International Garden Party!

Come travel the world and never leave my vegetable garden!

I'll be your guide today if I may. This informal meeting, some might even call it a party of some of the worlds most famous veggies is being brought to you by the Global Union Of Vegetables or GUOV for short. The GUOV thought it was high time that the world recognized each countries contributions. As you may notice some of the countries have sent more then one representative.

Have you ever put any thoughts into how so many 'global' veggies were able to grow in your garden?

This reporter has interviewed many; the stories are all similar. Through out the past centuries seeds of every type and worldwide locations have been hauled by travelers. Explorers, missionaries, immigrants, slaves etc. are all responsible.

Irish Cobbler
Irish Cobbler
 

The new world discoverers took back with them many of the exotic plant-life from their excursions. Some of those newly discovered delicatessen over time became the staple of many a land. Actually thriving, or not, in their new homes. One of the most famous example would have to be the potato. The Irish Cobbler has a woe tale to tell. (See the potato famine)

Even though all these new discoveries and new found yummies were meant for the royalties who pay-rolled the explorations many a sailor smuggled seeds ingeniously hidden here and there, even in the hems of their clothes, back to their families in their home lands. (Could this be considered the ancestry of export/import of foods inc.?)

Long ago immigrants were only allowed one piece of luggage each. Melancholic about leaving their roots they stashed seeds wherever they could, even under their hat-bands or hidden in the lining of their satchels and suitcases. What ever means was necessary to take a little piece of their home land to their new lives. The Hungarian Shepperd pepper is just one of the many 'transplants'.

This particular seed in many of its variations has representatives in my garden yearly, starting with my first 4X8 plot many years ago. These peppers are my fave, very mild flavored, 4" long, slightly pointy, medium to thin fleshed, start out green and gradually change to yellow, orange then the final red. To have enough left at the end of the season to pickle and to freeze is the biggest challenge in growing them. (They are great to eat from the time they are green and a decent size)

Hungarian Sheppard Peppers
Hungarian Sheppard Peppers
Brussels Sprouts
Brussels Sprouts

In my garden Brussels sprouts has it's own 10 foot row. These were grown and noted in the early 17th century and known in Flanders (North western part of Belgium) as spruyten. They spread Europe wide soon after. In German they're called rosenkohl (rose cabbage) as they look a bit like rose buds. Now they are grown year-round world wide.

The Brussels sprouts are quite easy to grow. The plants are continual growers if only the bottom buds are carefully cut off with a sharp knife. Although great tasting all summer their sweet and nutty flavors intensify with the first or second mild frost. They're usually the last standing veggies in my garden. I've been lucky because even though I'm in southern Ontario I have been able to save some still fresh Brussels Sprouts from the garden to go with Christmas dinner a few years in a-row.

Belgium Endive unfortunately was not able to attend. (I've never tried to grow endive as it sounds a bit complicated). Belgium endive was called Witloof Chicory and was grown mainly for its roots. Some very smart Belgian farmer figured out that if the roots were dried and ground and added to coffee it would not only streeeetch his coffee supply but also give it a nice smooth and mild flavour. This Belgian had a brother whose brother was also very smart he figured out that the torpedo shaped foliage head was actually quite good and edible. Especially if the leafs were white...hence the name Witloof meaning white-leaf in Flemish.The whiter the leafs the less bitter the taste became. Not too bad of a find for 17 century farmers. Today the endive has quite a name as a gourmet delicacy and can be eaten either raw or cooked. I think it's an acquired taste. My Dad was quite fond of them, I eat it once a year just to remind me why not to have them again till next year.

.

Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard as a main actually came from Sicily (whose ever heard of Sicilian chard) the variety I always plant is Genoa-n Swiss Chard. No matter who will claim responsibility either was an import once upon a time.

Swiss chard is easy to grow and a continuous-grower, if only the outer leafs are cut with a sharp knife and the centre leafs are left. It is a cool weather lover so it will keep growing way into the late fall and a couple of mild frost won't harm it. A great plant to grow in a cold frame too. Three winters ago I finished the last of it from my cold frame third week of January. To have enough I keep planting at weekly interval.

Romaine Lettuce
Romaine Lettuce

The Roman's use for this lettuce was to wrap small chunks of meat into it. Possibly an alternative for grape-leaves the Greeks used or maybe the ancestor of the cabbage roll. (mind you then again, cooked romaine lettuce doesn't do much for me).

Now I ask you, what would my life be without my Caesar salad. Incomplete that's what. (Caesar salad in a pita pocket, yum)

Easy easy easy, to grow. Romaine lettuce also prefers the cooler weather so the earlier it's planted the better. However it is also frost sensitive so you'll need to watch the weather forecast and cover the little plant-lets up to keep them out of danger. It will also keep growing if only the outer leafs are carefully cut. I replant as spaces empty up, like the sugar peas patch. (it's the end of May now, maybe next week I might get enough leaves off to have my first official salad out of this years garden)

Roma Tomatoes
Roma Tomatoes

Roma tomatoes, were brought over by an Italian immigrant family to New York in the early 18 hundreds. Those heirloom seeds were the forerunners from which most of today's varieties of plum-tomatoes have been propagated.

