Twenty-Five Top Five

May 27, 2010 at 6:42 pm Leave a comment

By Camille Armantrout

Camille and Bob grow their favorite veggies in containers and a "sunken garden" in an old swimming pool

Earlier this month, Bob and I took a couple of weeks off for our annual road trip north to visit family and friends.  Those 1500 miles on the road in Blanche, our Mercedes 300TD “Hoopty Ride” wagon gave us plenty of time to chew on things.

It wasn’t long before our conversation turned to food and gardening and we remembered Farmer Jason telling us that parsnips were on his top five list so we decided to come up with our own list.  We asked ourselves, “If we could only grow five vegetables which five would we grow?” Here’s what we decided on:

TOP FIVE MUST-HAVE
Beets
Cabbage
Onions
Potatoes
Tomatoes

Beets do double duty, providing greens as well as the sweet beet root. Cabbage is magic and extremely versatile.  Much of the world subsists quite nicely on a diet of beans, rice and cabbage. Nearly every meal in our home begins with an onion.  We both have Irish roots, so potatoes are a must.  Plus they are delicious, satisfying and store well.  Tomatoes are indispensable for TLTs (Tempeh, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches) in the summer and spaghetti sauce in the winter.

Well that only whet our appetite, so we went on to create four more top fives.

TOP FIVE RAW
Butterhead Lettuce
Salad Turnips
Spinach
Sugar Snap Peas
Sweet Red Pepper

TOP FIVE COOKED
Artichokes
Asparagus
Mushrooms
Shishito Peppers
Sweet Corn

TOP FIVE EASIEST TO GROW
Cucumber
Green Onions
Lettuce
Okra
Tomatoes

TOP FIVE DRIED
Black Beans
Chick Peas
Rice
Soybeans
Wheat

We already have more than 25 vegetables and herbs growing in our garden and have yet to add artichokes, cabbage, or sweet corn. And we’d need a bit more acreage to grow enough beans and grain to replace what we currently buy.  Lucky for us our neighbors at Edible Earthscapes are growing black beans and rice.

At the end of the day, it’s fun to make lists and I feel confident that if we were limited, we would live a healthy, happy and sustainable life eating our top 25.

Editor’s comment: What? No rainbow chard? Ok, dear readers, tell us what’s in your top five.

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Entry filed under: Camille Armantrout, Sustainable Farming, Sustainable Food. Tags: , .

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