Vegetables: beans, spinach

Discovering Vegetables, Herbs and Spices

Cultivating and using vegetables, herbs and spices


Vegetables, herbs and spices, cover of book

"An authoritative, comprehensive guide to vegetables, culinary herbs and spices that explores old favourites and many little-known exciting food-producing plants. There is an A to Z guide to over 200 species, and lists of the most popular cultivars. Information on their History, a Description, Propagation, Harvesting times and methods, Cultivation and location needs, Pruning, plus information on their uses with emphasis on their nutritional and health properties.

The Introduction gives information on Planting out and establishment, Propagation, Yield and harvesting, Pests and diseases; Plant-mineral deficiencies, and Food nutrition. A table of plants for different garden situations at the back of the book is a useful ready-reference.

This thorough and extensively researched book is a vital reference, with everything a gardener needs to know, and much that a commercial producer would find valuable, in terms of choice of varieties and marketing of the harvest. This is the companion volume to Discovering Fruits and Nuts, making these two books the complete reference work on gardening with edible plants.

Comprehensive and detailed at over 400,000 words with more than 200 colour illustrations as well as full-colour diagrams.

The book provides inspiration for people to grow and try new foods." (Publisher blurb)


A short bio. I have always been enthralled and drawn towards the natural world. I am an unashamed lover of plants. My first gardening 'experience' was planting nasturtium seeds in a corner of the garden when I was about 4 years old, and then watching them magically grow. Many years later, I now have lots of practical experience in growing both ornamental and food-producing plants, as well as being a compulsive tree planter. Over this time, I have also gained practical horticulture qualifications, and a degree and PhD in plants and soil. Originally from the UK, I now live at the very top of New Zealand where I now explore subtropical food plants.

I care passionately about the environment, though like many others, sometimes feel powerless to reduce the destruction being wrought on our home planet. But I can make small yet important steps by growing more of my food, enjoy foods seasonally, reduce the miles foods have to travel to reach me, and minimise the addition of chemicals to my foods and the environment.

My long-term enjoyment in growing and researching a wide range of food plants has resulted in this second volume of this two-part set. I hope this book inspires you to explore and enjoy a wider range of more unusual plant foods, with the bonus of knowing how great they are nutritionally.

Main vegetables, herbs and spices described

Akee, Alexanders, Alfalfa, Allspice, Amaranth, Andean lupin, Angelica, Anise (aniseed), Annatto, Arracacha, Arrow head spp., Arrowroot, Asafoetida, Asparagus, Asparagus pea, Balm (lemon balm), Bamboo, Barley, Basil (Mediterranean basil, sweet basil), Bay leaves, Beans (in general), Beets (beetroot, garden beet, sugar beet, mangels), Bok choi (Chinese greens, mizuna, pak choi, etc.), Boldo, Borage, Breadroot, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Buckwheat, Bulrush (cattail, reedmace), Burdock, Cabbage, Calamus (common sweet flag), Calendula (pot marigold, garden marigold), Canna (edible), Caper, Caraway (Persian cumin), Cardamom, Cardoon, Carrot, Cassava, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Celosia (Lagos spinach), Chamomiles (camomile), Chard (Swiss chard, silver beet, spinach beet), Chayote (choko, sechium), Chervil, Chick pea (garbanzo), Chilli pepper (chile, chili), Chinese artichoke (Japanese artichoke, knotroot, crosne), Chinese water-chestnut (waternut), Chrysanthemum, edible (shungiku, crown daisy, garland chrysanthemum), Cicely, Cinnamon, Clove, Cocoa (chocolate, cacao), Coriander (cilantro), Corn (maize), Costmary, Cucumber, Cumin, Cuphea, Curry-leaf tree, Dandelion, Daylily, Dill, Dog's tooth violets, Eggplant (aubergine, brinjal), Endive, chicory (witloof), Epazote, Fennel, Fenugreek, Galangal, Garden cress (pepper cress, pepperwort), Garlic, Ginger, Globe artichoke, Groundnut (bog bean, wild bean, Indian potato), Horseradish, Horseradish tree (Ben-oil tree), Hyacinth bean (lablab bean, Egyptian bean, Tonga bean), Hyssop, Japanese knotweed, Jerusalem artichoke, Jicama (xicama), Job's tears (Chinese pearl barley), Juniper 'berry', Kale and collards (sprouts), Kangkong (water spinach, swamp cabbage), Kerguelen cabbage, Kohlrabi (turnip-cabbage), Lamb's lettuce (corn salad), Landcress (garden cress, yellow rocket, winter cress, American cress), Lavender, Leek, Lemon verbena (herb Louisa), Lemongrass (citronella grass), Lentil, Lettuces, Linseed, Lovage, Luffa, Maca, Malabar spinach (basella, climbing spinach), Manchurian wild rice, Martynia, Mashua (orange flame flower), Maté tea, Mauka, Melokhia, Mexican coriander (culantro), Milk thistle, Millets, Mints, Mitsuba (Japanese honewort), Mushrooms, Mustards, Nasturtium, Nettle, New Zealand spinach (Sydney greens, Warrigal greens), Nigella (black cumin, love in the mist), Nutmeg and mace, Oats, Oca (yam), Okra (gumbo, ladies fingers, bindi), Onions, Orach (mountain spinach, sea purslane, red orach), Oregano and marjorams, Parsley (French and curled), Parsnip, Peas, Peppercorns, Perilla, Plantains, Poppy, Potatoes, Pumpkins (winter squash), Purslane, Quamash (camas flower, Indian hyacinth), Quinoa, Radish (daikon, etc.), Rampion, Rape, Rat-tail radish, Rice, Rocket (argula), Rosemary, Rye, Safflower, Saffron, Sage, Salad burnet, Salsify (vegetable oyster), Samphire (saltwort, glasswort), Sarsaparilla, Savory, Scorzonera (black oyster plant, Spanish salsify), Seakale (scurvygrass, winter asparagus), Seaweeds, Sesame seed, Sichuan pepper (szechuan pepper), Skirret (crummock, water parsnip), Sorghum, Sorrels, Soybean (soyabean), Spanish thistles, Spinach, Spirulina, Star anise, Star of Bethlehem, Swede (rutabaga, yellow turnip), Sweet pepper (bell pepper, capsicum), Sweet potato (kumara), Tannia (arrowleaf, elephant ear), Taro, Tarragon, Teff (tef, lovegrass), Thyme, Tiger lily (ditch lily), Tomato, Truffles, Turmeric, Turnip (turnip greens, neeps), Ulluco, Vanilla, Vegetable ferns (paku shoot), Vietnamese balm (crested late-summer mint), Vietnamese coriander, Wasabi, Water chestnut, Watercress, Wheat, Wild rice (darnel), Wild sarsaparilla, Yacón, Yams, Zeodary (Indian arrowroot), Zucchini (courgette)

  • Publisher: David Bateman Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand.
  • ISBN: 978-1-86953-732-6 First published: April 2009
  • Format: 28.5 x 21.3cm, portrait, 480 pages, hardback, full-colour cased & jacketed