I have a soft spot in my heart for the gardener. I was raised by my granny who has the greenest thumb of any one I know. Every spring she would plant rows of green beans, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and asparagus, you name it. As spring turned to summer, she would be watering lush leaves with the garden hose once the sun went down.
By morning, tiny, sleek humming birds would flicker past the rhubarb leaves to the feeders hanging from the porch awning while fat carpenter bees would collect pollen from the sun-drenched flowers planted around the garden fence.
Sunshine this month is scarce, and I haven’t seen one bee yet. Many of us aren’t relishing the rainy weather here on the East Coast, but to the gardener, this precious rain will bring untold bounty in the summer months.
So today I want to spotlight a chef who grows her own. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to meet Sidra Forman who is an avid gardener, professional chef, and food writer. Sidra writes that “Lilacs are easy to love” and once you’ve smelled fresh lilacs you’ll know why. She can also tell you what to do with fresh coconut and where to buy the best seeds.
But one of the questions she asks in her blog really stood out to me, “How can gardening best fit into your everyday practice to enhance your life?” Though I didn’t inherit Granny’s green thumb, I do manage to grow fresh herbs in hanging pots outside my back window over the past three years.
Just the smell of fresh rosemary, thyme, lavender, and sage are enough to brighten my day and also my dinner plate! Growing your own, whether it’s vegetables, fruits, or herbs can not only enhance your wallet, health, and cooking, but it can bring you back mentally to the wonders of nature and how much better fresh ingredients look, smell, and taste.