Art of Growing Food
Without the green world, the rest of the world would be quite different. We are here because of plants. It’s that simple. Each of us depends on plants for air, food, and clothing, and in our gardens, plants surround us with beauty, fragrance, and wonder. We’ve been living together since the dawn of the human species, yet we still have a lot to learn about the structure of the plant world and how it works to keep us healthy.
Fresh out of art school, I planted my first garden marking the perimeters with four sticks and a ball of twine. With a sharp-edged spade, I removed a thick layer of rugged turf, dug up the stony soil, then shoveled on the compost. Using the same four sticks and twine, I measured out long, straight rows before planting seeds for basil, lettuce, and arugula sprinkled them with water, and walked away.
I would stretch the truth to say the garden thrived. There was a constant battle with the weeds, and the garden hose didn’t quite reach, so the plants were frequently thirsty. Yet the thrill of dashing to the garden just before dinner to clip a few leaves of frilly Lolla Rossa and crimson Bull’s Blood Beet greens for my salad kept me at it.
Books & Writing
I reveled in fewer trips to the grocery store in favor of wandering into the garden with bare feet and a harvest basket and eventually co-founded a seed catalog called The Cook’s Garden, to share my love of good the many European heirloom varieties that most American seed catalogs did not offer. After attending cooking school in Italy with Marcella Hazan and Ireland with Darina Allen, I turned my passion for cooking and growing food into writing.
My kitchen garden designs and articles have appeared in national magazines including The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Country Gardens, Garden Design, Horticulture, and The Boston Globe, among others. I’ve published six books featuring garden designs and recipes and teach classes on kitchen garden design and lecture at botanical gardens and garden clubs on the art of growing food.
To learn more about my garden lectures, check out Great Garden Speakers or watch this video: