Celebrating the Garden

By Annie Salsberg, ND —

My husband has become a container gardening enthusiast. He’s a chef and food devotee so I suppose it was inevitable that the next step would be to grow his own. Currently, any available square footage in our backyard is now dedicated to raised-garden beds: we have home crafted wood beds, old stock pots, and ceramic containers – all full of an assortment of vegetables and herbs.

In these containers I see the shy beginnings of radishes, swiss chard, tomatoes, peppers of multiple varieties, red lettuce, beets, bush pickles, green beans, and raspberries. I even found a row of corn along our back fence and some green-leaf lettuce that he snuck into an area of our perennial garden, just behind the hostas. The herbs are thriving and we’re already enjoying the basil, thyme and chives. While I am leaving the tending and maintenance to him, I hope to equally reap the benefits!

I’ve seen a real thrill on the part of my oldest child in helping to tend to the garden. He is dutiful and mindful while watering all of the plants and I see him beam with pride when the opportunity to show of ‘his’ work arises. For a child so resistant to eating his greens, I’m hoping that this play/work will forge the beginnings of a new connection with his food. I know we’re so excited to enjoy our local bounty!

Inspired by the abundance of basil sitting on our back deck, I couldn’t help but feel like making a pesto. While pesto is typically made using parmesan cheese, I decided to go for a dairy-free version. Actually, my husband informed me that pesto was originally ‘pistou’. It is classically made using just garlic, olive oil and basil. So…I guess I was going to make a pistou. I also really wanted to use some kale that we had in the fridge. This kale pistou could not be simpler:

Kale Pistou:

In a food processor combine 1-2 cloves of minced or crushed garlic, several healthy handfuls of basil, 1-2 cups of chopped kale, salt to taste, and olive oil. Combine until well blended and add olive oil until desired consistency is achieved. Enjoy over pasta, in a sandwich, or on a toasted crostini.

Cheers to home gardening!