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Vegetables, Herbs and Fruit: An Illustrated Encyclopedia [Hardcover]

Matthew Biggs , Jekka McVicar , Bob Flowerdew
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 1 2009

The demand for locally sourced organic foods continues to rise. This resource is a prime reference for the many who are growing or wanting to grow their own vegetables, herbs and fruits.

The book features superb full-color photographs and illustrations and an easy-to-use A-Z directory. Comprehensive growing, harvesting and preserving tips and a wealth of recipes are a boon to gardeners and cooks alike.

Practical aspects of gardening are explained in detail, with in-depth sections on creating a garden, pollination, soil fertility and greenhouse growing. Some of the topics covered are:

  • Nutritional values
  • The most useful and most recommended varieties
  • Plant hardiness, propagation and growing guidelines
  • Cropping, harvesting and storing
  • Weed, pest and disease control
  • Ornamental and wildlife value
  • Pruning and training
  • Companion planting
  • Container growing.
  • A yearly maintenance calendar, glossary, further reading section, seed sources list and detailed index round out this outstanding book.


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    Product Description

    Review

    For the edible landscape, the best title by far is Vegetables, Herbs and Fruit... everything you need to know to grow, harvest, and use garden produce. (Connie Krochmal BellaOnline 2006-03-25)

    Offers advice on cultivation techniques, dealing with pests and diseases, suggestions for companion plants, and culinary, medicinal and cosmetic uses. (Ken Smith London Free Press 2006-07-22)

    An excellent source of information on growing and cooking edible plants. (Cathy Frisinger Fort Worth Star-Telegram 2006-03-11)

    Information on individual cultivars, as well as some very good recipes. (Vern Nelson Portland Oregonian 2006-12-14)

    This is now my favorite source book for growing, propagating, harvesting, storing, and cooking all things edible. An A to Z-type reference guide, it is easy to use, has beautiful photography, and [has] details all gardeners need like Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and companion plants. These three amazing authors have put together a must-have book for any vegetable grower. (Ursule Sabia Sukinik Washington Gardener 2009-10-00)

    This has become my 'bible' because it contains great photographs with bite-sized chunks of information that are easy to read, inspiring and comprehensive. (Sonia Day Toronto Star 2007-12-04)

    Well organized, easy to access information, and concisely written. A good reference book! (Making Scents (Magazine of the International Aroma 2007-03-00)

    A garden book full of surprises... there's so much to discover... excellent information. (Patty Jessome Edmonton Sun 2006-07-23)

    For a complete reference on growing food crops, you can't go wrong with the new, up-to-the minute "Vegetables, Herbs and Fruit." (John Van de Water Newark Star-Ledger 2006-04-16)

    Solid gardening tips and tempting recipes... enough to teach even experienced gardeners new tricks... excellent index. (Diane M. Calabrese American Reference Books Annual 2007-01-00)

    An indispensable resource, giving an amazing amount of information that will be of value to any gardener, whether planting a field or a window box. (Grainews 2006-04-10)

    Bright color photos, clean layout, and handy hints make this hefty garden bible a treasure, and it's a great deal. (Dee Cherrie Ashman Diversions 2007-04-00)

    A comprehensive reference book on edible plants... information on hundreds of edible plants accompanied by more than 1,800 color photographs. (Viveka Neveln American Gardener 2006-03-00)

    Every gardener -- novice or expert -- will find useful information. (Home Cooking 2006-05-00)

    Exceptional. (David Hobson Kitchener-Waterloo Record 2006-04-11)

    What is not included in this definitive and beautifully illustrated sourcebook on edible landscape? (The American Herb Association vo. 21:4 2006-04-00)

    By far the most comprehensive book on the subject. A must-have for those growing edible crops ... Easy to use. (Connie Krochmal Bee Culture 2006-12-00)

    Amazingly thorough encyclopedic look at edible plants. (George Weigel Harrisburg Patriot-New 2006-04-27)

    This all-encompassing book combines the expertise of three gardeners to offer a prodigious range of information.... easy-to-use alphabetical format, it is illustrated with more than 1,800 color photographs and informative illustrations. (Michigan Gardener 2006-07-00)

