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Vegetables in the
Ford Garden
The Written Word
 Aquaponics combines aquaculture
with hydroponics.
 Fish produce ammonia (NH), which
bacteria convert to nitrate (NH3).
 The water is sent to plants, which
absorb nutrients that they need.
 The water returned to the fish.
 Mexico: Aztecs built rafts
(chinampas). Waste from canals
and cities irrigated the plants.
 Asia: Farmers combined rice in
paddies with fish to grow both.
Spinacia oleracea
 Vitamins A, C, E, K, calcium for eyes and brain.
More iron than meat !
 Too bad Popeye ate out of
a can. Loses color and
vitamins when processed.
 Yummy in salads.
 Likes cool weather. Nearly
all grown out West.
 Origin: Persia, Nepal
 Will nitrogen grow plants
better in the soil or the
water ?
 What bacteria are best for
plants? What do they do?
 How do fish help plants and
plants help fish?
 Is this a new idea or has it
worked for millions of
 Can this knowledge help us
grow food in the city?
 Can it feed people who
don’t have enough water?
Taro Family-Araceae
 Tropical plant, grown for
its roots (corms), leaves.
 African and Asian staple,
starchy like potato.
 Origin: India - one of the
early cultivated plants.
 Toxic when raw. Baked
roasted, boiled. Sugars
are sweet, nutty.
 Called dasheen, gabi,
elephant ears, name,
yam, cocoyam, inhame.
Raphanus sativus
 Root crop, same as beets,
garlic, potato, carrots.
 A bit bitter. Grown for oil.
 Rich in B6, ascorbic acid,
 Grows in 30 days.
 Cultivated thousands of
years ago in China and
Greece – here in 1629.
 Romans called it wolf peach.
Italians: golden apple.
 90% comes from the West
and sprayed.
 7,500 varieties: really a fruit.
Grown in greenhouses in
cool climates.
 Served in salads and cooked,
as in pizza, sauces.
 Like most veggies, 90%
 Origin: South America
Corn: Zea mays
 No. 1 US crop. Used to produce
eggs, milk, meat, fuel, cooking
oil, whiskey, dog food, plastic.
 Major source of starch.
 Sweetens cereals, tonic, peanut
butter. Too much sugar !
 Yellow, red, pink, black, and
blue. Kernels grow on ears,
protected by silk in a husk.
 Origin: Mexico 9,000 years ago.
Called maize.
 Leafy like cabbage, kale,
broccoli. Blue green leaves.
Slight bitter taste. .
 Southern favorite. Loves hot
weather and the cold of late
autumn. Flavor enhanced by
light frost.
 High in fiber, vitamin C, counters cancer, virus, bacteria.
 Also called berza, couve.
 Origin: Asia Minor
Pea : Pisum sativum
 Edible seeds grow six feet in
pods. Tendrils help it stand.
 Leaves have 1-3 leaflets.
White flowers, purple
 Used in soups, salads, snacks.
High: protein, vitamins A, C.
 Cousin of beans and peanuts.
 Mendel used them to found
study of genetics.
 Origin: Georgia (5,000 BCE)
Bean: Fabaceae
 High in protein. Can be stored
for years. Soaking revives.
 Some boiled to destroy toxin.
 4,000 types; kidney, soy green,
pole, string, snap, refried,
black, pinto, etc.
 Beans, beans, the magical fruit.
The more you eat, the more you toot.
The more you toot, the better you feel.
Lets have beans with every meal !
 Origin: Mid-East, Americas
Long Bean
Vigna unguiculata
 Grows to three feet: tastes best
at 18 inches.
 Used in casseroles, stir-fry,
soups. Blanch and fry with
garlic and olive oil.
 Called yard-long, asparagus
snake bean, cow pea, bora.
 Same plant family as blackeyed pea.
 Good source of protein, vitamin
A and C, thiamin, iron, folate,
phosphorus, potassium,
magnesium, manganese.
 Perennial: grows on a bush.
 Turns from green to purple to
 Low-bush benefit from fires.
 Pruned or burned every two
years to manage pests.
 Maine crop is largest lowbush: uses 50,000 beehives.
 Helps with infections, strokes,
cognition, blood pressure.
 Canada’s largest fruit crop.
Bok Choy:
Brassica rapa
 Related to cabbage, turnip;
 Studied in Ming dynasty for
medicinal qualities;
 Pekinensis: broad leaves with
 Chinensis: no head, more like
celery or mustard;
 Winter-hardy
 In small amounts, may
prevent cancer. Toxic in large
Beta vulgaris
 Red-purple, white-red roots.
Bleeds during cooking. Sweet
taste – made into sugar.
 Roots crunchy and buttery.
Leaves are bitter, can be
 Made into soup (borscht).
 Lowers blood pressure, fights
tumors, laxative.
 Rich in vitamins & minerals.
 Origin: No. Africa 2,000 BCE
Allium schoenoprasum
 Smallest of onions,
 Stems serve as leaves.
 Repels insects, attracts
 Rich in vitamins A and C,
calcium and iron.
 Cut back, it continues to
 Its use dates back 5,000
Daucus carota
 Favorite of Bugs Bunny. Will
eating carrots improve your
eyesight? High energy food.
 Orange, white, yellow, purple,
red. The root is eaten. crunchy,
sweet. Feathery leaves bitter
and toxic.
 Made into juice, cake, pudding.
 Helps with digestion, parasites,
 Origin: Asia, Middle East
Pepper: Capsicum annuum
 Comes out of the flower.
 Natives used it as seasoning.
 In tropics, grows several
season. Here an annual.
 A thick, fleshy wall
surrounds the seeds like
fruit; wall is eaten.
 Hot peppers are jalapeno
and habanera. Eat at own
risk !
 Origin: South America
Eggplant: Solanum melongena
 Large, egg-shaped. Purple
variety in U.S. since 1860.
Low in vitamins / calories.
 White, brown, yellow, or
striped fruits.
 Grow in tropics. Fruit grows
out of gray-green hairy leaves
as large as a football.
 Some thought it caused bad
breath, madness, leprosy,
 Origin: Northern India
Brassica oleracea
 Looks like broccoli, opens
outward with green florets,
white flowers.
 Loves cool, moist climate.
Heavy leaves protect flowers
from sun.
 Low in fat, high in vitamin C,
fiber, and carbohydrates.
 Eaten raw, cooked, pickled.
 Origin: Asia Minor
Lettuce: Lactuca sativa
 Used in salads; few calories.
High in calcium, iron and
vitamin A.
 Types: Romaine, Bibb,
Iceberg, Chinese.
 Large leaves grow close to
the ground on short stems.
Dislikes dryness.
 Important farm crop, mainly
grown out West.
 Origin: Middle East as early
as 550 BCE.
Cabbage: Brassica oleracea
 Easy to grow, frost-hardy.
Lots of vitamin C.
 Family: cabbage, broccoli,
cauliflower, Brussel sprouts.
 Types: white, red, savoy.
Savoy is wrinkled. White
cabbage (pale green) eaten
in salads, cooked, pickled as
 Problems: snails, slugs,
 Origin: Europe, Mediterranean. Called “wild mustard.”