Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Heekin & Barber’s 5 Tips for Growing Your Own Produce

Air America’s Verena von Pfetten recently asked Chelsea Green authors Deirdre Heekin and Caleb Barber, proprietors of the Osteria Pane e Salute restaurant, for their top 5 gardening tips.

Caleb and Deirdre have a unique take on the subject: they grow about 75% of the produce used in their restaurant—which is about as local as it gets.

With the Obamas’ recent visit to Blue Hill restaurant in New York, and Michelle’s White House garden in full bloom, the topic of locally-grown produce has never been hotter.

But for many, the idea of growing your own vegetables is daunting, if not seemingly impossible.

Deirdre Heekin and Caleb Barber, the owners of Osteria Pane E Salute, a restaurant and wine bar in Woodstock, Vermont and the authors of In Late Winter We Ate Pears: A Year of Hunger and Love and Libation, A Bitter Alchemy, are veritable experts on the subject and grow 75% of the produce they use in their restaurant. When asked what their five tips would be to growing your own, this is what they had to say:

1. Grow something you like that you can’t easily find locally. For example: We love radicchio, but I can’t find any grown within easy local reach. It’s readily available through our produce purveyor, but the source isn’t anywhere near us. And we want to try to raise several varieties of radicchio, so that we can offer an unusual selection at our restaurant, not to mention at our own table. Growing different varieties contributes to plant diversification and healthy soil, lessening the effects of monoculture.

2. Water. Gardening gold for vegetables. If it hasn’t rained for two days, start watering every day. Just remember to water the ground, not the plant, and if you can, water after sunset. Even right before you go to bed is best, when the soil is cooler and more able to saturate and retain the water. Don’t drown everything, just dampen the soil well. Collect water in a bucket off your roof, or out in the open to help conserve water from the well or reservoir. And when you wash that lettuce, save that water for your plants.

Read the whole article here.


Related Articles:

We are Farmily: Everyday Life on Sole Food Street Farm

Food is the medium. The message is nourishment in its most elemental and spiritual form.That’s how author Michael Ableman sees the role of Sole Food Street Farm and the food it sells to markets, restaurants, and individuals.In the following excerpt from his new book, Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier, […] Read More

Who Produces More Eggs: Ducks or Chickens?

During our monthlong focus on homesteading in September, we received a number of great questions with several of them centered on … ducks and chickens.Here is one such question that came in via Facebook:“I have read that ducks produce more eggs over a longer lifetime of productivity than chickens, but recently talked with a farmer […] Read More

From Farm-to-Table to Farm-to-Everything

No longer restricted to the elite segments of society, the farm-to-table movement now reaches a wide spectrum of Americans from hospital and office cafeterias to elementary schools and fast-casual restaurants.Nearly a century ago, the idea of “local food” would have seemed perplexing, since virtually all food was local. Today, most of the food consumed in […] Read More

The Three Cs of Farm-to-School

Most people know about the three “R’s” – reading, writing, and arithmetic. But, have you heard about the three “C’s”?If you, or your kid, is at a school that takes part in the Farm-to-School movement, then you may already know about them.October is National Farm-to-School month, and in their book Farm to Table, authors Darryl […] Read More

Homesteading: Highlighting Our Need For Each Other

Homesteading isn’t meant to be a solitary adventure, or done in isolation.Building and living on the independent farmstead takes at least one partner, if not several. That’s the advice of authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty. In their book The Independent Farmstead, The Sow’s Ear model for regenerating the land and growing food covers everything from […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By