    This book is a handsome addition to the gardening library and an excellent value. (Chris Smith Seattle Post-Intelligencer 2006-09-21)

    A well-organized overview that examiners each cultivar in depth... visually pleasing... the insight of some very diverse expert gardeners. (Backhome Magazine 2006-05-00)

    Good value for money ... very helpful. (Mary Fran McQuade Beach Metro Community News 2006-11-28)

    Whether you utilize it to learn how to use soapwort to treat skin conditions such as eczema or for the recipe for curried parsnip soup, it is valuable to novice and experienced horticulturists alike. Written by a trio of garden experts, this is a must-have resource for any gardener or chef. (Tricia Landry Wallace Country Accents 2006-09-00)

    Comprehensive... a valuable reference for both gardeners and inquisitive chefs. (Science News 2006-01-28)

    This comprehensive garden book goes beyond the dirt, offering tips on growing, harvesting, preserving and cooking. (Desert News 2009-02-22)

    Not only how to grow, but also how to harvest, preserve and use 70 vegetables... a comprehensive, quick-read encyclopedia. (Suzanne Hively Cleveland Plain Dealer 2006-03-02)

    I believe this volume will become a constant source of reliable information. Highly recommended. (GreatGardenInfo.com 2009-04-28)

    This reference book is as colourful as it is inspiring and will appeal to anyone who would like to grow edible plans. The authors leave no leaf unturned -- every topic is covered.... Best of all, more than 100 recipes are included to take advantage of your crop once it's time to harvest.... With more than 600 pages and 800 colour photos and illustrations, this book is definitely food for thought. (Liz Grogan Good Times 2009-05-00)

    This all-encompassing book combines the expertise of three leading gardeners to offer a prodigious range of information on more than 100 herbs, 70 vegetables and 100 fruits. Arranged in an easy-to-use alphabetical format from Aaron's Rod to Zucchini, the book is copiously illustrated with more than 1,800 color photographs and informative graphics. Readers learn how to select the plants best suited to their plant zone, and what to do to insure a successful crop. (New Living (Montauk, NY) 2009-04-00)

    It is about as precise and concise a guide as you would ever wish to find. (Shelf Life 2009-08-00)

    Satisfying ... There's an abundance of information and tantalizing pictures. Isn't it nice when peas are so neatly tucked into their pods in those very polite rows? (Dominique Browning New York Times 2010-05-27)

    It's a useful book for the gardener who is short on time and seeks easy-to-follow, no-fail instructions. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 2010-05-22)

    A sound investment. (David Hobson Waterloo Region Record 2012-04-07)

    About the Author

    Matthew Biggs lectures at the Royal Horticultural Society. His other books include Matthew Biggs' Complete Book of Vegetables.

    Jekka McVicar has won several top awards from the Royal Horticultural Society. Her other books include The Complete Book of Herbs.

    Bob Flowerdew is an author and a lecturer for the Royal Horticultural Society.


