Edible Plants on a Texas Farm

When I decided to go meatless, I drew on memories of my Texas childhood to recall what a lot of plant foods we enjoyed, some of them grown and harvested on my grandmother’s farm. Mashed potatoes, green beans, fried okra, fresh peaches, strawberries, bananas, apples, pears, plums, and pomegranates were just a few of my favorite plant foods (we just called them fruit and vegetables) as a farm kid growing up in North Texas.

Over the years, I had become increasingly complacent about “balanced meals.” I knew I needed to eat more fruits and vegetables, but if I had meat and potatoes, I wrote it off as a balanced meal, and if I ordered a salad once in awhile when eating out, I felt especially righteous. When I decided to ditch the meat, I challenged myself to recall all the delicious plant foods I could think of, and I started the glossary to record them, along with other less familiar discoveries. The glossary evolved into the section of Plant Food Facts.

These are some of my childhood memories, some favorite foods, like strawberries; others, like carrots and brussels sprouts, not so much:


apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, dates, grapes and raisins, lemons, limes, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums and prunes, pomegranate, strawberries, tangerines, watermelon


asparagus, beans, beets, bell peppers, blackeyed peas, broccoli, brussels sprouts, chili peppers, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, corn and hominy, cucumbers and pickles, garlic, green beans, lettuce, mushrooms, onion, peas, potato, sweet potato, tomato, turnip and greens


almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, chocolate, cinnamon, coconut, coffee, dill, oatmeal, parsley, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, rice, spearmint, vanilla, walnuts, wheat