Roma tomatoes need to be in every garden. How else would you make delicious spaghetti sauce, salsa, bruschetta etc? Leamington, is known as the tomato capital of Ontario. Green houses, by the hundreds, as far as the eye can see.The Heinz Ketchup plant is located there too. Acres and Acres of the Roma tomatoes are planted even as far as an hours drive from the factory just to keep up the demand. It is the most amazing sight to see these enormous trucks heaping full of Tomatoes drive by the house from morning till night for weeks and weeks.

A very easy tomato to grow. They do like full day sun exposure, and like to be tied up or supported by tomato growing baskets. The last green ones in the fall are great fried but will also ripen (redden) on the kitchen window sills.

English Cucumber
English Cucumber
English Water Cress
English Water Cress

English water cress was another seed taken up-road to keep up the gentile style living. Unfortunately it did not thrive too well in hot and dry climates.

This will be my first year growing water cress. So I don't have any experiences to share yet. But I'll let you know how it works.

The list of the international reps in my garden is very long.

  • New Zealand Spinach
  • India Mustard
  • Boston Lettuce
  • Jerusalem Artichoke
  • Cuba-nella Peppers
  • Italian Turnip
  • Italian Broccoli
  • Polish Linguisa Tomatoes
  • Beefeater Tomatoes
  • Palawan Garlic
  • Dutch pearl onions
  • Chinese Bok Chow Cabbage

The English cucumber has been a must in gardens worldwide. Mentions from the early 17 hundreds have shown that this refreshing veggie was a necessity for gentile living up-road worldwide. (cucumber sandwich for tea anyone?)

For the past few decades hybrids such as the seedless, the burp-less, the totally uniform shaped English cucumbers have been introduced. I like the old fashioned so I'm glad that I recently found a seed supplier that deals with heritage seeds only. Thus I'm assured that my veggie seeds have not been played with or altered. (how could I have an organic garden and use seeds that have been messed with, I ask you)

These are best planted in hills and require quite a bit of space so don't crowd them and let them run. I'm experimenting this year with growing them up like runner beans.

This list of veggies is by no means my garden collection, the rest just don't have international ancestry (that they know of).

I got the okay from the Global Union Of Vegetables to publish with the request that others come forward and proudly declare their heritage. International veggies unite, don't be shy just use the comment box at the bottom of this hub.

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Comments 36 comments

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Funnebone! What a flatterer! I'm not sure the world is ready for a bunch of prickly me's.

Thank you for coming for a visit. and your kind comment regards Zsuzsy


funnebone profile image

funnebone 8 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

Very nice...your wealth of information is matched by your lovely disposition. If I had the ability I would plant a row of ZSuzzyBee seeds and grow a crop of you.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Princessa! How are you? Glad you came by. I love Brussel sprouts too. I can never wait till they're grown. Every year I seem to be increasing their patch and still never enough.

Thanks for your comment, take care

regards Zsuzsy


Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France

I enjoyed this hub :) Brussel sprouts are one of my favourites snacks (weird as a snack I know) I eat them anytime I feel hungry and do not fancy cooking, they are delicious just steamed and sprinkled with sesame oil.

Endives are another favorite, I like them cooked in the oven with a bechamel sauce. But for growing vegetables, I am afraid I only grow cherry tomatoes these days as they are the easiest ones to grow!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Mariesue! I'm always glad when you come visiting. Our food source being messed with really makes me nervous. I'm convinced, actually I'm one hundred percent convinced that the re-engineered & rebuilt (or whatever they do to them) seeds are partly to blame for all the weird cancers and deseases worldwide.

Thank you for commenting. regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Sally! How are you? I'm so glad you came by for a visit. I too check on things that tickle my fancy, it's at those tangents that I usually I find some of the most fascinating information.

thanks for coming talk to you soon regards Zsuzsy


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

Thanks zsuzsy this is great!!! I'm sure our food is evolving...we keep messin with it!!

I love the history of food, words, people and countries...I too, am inspired to know more about our food origin. I used to know some Patels from India and they planted veggies in their garden that I had not tasted. They grew well in Oklahoma and the taste was similar to some vegetables we had here but it was fascinating to eat something that looked so different.

I would like to take a course in foods like this but i dont want the quiz at the end...just the fun part. hahaha

another great hub...=)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Zsuzsy, your hub was so interesting that I found myself surfing through the web looking for more information on vegetable origins.

Interestingly, the cucumber hails from India, and was among the favorites of the ancient Romans. Not so long ago, the cucumber was called *cowcumber* in seriousness. Squash originated in South America, and as I think most know, was a staple of the native North American Indian diet, eventually going the other ways across the oceans to be enjoyed by Europeans and Asians alike. The cowpea is also from India...well, you get the idea, I found it hard to quit once I got started.

