If you’ve never tasted the meaty and mellow ‘Lacinato’ kale or the unexpected sweetness of ‘Apollo’ arugula — or if you have tasted them and want more — The Beginners Guide to Growing Heirloom Vegetables is your guide to growing the best vegetables. Heirloom vegetables often have a great story behind them, but it’s really all about the flavor.
Why did Angela Nardello sew pepper seeds into the hem of her skirt before setting sail from Italy bound for America? It wasn’t so that she would have a tale to tell her grandchildren. It was because ‘Jimmy Nardello’, which she named after her son, is a one-of-a-kind pepper with a fresh, fruity sweetness that resembles ripe cherries. Or what about ‘Aunt Molly’s’, the ground cherry tomato that traveled all the way from Poland? With its sweet blend of pineapple, strawberry, and citrus notes, it’s perfect for making a delectable tomato jam.
Heirloom expert Marie Iannotti brings us the fascinating stories, but more importantly, she tells us which varieties are the easiest to grow and the tastiest to eat, and how to cultivate each one successfully.