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Reviews of Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: A Master Gardener's Guide to Planting, Seed Saving, and Cultural History

Good Rating
Book Profile
Author (1): William Woys Weaver
Author (2): Peter J. Hatch

Hardcopy edition:
Publish date: June 1997
Published by: Henry Holt and Company
List price: $45.00
ISBN Number: 0805040250

Softcopy edition:
Publish date: March 1999
Published by: Henry Holt and Company
List price: $25.00
ISBN Number: 0805060898



  Garden Bookworm editor's notes:  
Julia Child Award for Food Reference.

Jane Grigson Award for Distinguished Scholarship.

Vast in scope and erudition; unique and enjoyable.

In this encyclopedic guide to the history and cultivation of some of America's most treasured heirloom vegetables, food historian and organic gardener Will Weaver focuses on 280 profiled varieties of 37 vegetables and discusses nearly 400 others. He shares his over thirty years of original research from historical archives as well as hands-on gardening experience to help the lay person appreciate the fascinating history of each vegetable, grow it, and incorporate it into everyday cooking.

Some 100 varieties are shown in full color and more than 200 with line drawings by Signe Sundberg Hall. Weaver traces the development of the seed-saving movement and the history of the kitchen garden in America and gives a list of commercial seed and plant stock sources, plus an extensive bibliography.

  Feedback History and Summary  
2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives


Positive melody On Apr 15, 2005, melody wrote:

This book is facinating to read even if you aren't into growing heirloom vegetables. It is bursting with history and ancedotal information on our early foodways.

Mr. Weaver writes in a very readable style and entertains as well as teaches. One can tell that he is quite passionate about the history and preparation of the vegetables he writes about, as well as their growing requirements.

It ranks among my favorite books on vegetables and I wouldn't be without a copy.

Positive tweezle On Feb 18, 2004, tweezle wrote:

What an excellent book! Mr. Weaver has a wonderful style that makes this a captivating read. Not only is it a great resource for every heirloom gardener, but it contains a fascinating account of our food history as well.

What I appreciate most, is the fact that not only does Mr. Weaver cover the different heirlooms, but goes in great detail of their histories, planting advice, seed saving, and even ideas of how to prepare and use these wonderful veggies. Something I have found lacking in other books. This book also has many very clear color photographs and tons of gorgeous old fashioned etched-type pictures as well.

This is a very nice book that needs to be on every everyone's book shelf that is interested in vegetables.

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