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    Customer Reviews

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    Most helpful customer reviews
    7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and informative! Jan. 15 2004
    Format:Hardcover
    This book is wonderful! Every section gives you a in-depth overview of the vegetable, herb or fruit; detailing different varieties and how they rank in terms of taste and/or hardiness, how to propagate, grow, maintain, harvest and store. Plus gives tips of typical pests/diseases and how to avoid them. Very helpful are the "companion planting" paragraphs, explaining which plants do best next to each other. And to top it all off, each section includes a "culinary" and "medicinal" section, informing you of the best ways to use your crops once harvested. The pictures are beautiful and the wording is easy to understand and to the point. This is a great book for any gardener's reference shelf. Fun to read cover-to-cover, but set up so that you can dip in and out as you choose.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    5.0 out of 5 stars A great encyclopedia! March 20 2012
    By Liska
    Format:Hardcover
    I got it as a present for my husband since he likes gardening, and we enjoyed this book a lot. It has a lot of pictures, several pictures on every page, and it is very pleasant to just browse through it. There are a lot of just interesting facts about vegetables, herbs and fruit... And my favourite part is that each of them has a recipe on its page! Most of them are relatively simple, but it encourages to try them. So, it is a cookbook too for those who like making interesting dishes with fruits and vegetables.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites.... Feb. 22 2009
    Format:Hardcover
    ...for everyday gardening reference. My husband and I refer to this book often. Lots of great information, good detailed info on herbs as well. We leave it out on the table so that it's always handy. Easy to understand, covers a wide variety of things. We even found information for our Quince tree, and with recipes for each herb/fruit/veggie, it's definitely worth its money.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! March 27 2011
    Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
    This is a fantastic resource for anyone who is interested in growing their own produce. It covers a wide variety of different species and includes a general breakdown of every type of crop. It is a great beginners who are looking to see what they can grow in the climate they live in. There are even recipes and medicinal information! There is no information in this book that isn't useful. Definitely recommended for any aspiring gardeners!
    Was this review helpful to you?
    Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
    Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
    29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and informative! Jan. 15 2004
    By L. Hickey - Published on Amazon.com
    Format:Hardcover
    This book is wonderful! Every section gives you a in-depth overview of the vegetable, herb or fruit; detailing different varieties and how they rank in terms of taste and/or hardiness, how to propagate, grow, maintain, harvest and store. Plus gives tips of typical pests/diseases and how to avoid them. Very helpful are the "companion planting" paragraphs, explaining which plants do best next to each other. And to top it all off, each section includes a "culinary" and "medicinal" section, informing you of the best ways to use your crops once harvested. The pictures are beautiful and the wording is easy to understand and to the point. This is a great book for any gardener's reference shelf. Fun to read cover-to-cover, but set up so that you can dip in and out as you choose.
    23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars The best gardening book I own Dec 6 2005
    By L. E. Mcdonald - Published on Amazon.com
    Format:Hardcover
    This book has the most readable practicle information on every vegetable, herb or fruit I would ever grow plus many others. It covers some history of origin, varieties, cultivation, propagation, container and garden growing, harvesting & storage as well as uses both medicinal and culinary and also some recipies. I have not come across a more extensive book. My son & daughter both in their early 20's and just starting vege gardening use this as their bible. Well worth owning.
    16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars The best that your money can get Nov. 9 2007
    By Cestmoi - Published on Amazon.com
    Format:Hardcover
    PRO

    - Extensive coverage of fruit, vegetable and herbs.
    The book says it covers 100 fruits, 70 vegetables and 100 herbs.
    Each subject has Cultivation, Companion planting, and Culinary sections. If it's a herb, it also has Medicinal section.

    One day I bought a bag of Macadamias nuts from my local grocery store. The label said they were grown in Australia, Hawaii and Africa. I wanted to know more about them. I opened this book to page 555 and voila! I found all the interesting information about them. There were 3 beautiful photos of the nuts, the tree and the dish made from the nuts. It's informative and mouth watering.

    - Very well illustrated.
    Each fruit, tree, or vegetable has at least 3 pictures. They're beautiful. The Culianry section always has a picture of the dish made with the fruit, herb or vegetable. It's so colorful and lively that it makes me hungry!

    - It's hard covered. So, it will last a long time.

    CONS

    - It uses the term "Long", "Short", "Medium" to describe the life span of the trees without giving a range in years. This is frustrating because I am not sure approximate how long they live. But I can easily find this information from somewhere else. No book is perfect.

    In short, it's definitely worth buying. I use it almost daily for cooking recipes and for general information. Together with Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages [...] it makes a complete reference. You can find any information on these subject with these 2 resources.
    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars If you can only buy one gardening book- buy this one! May 3 2009
    By Shannon - Published on Amazon.com
    Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
    Book combines gardening knowledge with a little herbology and provides culinary recipes to bring garden to table. I found the gardening info to be interesting and informative- and I have been gardening for 2 decades! Beautiful pictures were a definite bonus! My copy is now dogeared and well worn from much use.
    6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Not arranged alphabetically! Jan. 8 2012
    By Joe - Published on Amazon.com
    Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
    While this encyclopedia is in-depth and informational, it is not arranged alphabetically by vegetable, fruit, or herb, so we found it rather difficult to navigate.
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