Originally, vegetables were collected from the wild by hunter-gatherers and entered cultivation in several parts of the world, probably during the period 10,000 BC to 7,000 BC, when a new agricultural way of life developed. At first plants which grew locally would have been cultivated, but as time went on, trade brought exotic crops from elsewhere to add to domestic types. Nowadays, most vegetables are grown all over the world as climate permits, and crops may be cultivated in protected environments in less suitable locations. China is the largest producer of vegetables, and global trade in agricultural products allows consumers to purchase vegetables grown in faraway countries. The scale of production varies from subsistence farmers supplying the needs of their family for food, to agribusinesses with vast acreages of single product crops. Depending on the type of vegetable concerned, harvesting the crop is followed by grading, storing, processing and marketing.Vegetables can be eaten either raw or cooked and play an important role in human nutrition, being mostly low in fat and carbohydrates, but high in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Many governments encourage their citizens to consume plenty of fruit and vegetables, five or more portions a day often being recommended
- Asian Vegetables
There is a wide variety of Asian vegetables available in Australia and they have added ingredients to many Australian recipes. The demands for Asian vegetables are increasing mainly due to increasing Asian population, health-consciousness and desire for variety of food. However due to the communication barriers, the cultivation techniques will remain lesser known to main stream growers and home gardeners.Vegetables that have originated in the East and Southeast Asian countries such as China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam are called 'Asian Vegetables' or 'Oriental crops'.The following main varieties and many more have added to the diversity of Asian vegetables; Chinese cabbages, Chinese mustards, Japanese pumpkins, Ceylon spinach, Water spinach, Loofahs, Chinese radish, Japanese bunching onion, Gourds, Chinese beet, Chinese chard, Oriental mushrooms, Oriental pickling melons.There is limited data available as to the size of the industry or the total production in Victoria. However several states, including Victoria, have conducted programs promoting these new vegetables, as there have been potential export markets identified in Asia.Asian vegetables can be grown in a range of soil types with different soil physical characteristics similar to the traditional vegetables. The range of soil types could vary from sandy soils to heavy textured clay loams, but friable well-drained soils high in organic matter are preferred. The ideal pH range is 5.5-7.0. If required lime can be applied to acid soils with pH is below 5.5. However management of soil pH has to be approached carefully if soil born diseases such as clubroot are present.A satisfactory drainage in the soil is important as Asian vegetables require plenty of water supply including irrigation for satisfactory growth. Poorly drained soils cause many Asian vegetables susceptible to root diseases. As these vegetables have shallow root systems irrigation is essential, sometimes daily for establishing crops and especially when the weather is hot. Proper irrigation will increase yields and help prevent nutritional and physiological disorders. Too much watering can cause root death resulting in poor quality produce. Close rotations with other similar crops in the same family grouping should be avoided to prevent pests and diseases.Excessive wind and heavy frosts can severely affect yield and quality but most areas in South Eastern Australia are suitable for the production of the majority of Asian vegetables. Many commercial growers use polyhouses to extend the growing season and to grow more of the tropical Asian vegetables that require higher temperatures.
In general use, herbs are any plants used for food, flavoring, medicine, or perfume. Culinary use typically distinguishes herbs from spices. Herbs refer to the leafy green parts of a plant (either fresh or dried), while a "spice" is a product from another part of the plant (usually dried), including seeds, berries, bark, roots and fruits.In American botanical English the word "herb" is also used as a synonym of "herbaceous plant".Herbs have a variety of uses including culinary, medicinal, and in some cases spiritual usage. General usage of the term "herb" differs between culinary herbs and medicinal herbs. In medicinal or spiritual use any of the parts of the plant might be considered "herbs", including leaves, roots, flowers, seeds, resin, root bark, inner bark (and cambium), berries and sometimes the pericarp or other portions of the plant.The word "herb" is pronounced /ˈɜrb/ by most North American speakers and in some dialects in the UK, or /ˈhɜrb/ by some North American speakers and in all other English-speaking countries
- For My Cat
- Trees & Shrubs
One of the key concepts of permaculture forest gardening is that we try to use all of the different layers available to us in our forest system. The trees at the top form the canopy, these trees get the most light, water and nutrients and are often the biggest ones in the system. In order to develop highly productive systems in our backyards we need to utilise the space underneath trees to also produce for us.The next layer under the canopy is the shrub layer. This is formed from woody plants with multiple stems rather than the single trunk common in our canopy trees. There are heaps of different functions that shrubs can fulfill, including creating mulch, forming habitat and providing micro-climates..The shrub layer can be hard to design given that the system changes as it matures. Early on, the shrubs will be receiving full sun but as the canopy matures the shrubs will start to receive partial shade. This means that either you need to change the plants in your shrub layer as the system matures (if the shrubs you chose can’t produce in shade) or you need to select shrubs that can grow in both full sun and partial shade.