Vegetables A-Z

Their delicious flavour, short cropping season, and the fact that a plant will take at least 3 years to establish make these a real delicacy.
The aubergine or eggplant is a relative of the tobacco plant,.Over half the world’s Aubergines are grown in China, but can be grown quite successfully under cover of a greenhouse in the UK.
Most people associate beetroot with the overcooked, vinegary pickles they tried when young. There is far more to this crop than that. They can be roasted in balsamic vinegarm, boiled, made into chips, chutneys or even wine.  
Beans, believed to be Fava Beans are mentioned in the bible, so have been around for some time. Ezekiel 4: 9, “Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof,”
When most people think of Broccoli, they are in fact talking about Calabrese Broccoli or Calabrese, which forms one big dense 'head' as seen in supermarkets. Sprouting broccoli produces a lot of smaller shoots, and in fact the word 'Broccoli' is derviced from the italian 'brachium' meaning arm, or branch.
An incredibly hardy crop that can be picked fresh all winter. Many people even pick their sprouts on Christmas morning, even in the snow.
There are spring, winter, summer, savoy, red and Chinese cabbages to name a few - it is easy to see why cabbage is an all year round crop. Modern cookery programmes have done away with the old image of a grey soggy mess dumped on the side of your plate at school.
Carrots are a staple of British cuisine, second only to the potato in terms of volumes eaten. The plant in its most popular format i.e. orange in colour was introduced to the UK in the 1600’s by the Dutch, who were renowned as carrot producers. At the time carrots were white, purple, red and yellow. Folklore suggests that in honour of William of Orange, carrots containing greater amounts of beta carotene were developed resulting in…
A difficult plant to grow, but capable of providing produce throughout the year. A delicious cauliflower cheese is all the encouragement I need to ensure that ”Cauli’s” are  grown on my plot every year.
With a texture like turnips and a flavour like celery, this plant is also known as turnip rooted celery.
As Marrows are just courgettes allowed to grow for longer, you get two for one. They are also a prolific cropper, and you may find that neighbours stop answering the door to you when they see you walking up and down the street with yet another bag of courgettes for them!
Famed as the sidekick to salmon, in salmon and cucumber sandwiches, the crisp, cold, crunch of a chunk of cucumber is a nice addition to any salad. Also used in the chilled dip raita as an accompaniment to several Indian dishes.
A lightly boiled or steamed crisp French bean is a lovely addition to a roast or lighter evening meal. Overcooking will be obvious as the bean will lose its vibrant green colour and be soft and floppy. Also a lovely addition to any stir-fry.
Even a small patch of garlic can go a long way. It is versatile, stores well, and can also be eaten as 'green garlic' raw straight from the ground!
Considering that this variety of “cabbage” is not as likely to be affected by the normal pests, it is surprising that it is not grown more. It is a hardy plant not badly affected by frost. Colcannon, a recipe including equal quantities of Kale and Spuds is an Irish recipe, particularly popular on St Patricks Day
The leek is the Welsh national emblem after Welsh soldiers wore the plant in their hats when going in to battle to show solidarity against their enemies.
My childhood foray into gardening produced two foot tall lettuces. I am somewhat more successful now and my plants don’t require stakes to support them! This is a great plant to get children started with due to the ease of growing and maintenance.
 If you have the space you can easily grow enough onions and shallots to last all year round. They are easy to grow and maintain.
Once germinated successfully, parsnips are one of the easiest crops to grow; you just leave them in the ground for ten months!
Peas are claimed to be the oldest cultivated “vegetables” known to man. Peas found in the remains of Troy (Modern day Turkey), seem to support this theory.
Chilli peppers were apparently brought to the UK by Christopher Columbus, returning from his second voyage, from the West Indies. It is suggested he believed, wrongly, that they were plants that contained black table pepper.

Potatoes Featured

Potatoes are the worlds 4th most important crop after wheat, maize and rice. Introduced into Europe by the Spaniards in the 16th Century, and brought to Britain in 1563 by Sir John Hawkins. They became popular after Sir Walter Raleigh introduced them to Ireland in1586 and later presented them to Queen Victoria - It is said that her chef discarded the tubers and cooked the leaves!
Pumpkins and squashes are tasty, interesting and colourful to grow (or carve at halloween), and can store well for months,
The fiery nature of a freshly picked radish grown on an allotment is a delight. It was the first crop I ever grew, immediately showing me the benefit of home grown over shop bought.
The earliest records of rhubarb date back to 2700BC, and was once grown for medicinal purposes and although technically a vegetable, rhubarb has (in recent times anyway) always been eaten as a fruit. It is one of the earliest crops each year, and can be ready for picking as early as January, and can crop heavily right through spring. It requires very little maintenance and will grow in most soils and in most positions (although…
Runner beans are grown on more allotments then probably any other plant. If you don't have a tower of them on your plot, people start wondering, what will be grown  
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