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Parsnip (by kind permission of the West Carmarthenshire Museum of Root Vegetables)

Veggiestrology is the mystic art of foretelling your future with vegetables. For literally years and centuries and aeons, The Ancients came to believe that it didn’t matter where you were born, or who your parents were; the most significant influence on your future personality was the type of vegetable growing nearby at the time of birth. The Ancients divided the year into 13 equal 'plots’ and to each ‘plot’ they allotted its appropriate vegetable. By using a process known as 'Souping' they were then able to analyse the unique characteristics of each vegetable and were thus able to predict the likely shape and outcome of a person’s life.


Pages from Veggielorum Manuscript. Courtesy of J.P.Shafenacker Museum Trust.

This collection of manuscripts was passed down from Ancient to Ancient and became known as THE VEGGIELORUM.

Unfortunately, sometime in the mists of history, one of the Ancients went and left THE VEGGIELORUM on the kitchen table. And it was the last copy. Then while he was out doing some hunting and gathering The Ancient’s wife came in and ‘chucked’ the whole lot away. It is not recorded what happened next. However THE VEGGIELORUM disappeared from view for thousands of years and with it all knowledge of the mystic art of foretelling the future with vegetables.

Remarkably in September 1984, a chance discovery by a young and quite attractive researcher at the University of Powys, led to a reawakening of interest in Veggiestrology. The researcher was reading a really dusty old book when she came across a reference to ‘typus vegetablium'. Intrigued by what this might mean, the researcher applied for a grant and then spent three long years of her life delving and spanning. At the end of this exhausting period and using only the time-honoured techniques of snipping,gluing and general chatting (plus a bit of help from her boyfriend Marcus), she was eventually able to piece together part of the lost manuscript of The Ancients: THE VEGGIELORUM. And thus was born the fortune-telling phenomenon that has become modern VeggieStrology.

The 13 Classic Vegetable Types[edit]

The Swede[edit]

(Brassica Napus) January 1 - January 28: Swedes appear to be solid, confident and down to earth; they are intensely practical and often excel at bookshelves. Their coolness and unflappability in times of crisis make them wonderful companions during kidnap or hostage situations. Given sufficient encouragement, Swedes are also capable of great passion. The downside of this is an unfortunate tendency towards sentimentality and mush.


The Parsnip[edit]

(Pastinaca Sativa) January 29–February 25: The Parsnip is the marathon runner of Veggiestrology. They’re there for the long distance. Young parsnips have a reputation for immaturity and superficiality but they’re worth waiting for. The grown up parsnip is often extremely responsible and good with children. They may not be the chattiest of vegetables but there’s always a lot more going on beneath the surface than meets the eye.


The Broccoli[edit]

(Brassica Oleracae)

February 26 - March 24: Broccolis have a tendency towards insecurity and restlessness. They don’t put down strong roots and are never quite sure of their place in society. Broccolis take a lot of trouble with their appearance and they certainly know how to turn heads but it’s all a bit of an act. Deep down inside Broccolis are worriers. Young broccolis have a tendency towards mild substance abuse or religion however this phase is short lived. When broccolis finally settle down they make for rewarding and entertaining companions. Broccolis get on well with potatoes and peas but they find tomatoes unsettling.


The Broad Bean[edit]

(Vicia Faba) March 25 – April 21: Broad Beans are innovators and adventurers. They are not respecters of tradition or habit but on the other hand they are not rash or foolhardy. Ask a Broad Bean to do something and their answer will not be Why? but Why Not! Although they can work quite well on their own, a broad bean is more comfortable as part of a team. Broad beans are goal focused and work extremely hard, often during unsocial hours. For this reason most of their relationships seem to be with other Broad Beans. They are too busy inside their own heads to have serious relationships with other vegetables."

Broad bean small.jpg

The Pea[edit]

(Pisum sativum)

April 22 – May 19: Although the smallest of vegetable-types they have a huge impact wherever they go. Everyone seems to love Peas. Especially other Peas. Peas relish crowds and parties and have a pathological fear of being on their own. Peas enjoy living in pods so that they can have private orgies. Peas are not generally original thinkers or philosphers but they are highly empathetic and are frequently drawn to the caring professions. As far as relationships go, a pea can appear quite fickle or even sluttish but they really can’t help it. It’s their nature. A lone pea is a miserable sight.


