Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Kitchen Garden

A kitchen garden is all about adventure and great food.

When I was a little kid, I grew up tagging along with my grandfathers and my dad through their gardens.  I picked fruit and veggies and bugs, skipping though the planted rows of tall okra and dodging the big, white bush squashes. I'd laugh when my grandmother would admonish me from the kitchen window in Cajun French for eating veggies staight from the garden without having washed them. I'd sit for hours with my mom shelling field peas and tongue of fire beans (we called them "bean et granĂ©") with their beautiful, mottled pink pods. I learned how to harness the rain with barrels and that sugarcane fiber (bagasse) makes a great mulch. I've bitten into fresh-picked Creole tomatoes as though they were apples, their juices running down to my elbow. 

As an adult, I grow many of my own vegetables. It's tough work at times—amending the soil, battling pests, and scaring away critters. Still, the kitchen garden has far more rewards than challenges. There's nothing like seeing a Big Rainbow tomato ripening on a plant that you grew from a tiny seed. Running straight to the garden to pluck salad greens and herbs right before dinner can't be beat, either.

This coming Sunday, August 22 is World Kitchen Garden Day 2010. If you grow a kitchen garden, take some time to show it to your friends. Better yet, share with them the fruits of your labor, as well as your gardening knowledge. You never know when you'll inspire someone else to eat healthy and work his or her own little spot of earth. 

For more info, see the Kitchen Gardeners International's site:

2 red beans:

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to say for a fact that I have been to the Gumbo Gal's backyard garden many times...and it is a very prolific and well-tended one. Great stuff has come outta there...and it & she are an inspiration to me & my much smaller (yet still productive) garden. Right on Kitchen Garden day!

Keri said...

Well you could certainly teach me a thing or two .... or three. .. etc.

My tomatoes never really took off. I planted heirloom and roma, and it's been pathetic. Both plants took off but never really produced much. The heirlooms were stunted and became bruised on the vine. Where did I go wrong.

Herbs and jalapeno have been most prolific.

I loved your description of your time as a child growing up with these vibrant and REAL flavors. Awesome.

Have a great evening. Keri

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