(Beta Vulgaris Subsp)
Beets first came to America during the 19th Century, but are originally from Mediterranean Europe & North Africa. Beetroot also contains betaine, a substance that relaxes the mind & is used in other forms to treat depression. One of the earliest known benefits of the beetroot is its use as an aphrodisiac.
The first recorded mention of celery is widely debated but it is believed to be the same plant as Selinon from Homer’s “Odyssey” about 850 B.C. In fact, having originated in the Mediterranean, ancient Greeks used the veggies as flowers to reward winners of certain athletic games.
It is often debated whether Mustard Greens originated in India or China, but it is known that they were brought over to America sometime during the 17th Century. Mustard plants have been successfully used to remove toxic substances (like heavy metals) from the soil.
Turnip and Turnip Greens
Turnips are originally native to Eastern Asia and were brought to America during the 14th Century. Turnips are not only eaten by humans but are also used as livestock feed. They were even used like pumpkins, carved into jack-o-lanterns on Halloween, and made to frighten evil spirits away during the Celtic holiday, Samhain.
Lima beans were first brought to America during the 14th Century and are originally from Peru. Not only was the world’s tallest lima bean plant over 45′ tall, but in ancient Greece, public officials were elected by beans!
Okra is in the same family as Hollyhock, Hibiscus, and Certain Roses. Okra also goes by the name “Gumbo” or “Ladyfingers”. Though its origins stem from Ethiopia, Okra was popularized in the southern region of Louisiana after being brought over in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Tomatoes didn’t become popular in America until the 19th Century even though they can be traced to the Aztecs around 700 A.D.. There are over 10,000 varieties of tomatoes worldwide, we have even grown seedlings in space before!
(Cucurbita pepo subsp Pepo)
Summer Squash originated right here in the Americas! Squash comes from the Narragansett Indian word “askutasquash” which means “eaten raw or uncooked”, and while we make squash into a delicious side dish, in Latin America it is most famous for being made into candies.