When spring comes and the greens are ready, the carrots sweet from winter and there’s foraging at hand, I bundle up the cutting board, picnic knife and grater and bee-line for the garden, kids in tow. If we’re lucky we find calendula, borage, fennel, mint (only growing in containers please), miner’s lettuce, kale, chard and other leaves. Oh, and sugar snaps peas, fava bean flowers and shoots, they’re such a treat.
I’ve decided there’s nothing better than eating in the garden, except maybe playing in the garden and of course growing things. That’s where it all begins, like planting seeds.
Sometimes I import ingredients from the kitchen, just the things to hold it all together or to make something old new again, like cucumbers and dressing.
But the action is the foraging and it becomes an event when a meal is made out of the harvest. Two, easy kid favorites are lettuce wraps, which are really more like tacos, and spring rolls.
They’re as simple to make as they sound: gather ingredients, fill lettuce leaves or rice paper and eat. It helps to have a bowl of water on hand for washing vegetables or prepping the rice paper. The right kind of dressing helps too. Peanut sauce adds spice, ranch dressing is like dessert and vinaigrette is usually a sure bet.
Like catching your own fish, food always tastes better when you pick it and make it yourself and if you have a hand in growing it then it’s even better.
It makes me wonder, why not tip the idea of “garden-to-table” on its head? You’ve probably heard it coined as dirt-to-dinner and farm-to-fork but what about “garden-to-garden”? I like the sound of that.
Sharing from my garden to yours, or from one garden grows another because it’s contagious and fun and good for you. Or it could simply be growing, picking and eating in the garden.
Growing the things you love and planting seeds along the way.