Now, at Smart Kitchen we are not gardeners for the sake of gardening, though it is nice. We are eaters and cookers, I mean gourmands and chefs, sometimes disguised as gardeners.
Nevertheless, we were excited to see that the US Department of Agriculture has revised its Plant Hardiness Map after 12 years. The new map shows some warming of the lowest lows in many areas meaning that extremes of cold should not kill off that warmer weather plants, even in more northerly climes.
The major drawback in using the map, for us as chef’s, though is that the Plant Hardiness Data Base and Zone Map only relates zip codes to one of 11 defined climate zones. To learn which garden crops grow in each of those climate zones, you then have to correlate the proper plants, zone by zone, using another database like the PlantFinder Database at Garden.org or the What to Plant Now Database at Mother Earth News. Each of those databases has drawbacks for easily finding out which edible plants might grow in any given climate zone or zip code. Sorry, the immediately foregoing is not factually true. Zone 1 is an easy because only 7 plants of any kind, including pine trees, are suitable for the frigid Zone 1. What we should have said is that it is tough for 10 of the climate zones.
Talk about foodie web surfing, wouldn’t it be cool if some database programming type could merge the functionality of the two databases for the use of bored and curious foodies? In a snap we’d know, how far north Coconuts or Dates could grow? Or how far south can one hope to tap a Sugar Maple tree and still expect some sap to flow? I am getting excited about the possibilities but….
Until the Smart Kitchen powers that be offer us more programming time, this blog post will have to be filed under wish lists, unless you, the reader, happen to be a database engineer and want to volunteer to work on a good cause, a project to sooth the souls of the members of the foodie/gardening humanity. If it’s you sleepless in wherever, get in touch with us.
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