My Mommy’s people lived on a family dairy farm in Upper New York State. I have wonderful memories of going to see family and the farm as a child. My Grandma always had a small garden surrounded by rocks, just a step away from the kitchen door. She called it her “Kitchen Garden.” I can remember her in her apron going out every evening into her little garden. She would gently pick some of this, snip some of that and always cut a big bunch of zinnias to brighten her kitchen table.
I asked her one day, “Why do you have this little garden? The big garden has a bunch of vegetables in it.” She explained that the big garden had the vegetables in it that needed more room to grow. They also needed the food from the big garden to supply what she would need to can and put up for the winter. But her kitchen garden supplied the needs of the day in fresh vegetables, herbs and of course some flowers for the table.
Keeping a “kitchen garden” has become a family custom. As my Grandma did and my Mommy before me, I have my little garden nestled just outside my kitchen door. Full of its variety of plants, mine leans towards being more of a salad garden with some culinary herbs and of course, those bright, beautiful zinnias. (If you don’t have much of a yard or space, consider using a container for your kitchen garden – works like a charm!)
My little kitchen garden usually has:
• Different types of leaf lettuces
• Heirloom tomatoes
• Cherry tomatoes
• Red onions
• Sweet peppers
• Basil, parsley, chives
Keeping a little “kitchen garden” can grow more than plants. Aside from putting fresh vegetables on my plate almost every day, mine fills me with warmth and memories every time I enter it. Starting and keeping one for yourself can help make priceless memories – one pick and snip at a time.