It’s Not Too Late to Plan a Veggie Garden

garden_b_0Seems like I keep forgetting to tell you Sixburnersue folks about a really cool article I had a chance to work on for Martha’s Vineyard magazine about starting a vegetable garden. The story, aptly titled “Holy Homegrown!” (this is exciting stuff after all!), begins like this:

“What if the secret to happiness lay right outside your kitchen door? In a pretty little garden, full of delicious things to eat?”

And honestly, having spent the last week digging in the dirt, I think that just might not be such a far-fetched thought. Growing some of your own food is satisfying on so many levels, from physically stretching your body and taking in the sunshine, to watching the tiny miracles of seeds sprouting, to (already) eating some of that arugula you might have thought to plant a few weeks ago (Yes I am; yes I did!).

DSC_0025So I just want to say this. Now is your time. If you’ve always wanted to start a little veggie garden, but are worried that you’ll get overwhelmed, click here and you’ll get all kinds of tips about how to make it as small as you want it and about how to keep it manageable. (Better yet, pick up the magazine on the newsstand if you’re an Islander.)

And if I can’t talk you into it, then just look at the beautiful and tantalizing illustrations of three real Island gardens that artist Fae Kontje Gibbs drew for the story. The designs are all based on classic square and rectangular patterns and almost all of them include several of the veggies that I compiled in a list of “top ten favorite veggies to grow” (Salad greens, kale, basil, cherry tomatoes, etc.).

But each garden also has its own distinct personality, with quirky garden objects and a lesser-known vegetable or two to keep things interesting (lovage or paw-pay anyone?). (That’s Fae’s drawing of my friend and neighbor Katherine Long’s garden, at top.)  I think, in fact, that Fae’s drawings are probably the most inspiring thing about the article, because they invite us to be creative, which is really the most fun part about having your own little garden. No two are alike and each truly is a canvas for you to paint on—though you’ll really have no idea what it is going to look like until it all grows in! A garden has a mind of its own. But you can count on delicious surprises.

And one last cool thing about this Home and Garden issue of Martha’s Vineyard magazine —the photo on the cover (see below) was taken by Susie Middleton! How fun is that? My first ever cover photo. You just never know where this vegetable thing will lead!