By Diana Lockwood / For The Columbus Dispatch

Oh, yes, we Ohio gardeners have no bananas.

But we do have a mouthwatering array of other edibles suitable for our climate, from asparagus to watermelon — all explained in the new book “Fresh From the Garden: An Organic Guide to Growing Vegetables, Berries, and Herbs in Cold Climates.”

“I wish I’d had this book when I started,” author John Whitman said recently by phone.

Indeed, “Fresh From the Garden” tells not only how to grow anything and everything, but it also offers tips on cooking, preserving and using organic methods to get the most out of your garden.

Beginners can learn about basic techniques such as watering and mulching; seasoned gardeners will appreciate entries on unusual plants such as cardoon and peanut.

Whatever your level of experience, “grow something that you really like to eat,” Whitman said.

“Start with something simple,” he added — which could include cucumbers, lettuce, onions, tomatoes or zucchini.

“Beans are fun,” he said. “The leaves come up, and they’re really easy to spot.”

For gardeners with children in the family, “I would consider sunflowers.”

If you choose a tall variety, “the kids just look at it and go ‘Wow!’”

Speaking of sunflowers, did you know that 3.5 ounces of dried kernels contains…