Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My favourite rare vegetable books, websites and other resources

After a lazy day indoors because I used the excuse of too wet to work outdoors, which was a bit weak as the rain seems to have missed us and it has only been very lightly drizzling all day, I caught up on my bookwork and watched some programs I had recorded.
Anyway, I didn't do much that was interesting so I decided that this post would be about some of the books I have in my bookshelf that get used a lot and the seed websites I use. Maybe you will find a gem here.


Here are some of the books I have that you might find useful if you are looking for books on rare and unusual fruits and veg.
1, Uncommon fruits for every garden: Lee Reich.
2, Growing uncommon fruits and vegetables in Australia: Keith Smith
3, Plant breeding for the home gardener: Joseph Tychonievich   - This book is great for those want to know how to start breeding some vegetable or flower varieties for fun. It is a basic guide that explains the processes in a simple and easy to understand way. A perfect book for a beginner.
4, The complete book of fruit growing in Australia: Louis Glowinski   - I think of this book as the 'bible' for home fruit growers. It is detailed and covers many common and unusual fruits. I have an older version but I have been thinking of updating the newest one which I have heard has even more fruit types in it.
5, Breed your own vegetable varieties: Carol Deppe  - This book is a little more technical than 'Plant breeding for the home gardener' and should be next in line if you enjoyed Joseph's book.
6, Buried treasures: Tasty tubers of the world: Brooklyn botanic garden  - A handy reference for some unusual root crops.
7, Lost crops of the Inca - you can download this book onto your computer or e-reader for free. Just Google it. It covers a lot of unusual and rare crops from South America.
8, Lost crops of Africa  - Like the Inca crops, this set of three (free) ebooks covers indigenous fruits, vegetables and grains.

I know there are a lot of other books that I should have and want but they will have to wait till I have the money. I will have to find a book on native North American foods.


Here is a list of interesting seed companies, Google them for their websites if I don't link them here. I have bought seeds from most of them over the years. For my readers in Australia I have the link to the AQIS website at the bottom so you can find out what you are allowed to import.

  • Hazzards wholesale seeds
  • Wild garden seeds
  • Adaptive seeds: A range of amateur bred varieties
  • Baker Creek Seeds (www.rareseeds.com): I buy a lot of seed from this site. A great range of heirloom seeds.
  • Plant world seeds
  • nativeseeds.org : Unfortunately they don't post internationally
  • Victory seeds
  • ancientcerealgrains.org  : A good range of old and rare grains
  • territorialseed.com
  • www.magicgardenseeds.com
  • jlhudsonseeds.net
  • www.rareplants.es
  • especiesseeds.com

Here is the AQIS site for Australians: http://apps.daff.gov.au/icon32/asp/ex_querycontent.asp
it takes some practice to be able to search the database properly. Some of the vegetable seeds that cannot be imported to here include beans, peas and other legumes, some grains, corn, tomatoes and many other of that family.

I hope you get the same pleasure I get from looking at these websites and books.

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