on 7 June 2010
Not sure why the other reviewer suggests that this book has the wrong title. It is a reprint of a book originally published in the early 1990s, and it is most certainly called Oriental Vegetables. I have a copy of the original edition, and have found it an excellent reference over the years. For some reason oriental greens are relatively neglected in the UK, despite the fact that so many of them are useful as cool weather salad crops in winter and early spring. This book goes through all of the greens, explaining how to grow them, and also then when to harvest, how to cook etc. It also has a good range of more 'exotic' varieties which are most likely to be of interest to growers with a greenhouse or polytunnel. All in all well worth the money for keen gardeners who want a comprehensive book about these interesting vegetables.
on 8 August 2011
Having only just ventured out into the world of "grow your own", I wanted to grow something different to the norm,at the same time wanting something I would actually eat!
This book gives excellent information on just that.Living in the North West of the UK,the average annual temparatures means growing many exotic crops isn't on the cards. However,Joy Larkom proves it can be done with a wide range of vegetables.
OK so there there aren't any pretty coloured photographs to wow over,but what there is is a valuable,concise write up on a multitude of Eastern products that we are capable of growing in the UK.From salads leaves to calibrese and more,great descriptions,when to plant it,where to plant it(ie whether it will grow in containers or not),its likes and dislikes,what it tastes like etc etc!
The increase in popularity of oriental crops now means obtaining the seeds is a lot easier than ever before,for most people the problem will be finding space in the garden to grow these new crops!
For the price this is one very informative book,and a great one for novice and keen gardeners alike - no matter how much space you have!
on 27 July 2014
This book is a mine of information about all or nearly all vegetables coming from the Orient, I mean here essentially Asia, china and Japan among some other countries. The range of vegetables you can find is enormous and the book gives all you can and must know on their description, the way you can cultivate them, what you can harvest in them, what you can do with each element you harvest from the leaves and the blooms to the roots and the fruits.
Some of these vegetables used to be common in Europe like collards and kale, remained common in America, though as for the two I have just quoted, for Blacks, probably a heritage from Slavery. These vegetables are becoming trendy today, or are becoming trendy again. The point is you cannot very easily, and for some you cannot at all, find the seeds or the tubers, or whatever is necessary to start growing them in some countries in Europe or in simple round-the corner gardening store.
But the book is far even more interesting since it gives great detail about the various cultivating methods in Asia and particularly the use of terraces in gardens to avoid erosion and retain water, and another technique we hardly practice in Europe: the alternation of various vegetables in the same plot, some that grow fast, in a few weeks like lettuces, and some that grow slowly like turnips or other roots, including carrots.
If that type of cultivation is practiced there is a great advantage with it because it can prevent or contain some diseases or parasites. The book also explains some irrigation and drainage techniques used in some rather dry or over-wet conditions.
I would recommend this book to people who are slightly adventure-minded and creative in their intercourse with vegetables in their gardens and on their dinner table. These vegetables may make their gardens and their dinner tables rather sexy.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU