Upper South

August, 2006
Regional Report

Books

Asian Vegetables
Of the half dozen or so books on growing and using Asian vegetables, my two favorites are Oriental Vegetables: The Complete Guide for Garden and Kitchen, by Joy Larkcom (Kodansha America, 1994; $17.00); and Beyond Bok Choy: A Cook's Guide to Asian Vegetables, by Rosa Lo San Ross (Artisan, 1996; out-of-print but readily available used). Larkcom is a British gardener, but her depth of knowledge transcends geography. In her book, over 100 different vegetables are listed with information on scientific and Oriental names, general background, cultivation requirements, and use in the kitchen. There are a few color photos, but mostly line drawings. Ross, who is a cooking teacher born in Macao, focuses more on appearance, taste, storage, and preparation. Her book covers 55 vegetables, and includes 70 recipes and lots of color photos.

Tool or Gardening Product

Portable Cold Frame
Lettuce, kale, collards, Asian greens, radishes, turnips, arugula, and broccoli raab -- these cool-season crops will continue producing at least up through Christmas, if not longer, with some protection. There are certainly homemade ways to do this, but if you want a pre-made, easy-to-use solution, consider a portable cold frame, such as the Starter House, which has a metal frame, durable polyethylene covering, zippered openings, and screened vents. It requires no assembly (simply pops up), and it measures 8 feet long by 4 feet wide by 3 feet high. It's available from the NGA Garden Shop (http://nga-gardenshop.stores.yahoo.net/12-1202.html).

A similar model, called the Ultimate Cold Frame Grow House, is smaller at 6 feet long, and has excellent wind stability. It's available from Vesey's Seeds (http://www.veseys.com).

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Special Report - Garden to Table

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