paper, 367 p., $27.95
There is nothing quite like this book in the world's literature — it is the Hope diamond of horticulture. In the field of edible plants, Carol Deppe is a modest legend who has been a matchmaker and midwife to many new vegetables.
In this book, Ms. Deppe explains how she and a few other masters of plant breeding have achieved their success. She encourages the rest of us to try our hands and hearts — and patience — at producing our own culinary gems. Ms. Deppe, who combines a doctorate in plant genetics with insatiable curiosity and soil-stained hands, will continue to inspire growers to participate in a creative process as ancient as farming itself.
This book is an intense and readable exposition of the science and art of plant breeding, which will inspire and inform any reader. Even the casual reader who doesn't take up the challenge of developing unique garden specialties will become aware of humanity's debt to our predecessors, who turned wildlings into the organisms that can feed all of us. Ms. Deppe deserves a special pedestal in the company of her kindred spirits for this book, a revised version of a work originally published in 1993.
— John F. Swenson, Volunteer, Plant Information Office, Chicago Botanic Garden