A couple of additional gardening books that I am currently reading …
The first book (Heirloom Vegetables: A Home Gardener’s Guide to Finding and Growing Vegetables from the Past) is an ideal beginners book. About half of the book concerns the reasons to grow heritage vegetables and some of the details about how to find and grow them. The last half of the book is a small selection of vegetable profiles and resources – including a very good list of seed suppliers and saver networks. Unfortunately, when compared to the second book (Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: A Master Gardener’s Guide to Planting, Seed Saving, and Cultural History), its profiles and resources show their true limitations. But, the little Heirloom Vegetables book would make a nice gift for a new gardener or just someone getting into those special plants.
Now, Heirloom Vegetable Gardening is a different beast! This is an encyclopedia of heirloom vegetables and a decent work of vegetable history. This volume is equally at home on the shelves of the serious gardener and the food historian. Have you ever wondered whether that Indian corn was really grown by Native Americans? Or, if that French bean ever grew in France? Then, this book is the best starting point that I have seen. So far, I have only gotten through about a third of the book, but this is definitely one that I would love to have on my shelves once I have the space to have a real garden instead of the few tomato plants against the fence that we currently have.