For many years now we have had a square foot vegetable garden just outside our kitchen door. Kind of a small farm to table idea, you could say. Living in southern California allows us to have vegetables virtually all year long. We love growing fresh food, cooking and eating. But just recently I was introduced to the term; culinary gardener. So, just what is a culinary gardener?
A culinary gardener designs gardens for homes and/or restaurants. These gardens are solely organic and use a method of gardening called biointensive gardening. This method focuses on maximum yields from a minimum area of land. A healthy soil is the starting point to a productive biointensive garden. To accomplish this the soil is loosened to a depth of at least two feet. This loosening also called aeration allows the roots to have plenty of room to grow straight down. A well aerated soil has plenty of pore space between the particles. Additionally, this improves water retention and growth of healthy microorganisms. Healthy organisms flourish when other soil elements are in balance. To maintain the soil health natural compost is used along with rotation of items planted. To repel harmful insects and encourage helpful insects plants are planted with their companion plant types.
Home grown vegetables taste delectable. Not only are they delicious, there is just something positively different about the smell and beauty of home grown vegetables. It’s almost magic how they feel, taste and look. Take tomatoes for example, they are sweeter and tastier than supermarket tomatoes because they can be picked just at the right time for maximum taste. The tomatoes in the stores are coming in cold packed cardboard boxes and most have been picked weeks before they are ripe. The garden lettuce is more colorful and thicker than that found in the grocery stores. It’s crisper than lettuce that has been mass produced in the fields. Almost every home grown vegetable is brighter in color, has it’s distinct aroma and feels fresh to the touch. This is real food. Herbs are easy to grow and versatile too. Many herbs are perennial and hardy and will provide color, taste and aroma all year long. Culinary herbs will enhance the flavors of all your dishes.
I guess we have been culinary gardeners for years and never knew it. Whether you are a backyard gardener or own a restaurant and grow your own produce to support your menu, you are a culinary gardener. Either way you can have a self-sustaining garden and inspire others to do the same. You really don’t need a lot of room, plant a garden in a wine barrel or build a small raised square foot garden. Alternatively, colorful grow bags are available and can be planted and moved from place to place around the yard. They provide an oxygenated environment and encourage root growth and development. Plant a culinary garden to support your individual culinary needs. Gardens are not only pretty to look at but they feed us too.

Author's Bio: 

I love all things wine and food related. Active backyard gardener and owner of wineablegifts.com