Book Review: Vegetables (A Biography)


I love my veggies.  I love them raw, steamed, roasted, grilled, sautéed and pureed.  I just don’t grow them.  In fact, other than the rare bonus packet of tomato seeds that comes with my annual seed order, I avoid growing vegetables.  There, I’ve said it.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love the idea of growing and harvesting my own food, and the whole locavore movement (although I do have issues with the word.  I think it sounds like “crazy eater.”) — it’s just that I’m more in love with the idea than the actual task.  And the sad part is, I know I’m missing out on something.  On many things.

Part of my aversion comes from the multitude of garden pests.  I know what they can do just in my flower garden – and squirrels have been known to push me over the edge.  I just don’t think I could handle a) the vigilantism of protecting my food from varmints and b) the disappointment of seeing my dinner on someone else’s plate.

I also feel that with vegetables, it’s either feast or famine – and both are ill-timed.  When I’ve tried to grow tomatoes in the past, there were very few for summer salads.  Instead, they all arrived at once at the end of the season – and let’s not forget the brown bags full of green tomatoes and an apple to help them ripen.  The same goes for strawberry.  Yes, strawberry – because that’s about all I was able to enjoy as a freshly picked dessert and I know I’m not alone.  Here is some proof from Tidy Gardens by Jane.

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