Kitchen & Driveway Gardens
I have no beyond-the-barn knowledge of growing food. In fact, I'm a full fledged city gal feeling immensely discouraged with proper gardening. I was getting more confused with all the "How To" books and internet browsing, when actress Amy Aquino invited me to come visit her Hollywood “Vons” (as her friends call it), AKA her backyard grocery store.
Amy learned the passion of growing good food from her grandfather who brought the cuttings of a special fig tree from Italy to grow at his new home in New York City. She continued the trend by bringing cuttings from the same tree to her home in Hollywood, and now this remarkable historical tree is the center of her Kitchen Garden.
A modern Kitchen Garden is simply, a plot or pots of edibles growing year round, close to your kitchen, so you can easily gather ingredients while cooking.
In history, The French were known for their "jardin potager," or kitchen gardens. Dating back to the middle ages in places like Egypt, Babylon, and various monasteries, (and really anywhere that required quality food), kitchen gardens were planted as a necessity, especially in households where royalty dwelled.
Today the vast land we cross isn’t on our own property with horses....its the freeway.
Thinking outside the box, Amy also made use of the most wasted space on her property, the driveway! Little did she know years ago when planting along the dirt area of her paved driveway, it would become one of the hippest and hottest place to garden today.
She grows every kind of fruit and veggie and changes it out with the seasons. Food surrounds every part of her driveway and vehicles all year long. Driveway gardening allows Amy’s shady backyard to remain a restful, playful place to hang out under the big Avocado tree.
Behind her garage she built a remarkable compost bin. Keeping a darling antique pot in the kitchen for tossing waste. (As pictured left): the waste gets placed into the first section to dry, moving to the middle and eventually to the 3rd section creating enough compost for a small farm! Compost can be free! What a concept.
She sent me home with seedlings from her garden to plant in mine, along with many tips including when to harvest and how to properly dig. Most of all, she left me feeling encouraged to keep at it, because this city girl is no modern day namby pamby!
Growing, preparing, and eating fresh food contributes to our connection with the beauty of the world and the value of each other.
I find everyday I live & breathe to be a gift.