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In the Garden

The satisfaction of growing even a bit of food is enormous. Last week we had a salad of our peas, our baby artichokes, our fennel and the zest and juice from our Meyer lemons. It was the most delicious salad ever, if only because we grew it.

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  Sanna Delmonico
M.S., R.D., Editor
P.O. Box 5756
Napa, CA 94581
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Growing a Kitchen Garden

Someone lovingly waters the scrappiest patch of dirt in my neighborhood for the sake of a few fragrant cucumbers. Someone else makes green beans wind improbably up telephone poles, and the cemetery groundskeeper nurtures slender, fiery-red chilies behind his shed. These are sure signs of the basic human needs to grow food, to make magic, and to be connected to the earth. A kitchen garden, whether full of vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers, or with a single tomato plant, meets those needs and helps us understand and celebrate food in the simplest ways.

 

Valuable Lessons
Small gardens, container gardens, and pots in sunny windows can be as imaginative and gratifying as larger plots. Since we have a small kitchen garden, my daughter Juliana experiences the earth, not only the supermarket, as the source of her food. She learned the hard way that sweet lettuce and bitter radicchio look similar in the garden but don't taste the same in her sandwich. The garden stimulates her senses with colors, smells, textures, flavors and sounds. Astonishing changes happen from day to day; last night pole bean seedlings were chewed to within millimeters of their lives by earwigs, chard sprouts pushed up through the soil, and dainty white flowers gave way to tiny green strawberries. Every day there is something new to taste or smell or study. A garden provides children lessons on the cycle of seasons, patience while seeds sprout, and quiet observation when a butterfly visits.


Satisfaction

The satisfaction of growing even a bit of food is enormous. Last week we had a salad of our peas, our baby artichokes, our fennel and the zest and juice from our Meyer lemons. It was the most delicious salad ever, if only because we grew it. After appearing indifferent to the tomato seeds we planted last summer, Juliana checked on them regularly, gauging the plants' growth and finally picking the tomatoes, telling anyone who would listen, “Aren't these good? I grew these!”

Here are a few things to keep in mind when starting your kitchen garden.

In The Garden

 
   
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