Introducing: Grow Your Own Garden

When I was in college in New York City, a friend once told me that she thought I had an unhealthy obsession with the state I grew up. I think she was being facetious. But the truth is that I did talk about Vermont a lot. My upbringing seemed extraordinary and I was proud and painfully nostalgic for it. “We have a vegetable garden the size of this city block!” I would brag.  And despite my fondness for my home state, I never saw myself returning there. And because of my experiences as a child, the thought of having a vegetable garden always seems like something for which you had to have ten acres of land and a tractor. It turns out that’s not the case at all.

I figured this out while volunteering with a group of chefs, farmers and volunteers from the restaurant Lucques where I work. I have been spending Thursday mornings with third graders at a public school in East LA . We built and planted a vegetable garden and every week our chef Suzanne Goin does a cooking demonstration to inspire and teach the kids how to make delicious healthy food.  The vegetable gardens were built on a small area of concrete outside of the school. We built three wooden frames, laid plastic on the ground in them, spread gravel on top of that and filled them with soil. And it occurred to me, anyone can grow their on vegetables! You don’t need lots of land and a beautiful landscape. You just need a small area that gets a bit of sunlight.

I was thrilled when I realized that I too, could grow my own vegetables. I thought back to my parents when I was a kid going to the seed store every spring and sharing the task of planting our magnificent garden. I loved to help them. The sugar snap peas were always the first to come, then the cherry tomatoes. I would eat them off of the vine like candy. Here in Los Angeles, we’re lucky that we can plant year round. We’ve started with carrots, radishes, beets, early girl tomatoes, sage, parsley, and chives. I encourage you to start your garden now wherever you are. It will take care and maintenance, but it’s so fun to watch it grow. And before long, we’ll be bringing our homegrown bounty into the kitchen!


Start by making a wooden frame

Nail the frame together, lay plastic on the bottom, fill with gravel and then potting soil!

Plant the vegetables in rows as directed on seed packets.

Our radishes have already sprouted!


Filed under Heather Platt, Spring

9 responses to “Introducing: Grow Your Own Garden

  1. Pingback: Grow Your Own Garden: Orzo Pasta Salad with Pesto, Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella | Three More Big Bites

  2. Jenny

    What a wonderful blog post! I think an obsession with Vermont is a HEALTHY thing to have!! It is a gorgeous and wonderful state and I, too, talk about my childhood there all the time. Thanks for sharing your planter ideas and inspiring children to grow their own food. You are awesome!


  3. Kyla

    Heathy, this is so awesome!! I love that you and Ben have started your own garden! Mark and I have a bunch of veggies “trying” out here in Bodega Bay! So far the winners are the potatoes…. with onions, beets , salad greens and carrots at a close second =)
    It is such a special thing to eat what we grow, isn’t it? Love you Sweets!!
    ps–great job working with the kiddos! This is where the change has to begin 😉


    • HP

      Thanks for the encouragement Ky! I’m so glad to hear that you’ve had success with your veggies. I’ll keep those in mind for the next time we plant. I’m so excited to watch ours grow! Miss you so much. xo


  4. Stephanie

    I love having a garden too! I’d be a tomato farmer if I could. Xo


    • HP

      Just tomatoes? Are they your specialty?


      • Stephanie

        Not to brag but I am really good at it. 🙂 I also like to grow cucumbers and squash and eggplants. Heat lovers. You can do all those in containers if they are big enough. Eggplants have gorgeous flowers when they start to grow. Try a small variety like the Thai kind or indian. My fave seed company is burpee. Yea for gardening!!


        • HP

          I’ve heard that watching an eggplant grow is beautiful and miraculous. I’ll definitely have to try those. Thanks for the tip! I’m glad to hear it’s been going well for you! Yea for gardening!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s