Niki Jabbour‘s adventures with oddball, unexpected edibles began when she grew a 5-foot-long snake gourd intended as an element of Halloween decorations. And then almost accidentally she learned from her Lebanese mother-in-law that young fruits off the vine were also delectable vegetables. Today, Niki’s new book, “Veggie Garden Remix,” profiles not just that cucuzza, but 223 other possibilities to shake up your vegetable garden, as she has.
A popular lecturer and author, Niki gardens in Halifax, Nova Scotia, producing harvests in all four seasons — and not just your basic everyday edibles, either. I welcomed her back to the program to talk about a wacky wide range of things to grow this year—and especially about eight surprising substitutes for spinach, in case you crave the flavor but have trouble with spinach in some portion of your growing season, like maybe in the hottest part of summer.