Many vegetables have disappeared from our stalls, giving way to those that offer a better yield. These forgotten vegetables are however delicious and their benefits are demonstrated. Another advantage, and not the least, they are easy to grow because undemanding. It is therefore time to bring old vegetables up to date, and to give some ideas to gardeners who lack inspiration, here is a selection of 7 vegetables of yesteryear that deserve their place in the vegetable garden, even for some, in the pleasure garden.
It had its heyday three centuries ago, then gradually fell into disuse in our country. Yet its taste slightly anise is very pleasant, as is its fragrance and texture. Fennel (Common fennel), of the Apiaceae family, can be eaten raw or cooked and deserves to be often put on the menu because it is very good for your health. We eat its bulb, its stems but also its aromatic green leaves, small and vaporous.
It likes soil without stones, fresh and humus-rich, therefore rich in manure. The harvest takes place between June and March. But be careful, because of its southern origin, this very chilly afraid of frost. It must therefore be installed in a sunny position and sheltered from cold winds.
With its flavor reminiscent of artichoke, christophine (sechium for success), which belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, is native to Réunion. It is called chayotte (which can also be written with a single “t”) or even chouchou. His fruit is in the shape of a dented pear of good size and has a core. It is edible. It is eaten after cooking. Its taste is reminiscent of zucchini. You can simply fry it, stuff it or serve it as a gratin. About the very of this perennial plant, it is also edible.
The christophine likes rich, humid soils and sunny exposures. This tropical plant grow fast. In a few months, its vines can reach 8 to 10 meters in length. It is a chilly plant, not well suited to pot culture, which does not withstand the frequent frosts in France. It is therefore grown in the ground, but as a annualwhich makes it necessary to sow it every year.
With its distinctive flavor, parsnip (Parsnip sativa), of the family Apiaceae, can be used as condiment. But it’s a root vegetable which tastes just as good cuitroasted in the oven, in soup or even mashed potatoes, as an accompaniment, or cru after being grated. There are three types of parsnips: half-long, round and long.
The parsnip appreciates loose, rich and cool soils and needs a sunny position. We plant it away from lettuce, but if possible near onions, broad beans, cabbage, beans and radishes. Very easy to grow, it does not require no special maintenance if not consistent and regular watering, especially in dry and hot weather. Avoid wetting its foliage. We like the fact that he resists frost well which are said to sweeten its flavor. It is harvested between 4 and 5 months after sowing.
Delicious, the Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) belongs to the Asteraceae family. Her flavor, slightly sweet, more or less reminiscent of the artichoke. It is also called jerusalem artichoke. But it can also be found under other names such as Perennial Sun and Canadian Truffle. Highly consumed during the Second World War, this root vegetable originating in America was completely neglected thereafter. It is eaten cooked, hot or cold, alone or with other vegetables. A drizzle of hazelnut oil enhances its taste.
It is from the month of March until the end of April that we can plant the tubers, in lightly sandy, well-drained soil rich in mature manure. The Jerusalem artichoke particularly appreciates sunny situations but tolerates areas with partial shade. The harvest takes place from November until spring. The Jerusalem artichoke does not keep long after harvest. It is therefore left in the ground, to be used as and when needed, which poses no problem since it do not fear frost.
Swiss chard, Swiss chard or perry
Cultivated since Antiquity, Swiss chard is rich in antioxidants. This chard soup (Beta vulgaris var. cyclic), from the Chenopodiaceae family, is eaten in soup or au gratin with béchamel sauce like leeks for example. His leaves have a taste close to that of spinach while its ribs are more like beets, which have a slightly earthy flavor unless they are cooked. Leaves and ribs are cooked separately so that the cooking time specific to each can be respected.
Swiss chard is sown between April and June, one seed every 5 or 6 cm, in silico-clayey soil, rich in humus, deep and cool. This biennial vegetable must be installed in a sunny area of the garden. Very easy to grow, Swiss chard only needs regular watering in summer. It can be harvested 8 to 9 weeks after sowing.
The Chervis (Of his arms), is a vegetable plant of the Apiaceae family. He was very popular with the kings of France. His edible rootshave firm flesh whose flavor, subtly sweet, evokes, all things considered, that of parsnips, another ancient vegetable to plant in the vegetable garden even if you do not have much gardening experience.
Simple to cultivate, the chervis likes cool, loose, deep and very humus-rich soils, and it likes under the sun, or in partial shade during the day in the hottest regions. He needsregular watering especially when it is hot, which is why it is recommended to install a mulch that preserves the humidity of the earth.
Perfect if you want to include in your menu a wild plantRapunzel (Phyteuma spicatum), from the Campanulaceae family, is very interesting because we consume its roots cooked, steamed, boiled or stewed, as well as its leaves simply raw with vinaigrette as you do with any salad. But its flowers are also edible. Rapunzel is rich in fibre, minerals, trace elements and vitamins.
Rapunzel grows spontaneously in ditches and meadows. That is to say if its culture is simple. It can therefore be installed in the ornamental garden for the beauty of its flowers or in the vegetable garden… It needs a drained, humus-rich soil and is not not very demanding since a neutral or alkaline soil suits it perfectly and it grows just as well in clayey as calcareous soil. She offers a good resistance to cold and its water needs are moderate. Moreover, it is harvested from January to December.
The list of ancient vegetables is not limited to these few examples. All of them enabled our ancestors to feed their families, in all simplicity, at a time when we did not use no chemicals to fertilize the land or treat its crops. It is fortunate to see them gradually returning to service, especially since we can preserve the environment by renouncing modern treatments since these plants are resistant. This is the reason why many gardeners make it a point of honor to cultivate them in their vegetable gardens, in the city as well as in the countryside.