The Artichoke[edit]

(Cynara Scolymus)

May 20 – June 16: Artichokes are officers not foot-soldiers; they give orders easily and take them badly. They are creative and innovative thinkers. Artichokes enjoy the finer things in life and have a tendency towards extravagance. Although capable of fantastic flamboyance in their appearance, they are nonetheless quite insecure and demand praise and reassurance from those around them. They are generous friends and have a reputation as tireless and considerate lovers. Artichokes are generally easy going but if roused to anger they can be quite intimidating. Artichokes get on really well with broad beans and potatoes. They clash with Swedes.

Artichoke smaller jpeg.jpg

The Lettuce[edit]

Lactuca Sativa)

June 17 – July 14: Lettuces are delightful but inconsistent. They like to live in the moment, even if that moment is a very short one. On the positive side this means that lettuces are very good at adapting to changing circumstances. Unfortunately it also means they find it very difficult to make decisions. Lettuces are generous but they are notoriously bad with money. If they have it - they spend it. A lettuce with a credit card is an invitation to bankruptcy. Lettuces often have commitment issues so find it difficult to sustain long-term relationships. They are often attracted to tomatoes but generally speaking having a relationship with a lettuce is a bit of a roller coaster. Luckily the ups are so interesting they make the downs almost bearable.

Lettuce small.jpg

The Tomato[edit]

(Lypopersicon Esculentum)

July 15 – August 11: Tomatoes are show-offs. They like to be the centre of attention, the star of the show. They will go to any lengths to make their presence felt and for this reason are often highly imaginative and creative. Turner and Picasso were both tomatoes. Although technically a fruit, Tomatoes get on well with most other vegetables, except for Swedes who find their exuberance and brashness too much to take. In relationships Tomatoes are passionate and opinionated; they are quick to judge and slow to forgive. It is almost impossible to get a Tomato to change its mind.

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The Chilli Pepper[edit]

(Capsicum annuum)

August 12 – September 8: Chilli peppers have high standards and are uncompromising idealists. They often prefer the theory of life and love to the practice, which they can find unbearably disappointing. Chillies are natural democrats and are outraged by examples of inequality or unfairness. Chillies often become politicians or trade unionists. Like the tomato, Chillies are loyal and passionate in their relationships. They are generous to those they love but have little time for those who don’t share their larger than life opinions. Astonishingly none of the current Red Hot Chili Peppers are 'chillis' but they have won 7 grammy awards to date.

Chilli small jpeg.jpg

The Carrot[edit]

(Daucus Carota)

September9 – October 6: Carrots are the most introspective of all vegetable types. They are patient and thoughtful and take a long time to make up their minds. They can sometimes appear distant or aloof but this is just the Carrot’s natural reluctance to stand up and be counted. Carrots tend to be conventional in their relationships and are not necessarily the most exciting of companions, but they are extremely faithful and reliable.


The Potato[edit]

(Solanum Tuberosum)

October 7 - November 3: Potatoes don’t enjoy surprises. They crave routine and predictability. They have a reputation for extreme secrecy which makes them excellent spies but frustrating friends. Potatoes don’t do gossip. Potatoes are quite shy and introspective. They don’t enjoy parties or crowds and prefer sandwiches on the sofa to salsa at a club. Potatoes get on with most other vegetable types but for serious relationships their preference would be a Leek, whose jaunty enthusiasm seems to bring out the best in them.

Potato small jpeg.jpg

The Leek[edit]

(Allium Porrum)

November 4 - December 1: Probably the most athletic and hard working of vegetables. Leeks relish a challenge. They love walking and climbing. They also enjoy playing or watching all kinds of sport,except golf. They are not particularly imaginative but they are invariably optimistic and outgoing. A night out with a Leek is a night to remember!


The Cauliflower[edit]

(Brassica oleracea)

December 2 – December 31: One of the most interesting and complicated of vegetable types; neither introvert nor extravert, the cauliflower squats uneasily between the two. A Cauliflower in a good mood is a wonderful friend; a depressed Cauliflower is a deeply unpleasant experience. Cauliflowers are strongly associated with the performing arts. There are many famous Cauliflower musicians and most Cauliflowers love to dance. When it comes to relationships, Cauliflowers have very high standards and will not put up with second best, although they often get on extremely well with Carrots.



This has always been a source of controversy amongst the Veggiestrologer community. Should there be a special vegetable for those born on February 29th? What about February 30th? Some have argued that those born in Leap years should stop moaning and get over it. But the late David Darwin (no relation) of the University of St Leonards claimed that his research into the so-called 'missing pages' indicated that the Ancients must have placed an extremely high value on 'Leapers' . According to Darwin 'Leapers' were probably idolised and revered because they were gifted with acute prophetic powers. He also insisted the coincidence of his own birthday falling at the end of February had nothing to with it. it happens...he had been having some very vivid dreams and in them he seemed to be President for Life.


