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Edible Heirlooms: Heritage Vegetables for the Maritime Garden

Articles: Edible Heirlooms: Heritage Vegetables for the Maritime Garden

From the First Lady to the front lawn, vegetable gardens are sprouting up across the country in record numbers. Not since the Victory Gardens of the Second World War have this many people begun to grow their own food. Why? Well, everybody's got to eat. We're all feeling the pinch of a strained economy and hoping to save on expenses. Plus, a growing awareness of the carbon-fueled miles clocked to bring our meals to the table has many of us looking for local, organic, and more sustainable alternatives. You can't get more local than right outside the backdoor, or more affordable than a packet of seeds. Today, growing your own food is affordable, hip, and delicious.

Edible Heirlooms, by former North Dakota farm boy, now Northwest author and avid gardener, Bill Thorness, is right on the money. In recent years, "heirloom" has become a loosely bandied-about phrase—more a horticultural branding effort to gain market share than a description of the range of human effort required to keep these venerable plants alive. From preserving biodiversity to creating a competitive niche for small family farms, Thorness offers thoughtful and compelling reasons for the preservation and continued cult...

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