Stellar hubs are the ones that make you want to know more, and that's exactly what your hub did. Thank you!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Oberbreckling! Thanks for coming for a visit. Dinners at 6:00. I will be reading your hub and I bet I will find it interesting too.

regards Zsuzsy


oberbreckling 8 years ago

Hi Zsuzsy ya know what I realize is you need to come cook for me all this talk about this great tasting food makin me hungry lol you sure have alot of fun with this after reading your hub mine would probably be boring to ya ~cool~cya!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Robie! There is nothing like tender fresh lettuce leafs from the garden. (It almost grows itself not too hard) I just finished a big bowl. yum. Glad you came by for a visit and thanks for your comment.

regards Zsuzsy


robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

I love your international garden party and think the global union of vegetables is an impressive group--what a nifty idea. I don't grow veggies in my garden--too labor intensive-- but I do love the flavor of fresh picked anything--you got me thinjing though--maybe just some lettuce:-) Thanks for another delightful hub Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Karen! I agree I had a dickens of a time finding the company that I deal with now. As a lot of the companies that are on line just don't ship into Canada.

Thanks for taking the time to check out the hub and your comment

regards Zsuzsy


Karen Ellis profile image

Karen Ellis 8 years ago from Central Oregon

It becomes more and more difficult to find orginal seeds. I do wonder if some day they will be illegal to have.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

The souvenirs and postcard to your right, the coffee shop/snack bar just opened and serves the best jackalope stew in town (homemade of course).

Thanks for stoping by Bob, I'm always glad when you visit.

regards Zsuzsy


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

Thanks for the tour, now to visit the souvenir stand. :)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

C.S.Alexis! Thanks for stoping by and for your kind comment. I had fun writing this hub.

regards Zsuzsy


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 8 years ago from NW Indiana

You out did yourself on this hub, great write and fun too!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

CGull! Glad you came by. This hub is a result of my usual off on a tangent research. Thanks for your comment. regards Zsuzsy


cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 8 years ago from North Carolina

Nice history lesson Zsuzsy, we have to thank the previous generations of immigrants of making it possible. No wonder we see a wide diversity of plant, food.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

rmr! I guarantee that the coffee grounds will work super. Thanks for coming for a visit.

regards Zsuzsy


rmr profile image

rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

Brussels sprouts are among my favorite veggies! I never really thought about their origins, though. I guess the name says it all. I'm going to try the coffee grounds trick for my tomatoes. Thanks!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Storyteller! I'm always glad when you come for a visit. Roma tomatoes are one of the easiest tomatoes to grow. A nice sunny spot, nice loamy soil, and I let you in on my little secret...(don't tell everyone, this is just for you) just before planting your plantlets soften up the soil and mix in a bit of coffee grounds. My tomatoes and geraniums are just as caffeine addicted as I am. (They thrive better then I do though) Seriously an occasional cold coffee 'watering' will do wonders and never, never throw your coffee grinds away, just sprinkle around in the tomato patch. Good luck with your garden.

regards Zsuzsy


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Hey Zsuzsy Bee,

I have been mulling over what I might grow here in dry, desert-like Colorado. You have inspired me... I might start with Roma tomatoes. I love the organic, store bought ones... and you make it sound possible!

My thumb is so opposite green that when I worked in a garden store, I killed the bromeliad... wish me luck, LOL.

I love your international flavor... sic.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hey SweetiePie! Nice to see you here. Thanks for your comment.

regards Zsuzsy


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

I love this hub and the descriptions of Roma tomatoes and Brussles Sprouts sound lovely.  One of my favorite things is pasta sauce made from homegrown tomatoes, so you have my vote there! Thanks for the very entertaining and informative hub. 


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Isabella! How are ya? Glad you came for a visit. Brussel sprouts taste awesome with a little butter and salt and pepper. Like very, very mild sweet and tender cabbage leaves.

Thanks for your comment. regards Zsuzsy


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 8 years ago

I don't think I've ever eaten Brussels Sprouts.. or however you spell it. But they look lovely in your photos!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

John! Thanks for taking a look and for your comment.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Gawn Fishin! Neet new avatar! Glad you liked my hub.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Donna! I'm sure few people think of the origin of veggie seed. Thanks for coming by.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Eileen! Glad you came by for a visit and thanks for your comment.

regards Zsuzsy


John Chancellor profile image

John Chancellor 8 years ago from Tennessee

Very intereresting ... I think we just take these things for granted and never consider where all our veggies come from.


Gawn Fishin' profile image

Gawn Fishin' 8 years ago from Vancouver, BC

Growing up on a big vegetable farm, I never gave a thought to where the plants originated. I'll be thinking about this for a while. Love your hub Eileen!


donnaleemason profile image

donnaleemason 8 years ago from North Dakota, USA

Never really thought about it. Great hub.


Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

That was really interesting. I had never even thought about that. I always looked for australian grown or similar but hadnt thought about the actual names. Thanks for that

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    As far as I know no such group as the GUOV exists.

    Photos courtesy of Morgue files.

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