The little green sprouts of oregano I saw in the over wise barren garden plot, got me thinking about what to grow this year. I set up my garden the same as my grandfathers did; centered around basil and tomatoes. Roma and Beefsteak tomatoes in particular.
My dad gardened too, but never vegetables only flowers. The majority of those flowers where Iris. At eighty five years old he still loves them. I make sure I buy my dad and mom flowers often.
That traditional approach made me think about varying my choices.
Looking up varieties of tomatoes, while I was having breakfast, got me looking up the varieties of other cultivated plants too.
So, to put the number of tomatoes types in context, and also see what has the greatest varieties, I made a list of the number of varieties for a few other plants commonly grown for food purposes. Some of these numbers are contested, by one source or another, but fascinating none the less.
- Celery – 13
- Kale – 23
- Potatoes – 500
- Figs – 800
- Rice – 7000
- Apples – 7500
- Grapes for wine – 10,000
- Tomatoes – 25,000
- Wheat – 30,000
- Corn – 80,0000
Funny how my intellectual adventure lead me to the very thing that surrounds my little island city of Peoria – corn.
Another fun fact; seeds for all the 80,000 varieties of corn listed are stored on the archipelago; The University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana.
Last fun fact; Gardening leads to harvesting which leads to cooking!
Feel the need to dig further? See below.