his over thirty years of original research from historical archives as well as hands-on gardening experience to help the lay person appreciate the fascinating history of each vegetable, grow it, and incorporate it into everyday cooking.Some 100 varieties are shown in full color and more than 200 with line drawings by Signe Sundberg Hall. Weaver traces the development of the seed-saving movement and the history of the kitchen garden in America and gives a list of commercial seed and plant stock sources, plus an extensive bibliography....
|Title||:||Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: A Master Gardener's Guide to Planting, Seed Saving, and Cultural History|
|Number of Pages||:||439 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: A Master Gardener's Guide to Planting, Seed Saving, and Cultural History Reviews
William Woys Weaver is a sweet, intelligent man and a great historian. In the book's brief introduction, a wonderful picture is painted of Weaver's warm, loving, family-centric Quaker community and the healthy relationships he has with the Amish and Mennonite homesteaders near him. It also gives a brief but informative overview of the history of seed breeding and propagation and the US, starting from the importation of Dutch and French vegetable varieties to the beginning of commercial vegetable production and breeding for the market. In the process, he reveals some pretty stunning facts - less than a hundred vegetable varieties from before 1800 still exist, due to lack of preservation and the huge amount of breeding that's been done since, largely replacing the older varieties with spiffier ones. I enjoyed Weaver's emphasis on old varieties, even among heirlooms. This emphasized some of the most obscure and endangered varieties, unearthed some of the most enlightening histories, and adds a sense of complex historicity to the often dichotomous organic food movement (GMO bad, heirloom good). Since I came to the book looking for these histories, I enjoyed that aspect the most. Of course, I would have loved it if Weaver had provided even more of this. A lot of the stories I got a taste of in Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health were not mentioned here - for instance, Robinson discusses the development of modern sweet corn varieties using mutation induced by nuclear radiation, but Weaver goes back to Indian corn varieties before even the pre-hybrid sweet corns. There's a lot of interesting material in there, and I'm not sure where else to go to find it at this point.From a practical point of view, I didn't note many vegetable varieties per se, but I do appreciate the inclusion of obscure greens and crops that were used to fill important niches in pre-industrial rural economies, but are now overtaken by flown/trucked in out of season veggies. Some of these may come in handy if/when I move into serious food production of my own.
This book is the definitive resource for information on heirloom vegetables and their history. It is very well organized with excellent photos and very skillful drawings of vegetables.Note that this is no longer in print but is available on a CD. It was originally published by Henry Holt & Company in 1997 in hardback. I don't think it was ever offered in soft paperback. Michelle Obama personally requested a copy of this book a couple of years ago, for the White House Garden.
Even more fabulously interesting than the best seed catalog. Where that variety came from and when and by whom and why and what it should look like growing in the garden. Not to mention it includes recipes.
from a master gardener class: she considered this, with "The Manual of Seed Saving"/heistinger to be the bible on seed saving. Well laid out, invaluable info (ex. corn can pollinate with other corn within a one-mile radius. Be aware of other crops around your property. )
I'm more concerned with unique and possibly clouded history than a plants productive and prolific abilities, this book did not really fulfill that craving, but it's an interesting look at a master growers personal favorites.
Excellent review of literature as well as the documented history of hundreds of heirloom varieties that are still available, mostly thru Seed Savers Exchange.
good book to start with if one wants to learn more about heirloom veggies!
I saw this book on the shelf at Friend's Books. I think I paid close to $30 for it!