In 1990, a few weeks after assistant treasurer Darwin's untimely and slightly mysterious but accidental death, the Council of Veggiestrologists proposed The Radish as a suitable vegetable for Leapers. However in 1992 at the Annual General Meeting of the British Association of Veggiestrology a militant francophile group proposed a motion condemning radishes on the grounds of inconsistency in colour shape and attitude. The motion was carried by a majority of one. Garlic became the new leap year vegetable. This proved to be a highly controversial choice and threatened to split the B.A.V. into two camps - the Lovers and the Cantstanditers. Fortunately sense prevailed and after a heated debate at the following years AGM in Welwyn Garden City the garlic lovers were completely crushed and the inoffensive Radish was re-instated.

The Radish[edit]

February 29 –February 29: Radishes may be small but they more than make up for it in attitude. They are one of the more impulsive vegetables and can be quite argumentative. Radishes are not deep thinkers; you won't find a radish having an identity crisis. They are however quite adaptable and their ability to think on their feet might be quite useful in a crisis. Radishes do know a lot about art and they certainly know what they like. There are many successful Radish dealers and collectors. Radishes are also drawn towards the performing arts. You will often find radishes in circuses and alternative theatre companies. Radishes don’t like potatoes but get on well with lettuces and tomatoes, although such relationships tend to be fiery but short lived. ----


'It's not rocket science is it?' Wernher Von Braun

The debate on the relative merits of these two systems has raged unabated since the recreation of the Veggielorum. Clearly one of them is wrong. Unfortunately the debate has not tended to centre round the central issues of reliability or logic and regrettably there has been some violence. It must be said that The British Association of Veggieologists in no way encouraged or condoned that arson attack on The British Association of Astrologists in 2001. To be fair if their so-called 'charts' were worth the paper they were written on then they ought to have seen it coming. So,faced with a choice between these two competing systems, the intelligent person must ask themselves a simple question: which is the more likely to influence a new born baby; a bunch of stars millions of miles away; or a wholesome vegetable rooted in Mother Earth's earth, just a few feet outside the door of your cave, shed, yurt, castle or apartment building?



Paperback £7.99 Simple Gift Press 2009

This is the second edition of the companion and has been extensively updated. It remains a very readable introduction to the subject. Chapters include: 'The origins of The Veggielorum;' 'Who were The Ancients?' 'The Perfection Myth.' Also includes a comprehensive guide to the 13 types. With pictures.

'A real eye-opener.' Carmarthen Post.

  • ROOTS and RELATIONSHIPS. M. Francis.

Paperback £4.50. Hardback £12.99. Artesian 2007

The late Margory Francis was one of the foremost experts in the field. This thorough investigation into the chemistry of vegetable relationships is still just as relevant as when it was first published in 1987. Black and white line drawings.

'Provoking and instructive in equal measure.' Veggiestrology Monthly.


Paperback £7.99 Ploughboy Press 2009

Patrick Coit probably knows more about the art of vegetable prophecy than anyone alive or dead. His seminal work ‘Cucumbers and Predictive Warfare’ is an acknowledged classic. Potatoes to Prophecy - expands on this winning formula.

'High time we gave peas a chance!' The Dependant.

‘Useful although baffling.’ East Suffolk Courier.

'Two beans? Or not two beans? The Zen Bhuddist


Hardback £27.50 Alcademica 2008.

A slightly more technical book than any of the others on this list. This book is designed for the semi-professional practitioner. There are chapters here on Vegetable Conflicts and how to resolve them; Depression in Root Vegetables; How to increase Vegetable Sensitivity. Colour plates and Illustrations. Marcus Hoylake is Reader in Veggiestrology at the University of North Powys, Wales.

'Something fresh on every page!' Swansea Life

'Quite beguiling.'South Shetland Advertiser

  • WHAT'S HOT and WHAT's NOT! Dr.Fiona Richards.F.A.B.

The Vegetable Lover's Guide and Handbook. Paperback. £3.75. Citrus Press.2009.

Shy parsnip? Amorous Potato? Cold Tomato? For anyone having trouble matching up with a suitable vegetable, Fiona Richards' latest pocket-sized guide should be a big help. Written in simple layman's language and illustrated with several amusing cartoons.

'Crisp and Surprising' The Unchartered Accountant

'Perfection' .