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The Beginner's Guide to Growing Heirloom Vegetables: The 100 Easiest-to-Grow, Tastiest Vegetables for Your Garden

By Marie Iannotti

Not surprisingly, this is a great book for anybody who grows any sort of vegetable. Iannotti waxes poetic about these plants — and the gorgeous photos throughout the book back her up.

Chicago Tribune

Heirloom vegetables often have a great story behind them, but it's really all about the flavor.

Why did Angela Nardello sew pepper seeds into the hem of her skirt before setting sail from Italy bound for America? It wasn't so that she would have a tale to tell her grandchildren. It was because 'Jimmy Nardello', which she named after her son, is a one-of-a-kind pepper with a fresh, fruity sweetness that resembles ripe cherries. Or what about 'Aunt Molly's', the ground cherry tomato that traveled all the way from Poland? With its sweet blend of pineapple, strawberry, and citrus notes, it's perfect for making a delectable tomato jam.

Heirloom expert Marie Iannotti brings us the fascinating stories, but more importantly, she tells us which varieties are the easiest to grow and the tastiest to eat, and how to cultivate each one successfully.

If you've never tasted the meaty and mellow 'Lacinato' kale or the unexpected sweetness of 'Apollo' arugula — or if you have tasted them and want more — The Beginner's Guide to Growing Heirloom Vegetables is your guide to growing the best vegetables.

Media reviews

"Delicious, and deliciously dirt-filled."

—Dominique Browning, New York Times Book Review

"Ideal for beginners, but it will also appeal to experienced gardeners and every cook interested in securing the most luscious and alluring vegetables."


"Add to this the fantastic stories of the origins of some of these veggies and you've got my hands-down favourite gardening book of the season so far."

Flowery Prose

"Iannotti goes into incredible detail so you can savor a delectable array of old-world vegetables when it comes time to harvest."

Natural Home and Garden

"Not surprisingly, this is a great book for anybody who grows any sort of vegetable. Iannotti waxes poetic about these plants — and the gorgeous photos throughout the book back her up."

Chicago Tribune

"Don't let the title of Marie Iannotti's new title from Timber Press fool you. Her guide for growing all that is heirloom is perfect for the beginner and the experienced gardener alike."


"If the 250 pages of scintillating photographs of heirlooms don't have your taste buds watering and your green thumb twitching, I'm not sure what will."

It's Easy Being Green

"A friendly introduction to the vast world of heirlooms which are good for the palate and great for the planet. ... Iannotti will hold the garden gloved hands of those who are new to the old reliables."

Publishers Weekly

About the author

Marie Iannotti

Longtime Master Gardener Marie Iannotti is the former owner of Yore Vegetables, an heirloom seedling nursery. She is the former editor of The Mid-Hudson Gardener's Guide., and her garden writing has been featured in newspapers and magazines nationwide.

Read more about Marie Iannotti

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