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The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Heirloom Vegetables

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Heirloom Vegetables
Chris McLaughlin
Alpha Books
Publication Date: 

paper, 309 pp., $19.95

Garden writer Chris McLaughlin encourages gardeners to grow their own food in this guide to those treasured plants, known for their intense flavor and unique coloration that set them apart from modern hybrids. After introducing the reader to the myriad reasons for producing these heirlooms, the author reviews the terminology and the garden practices connected with such crops. An extensive directory of heirloom vegetables follows this text. The author notes that these old favorites have been popular for 50 to 100 years. Each plant profile contains information on the background of the variety and the characteristics that make it distinctive from others. Profiles also have information on how to grow and the number of days from planting to harvesting the vegetable, and special tips on the culture of the specific heirloom. Color photos of the heritage plants may be viewed on a companion website to the book.

— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden