Lower South

December, 2010
Regional Report

Books

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, by Michael Pollan (Penguin Books, 2008; $15) is not a book on gardening, but it will provide additional impetus to grow your own vegetable garden. It is an enlightening review of our American diet and the modern food industry. While we are the wealthiest and perhaps most nutrition conscious nation in the world, we lead most nations in diet-related illnesses. We gardeners are among the most able to create for ourselves a healthier diet and a healthier future.

Favorite or New Plant

Kale
Okay, I know that ornamental plants usually occupy the "favorite plant" spot in these columns but I think kale is worthy of the honor. There are few vegetables that are healthier, hardier or easier to grow. My favorite two types are Red Russian and Lacinato (also called dinosaur kale) because of their mild, sweet flavor. 'Toscano' is a great Lacinato variety. 'Winter Red' is a colorful Red Russian type. If you want stunning ornamental beauty try the variety 'Redbor,' which has dark magenta, deeply curled, frilly leaves.

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