A Celebration of Heirloom Vegetables: Growing and Cooking Old-time Varieties

Front Cover
Artisan, 1998 - Cooking - 192 pages
Tiny dry beans with the grand name of Cherokee Trail of Tears. Melons fancifully called Moon and Stars. Humble parsnips, raised underground in Wisconsin, that take on the tropical scent of coconut.

They're all heirloom vegetables--old-time varieties that nature alone has produced, untouched by genetic scientists and modern technology. And in A Celebration of Heirloom Vegetables, hundreds of them are showcased brilliantly. Author Roger Yepsen observed these much-loved living antiques as they grew in his garden, and has painted a picture, in words and watercolors, of each of them in all their glorious color and form. More than 50 full-color illustrations make it abundantly clear that these varieties have survived on the strength of their distinctive flavor, scent, texture, and looks--from strange, mysterious, exotic, and even ugly to startingly beautiful. There's a Swiss chard that sprouts forth in a crayon box of colors, a lustrous purple kohlrabi, cherry tomatoes shaped like tiny golden pears, string beans streaked with magenta, and many other old gems too glorious to hide behind a row of corn! Most are easy to grow, whether in beds or just by sticking seeds in a big flower pot. They can even be tucked in flower beds to take advantage of their good looks.

Descriptions of each variety offer gardening, shopping, and cooking tips, and seed-saving instructions. Sixty simple, healthful recipes--many of them heirlooms themselves--allow the vegetables' individual personalities to shine.

Heirloom gardening is a delight to the eye as well as a wonderful way to bring a bit of our grandparents' living legacy to our table today.

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About the author (1998)

Roger Yepsen is an artist, writer, gardener, and editor. He is author and illustrator of Apples and is currently at work on a book about berries. Most of the vegetables captured in Heirloom's watercolors are grown on his colonial-era Pennsylvania farm, where he lives with his wife and children.

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