Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how fast does your garden grow? The 208 page Speedy Vegetable Garden by Mark Diacono and Lia Leendertz (Timber Press) will give you a whole new view of how fast you can grow something to eat. This means we can keep some food growing all year long, if only on our windowsill. Impatient children will find that they can harvest some greens in less than two weeks.
I have grown sprouts in my kitchen for years using jars or a sprout bag, but this book opened up whole new world of quick harvests. Diacono and Leendertz take the reader and gardener all the way from ‘soaks’ to quick harvest vegetables like zucchini and cherry tomatoes. I had never heard of a soak. Did you know that soaking pumpkin seeds for only 1-4 hours will wake up the germination instinct and even before the nascent sprout is visible you will have buttery crop to sprinkle on your salad or sandwich adding potassium, and vitamins A, B, C, and D? Peanuts can be soaked for 12 hours, until the root just breaks through. Lots of vitamins and minerals. Almonds can also be soaked for 12 hours and eaten with gusto.
Moving on from soaks and sprouts, micro-greens come next. Full directions are given for seeding and watering. Little plastic seed flats can be used, but metal guttering cut to an appropriate size can also make a good planter for intensely flavore crops like cilantro, fenn, radishes and oriental greens. A micro-green is really just the baby stage of the shoot and this is a time when nutrients are at a high level. You wouldn’t make a whole salad out of micro-greens, but they add vibrant taste to your regular salad. Harvest in about two weeks. If you grow microgreens you’ll want to keep successively planted containers going all the time.
Other chapters detail cut and come again salads and quick harvest vegetables, again with good directions for keeping the harvest coming. The illustrations are beautiful, as are these young healthy plants, but the chapter on edible flowers makes you understand how easily you can make a salad suitable for the cover of any food magazine. And if you don’t quite know what to do with any of these crops, Diacono and Leendertz provide you with 20 quick and easy recipes. The Spring Garden Tart with spring onions, spinach, peas, beans, herbs and cheese would give my family a very happy lunchtime.
I always say you can’t hurry in the garden, and that is very true. However, there is no harm in letting vegetables ready themselves for the table as quickly as they like. In the Speedy Vegetable Garden Diacono and Leenderts show us how these speedy vegetables can lead us to a longer growing season, and extremely nutritious vegetables without the usual back-straining labor. If you would like to win a copy of this book and start your own speedy garden just leave a comment below by midnight on Wednesday February 13. If you want to tell me about the quickest – or longest crop – you ever grew so much the better I am all ears. I will randomly choose a winner and announce it on Thursday, February 14. Because Timber Press and I love my readers.
This Post Has 11 Comments
This book sounds wonderful and I’d love to win a copy! We have a large vegetable garden and everything is done the “old-fashioned” way. If we could get veges to the table faster that would be great. One of our longest crops was garlic…it took forever to harvest. Also, I would say our pumpkins, because even though we keep planting seeds, we never get a pumpkin. So I guess the pumpkins would win as the longest crop!!
Sounds like a good read. I have been trying to grow lettuce inside this winter with not such good results.
Excellent review Pat. I loved it. Who knew you could garden so fast? Don’t put me in the drawing. I get so many review books too, and I don’t want to take the chance away from someone else.~~Dee
Christy – I have had similar long harvests – but keep trying.
Jon – Remember you have to keep day length in mind. Things do grow more slowly on winter days.
Dee – I’m getting some micro-greens going this stormy weekend.
Sounds like a great book Pat! I would love to be entered in your drawing….it sounds like it has great ideas to share with school kids….stay warm in the storm! – Carol
Looks great! My habeneros took forever to be ready last summer. The very last thing to be harvested from the garden.
Our bell peppers took a long time last year but our tomatoes were ready super quick which is a total reverse of how it usually is.
Having moved to a new (to us) home last fall, I knew I should have started getting the vegetable garden started before winter set in, but found no time. Which turned out to be a good thing, because with all the trees that came down since then, I have a larger, sunnier area I plan to put it. Would love a copy of this informative book to get fresh veggies in the shortest amount of time possible.
I am starting my first garden this spring…. so excited.
Speedy sounds great- choose me!
That sounds interesting.