Whether to escape the rat race, help save the planet, economize, or all of the above, people are heading back to the land. Backyard gardens have never been so popular, farmers markets are abundant with seasonal and local produce, and a healthy nostalgia for growing heirloom plants is in vogue.
These two books embrace this idea by reacquainting the reader with the origins, nature, and peculiarities of the world’s produce. Among the many revelations in their pages: apples have been cultivated by humans for at least three millennia, fresh pineapple juice can be used as a meat tenderizer, carrots were once purple, and potatoes were originally kept as ornamental rather than edible plants.
Combining beautiful reproductions of the finest nineteenth-century botanical illustrations with a miscellany of fascinating facts and extraordinary histories, these are ideal giftbooks for the heirloom gardener, locavore, or conservationist.
Mike Darton is a writer and editor with a passion for words, knowledge, and trivia. His published titles include a large number of dictionaries and miscellanies, such as the parody Spott’s Miscellany. He lives in the United Kingdom. Lorraine Harrison is a successful gardener and gardening writer with a passion for exotic and heirloom vegetables. Among her previous titles are How to Read Gardens and The Shaker Book of the Garden.