One more chapter on the history of agriculture and man. We have already talked about Cereals, Feculent Plants, Legumes and now fulfilling the invitation I made in the previous chapter we will talk about...
These are my friends from Colonia Tovar preparing the products to take them to the market.
From the colorful tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, pumpkins or pumpkins sometimes of immense sizes; onions, cabbages, lettuces of various types but always green, its regular consumption is highly recommended.
They are plants traditionally grown in gardens, vegetables embrace a huge and varied range that provide us with fresh products for our food.
Depending on the species, they can be roots or tubers (carrot, turnip, celery), stems (asparagus, radish), bulbs (garlic, onion), fruits (tomato, eggplant, bell pepper, squash, zucchini), set of leaves or their petioles (lettuce, spinach, cabbage, chard) and even flowers or inflorescences (cauliflower, broccoli).
Vegetables, being basically perishable products, have traditionally been grown near large consumption centers and are considered elements for self-sufficiency.
However, due to demographic expansion and pressure for space (areas), growers have had to migrate to more remote areas within rural sectors. This results in additional value for the consumer, who ultimately pays the cost of transportation.
Horticulture has benefited from technological advances in aspects such as irrigation and farms under controlled conditions, i.e. greenhouses or grow houses.
World vegetable production should be in the order of one million tons per year.
China, the Asian giant, is the leading producer of practically all vegetables in the world with the exception of the artichoke produced by Italy and the chymombo produced in India. Of the rest tomato, bell pepper, eggplant, cucumber, asparagus, onion, pumpkin, carrot, garlic, spinach, cabbage, are from China and of course it is related to its very high population.
In the Americas, the United States is the second largest producer of tomatoes and carrots. Mexico is the second largest producer of peppers and Peru is the second largest producer of asparagus.
Photo of Vegetables in local market stall - Maracay
The tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), is a bushy plant, it is cultivated for its fruit, it can be consumed as a fresh or cooked vegetable, it is the most cultivated vegetable, it is a berry generally red or orange color, it is very rich in vitamin C and potassium (K). Although China is the world's largest producer, its origin is located in the Andean highlands where it was cultivated by the Incas. It arrived in Italy in the 16th century, but its true propagation in Europe did not take place until the 19th century. As a curious fact, it was in the 19th century, 1812, when it reached the United States and today it is the second largest producer in the world.
The Eggplant (Solanum melongena), is a shrub that can reach up to 2 meters high, its fruits have a spongy flesh and a soft and thin skin, usually violet or deep purple. Its origin is in India. China is the first producer with an estimated 50% of world production and has been cultivated for 2,500 years. Eggplant has few calories but is rich in fiber, the way to consume it is very varied, fried, baked, mashed etc..
The bell pepper (Capsicum annuum), originally from Central America, has been cultivated for 9,000 years, its root is located in Cuba where it was discovered by a doctor of Christopher Columbus in 1494.
Of varied colors, it is rich in vitamins A and C. There are sweet, hot and very hot varieties of peppers.
Mexico is the world's second largest producer and Spain is the first European producer, I have already said that China is the first with 40% of world production.
Together with tomatoes, it is the two crops that I produce the most in our family garden.
Among the vegetables are the largest, they are cucumbers, melons, pumpkins. Their fruits represent 20% of the world's vegetable production.
The cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is an annual plant that can climb thanks to tendrils called shoots. It was cultivated in India until it was brought to the Mediterranean area where it was highly appreciated by the Greeks and Romans for its refreshing flesh. It has a very high water content, 95%, and yet the best soils are dry!
China is the world's largest producer, accounting for 60% of the world's production.
The candied pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima) is the largest of the vegetable kingdom, are round and flattened at both poles and covered by a thick rind of a color ranging from cream to deep green, its flesh is a yellow-orange and a semi-sweet taste.
It is native to Central and South America.
I use pumpkin in soups, puree and also in cakes, but many producers use it for animal feed.
Garlic (Allium sativum) has an inimitable aroma, which is given by Alina, a sulfur compound that when in contact with air is transformed into Allicin; it is a plant about 40 to 60 cm high. It is a bulb that is also called head that in turn is divided into numerous segments which we call teeth. It is thought to be native to central Asia or northern India, the truth is that its history begins with the Sumerians who cultivated it 5,000 years ago, in China and India there are records of 3,000 years ago.
Medical fact, in 1858 Pasteur demonstrated the antibacterial activity of garlic, today it is proven that it has antifungal properties.
China accounts for 70% of the world's production.
I use garlic cloves as a seasoning in almost all the savory foods I prepare.
I have never had the opportunity to grow it, just as I have never grown ...
Onion: (Allium cepa) is a widely cultivated vegetable, the plant grows as a single bulb with long hollow green leaves. The onion has become an irreplaceable element in the kitchen for the pleasant flavor it provides to meals.
It is native to Asia and China is the world's leading producer for a change.
Well dear readers, with all due respect, I am going to divide in two the writing of the vegetables, the next chapter I will talk about leafy vegetables (spinach, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, asparagus and artichokes).
Photographic support and original writing by Oizaguirres for read.cash.
The video was filmed with my grower friends from Colonia Tovar - Aragua - Venezuela.