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Kitchen Garden: Grow Your Own – Interview on healthy eating with the Asbury Park Press



Here is a copy of an interview with me, written by Laura Martin, from the Garden State’s Asbury Park Press.

The print version has a number of delicious, healthy, fruits and vegetable and how-to hands-on gardening images. 

The online version has a few too.

Here is the link to the full story.  

I pasted a copy of news below.
Laura is a great writer – and captured the excitement of growing your own food. 

Thank you so much, Laura.

Enjoy the story and then get out there and start growing your own kitchen garden! 


Kitchen garden: grow your own
Now is the time to start growing your healthy lifestyle at home
Looking
to eat better? It is time to embrace the “garden” part of living in the Garden
State, says Leeann Lavin of Atlantic Highlands.
“New
Jersey’s corn, blueberries, tomatoes, peaches and cherries are famous all over
the culinary world,” says Lavin, who owns the garden-design company Duchess
Designs. “It is called the Garden State for a reason, and we’ve gotten too far
away from that.”
It
is simple, convenient and healthy to grow fruits and vegetables right in the
backyard, says Lavin, also a resident of New York. Lavin recently published the
book “The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook,” which highlights the
connections between the dining, gardening and farming industries.
“The
biggest reason to (grow an edible garden) is taste. Most foods sold in stores
are grown for transport, not taste,” Lavin says. “Plus, there is an excitement
and thrill in growing your own food. It can be very empowering.”
Want
to give it a shot? Lavin shares her tips for creating a “kitchen garden” that
can provide fun and food for the whole family.
What to start with: New Jersey has great soil for growing a variety of fruits, vegetables and
herbs, she says. Radishes, peppers and peas are easy-to-grow spring edible
plants, while tomatoes, lettuce, corn, peppers, melons and berries work great
in the summer, she says. For those planting right now, it is best to start with
container gardening inside, then transfer the plants outside after Mother’s Day
(May 12).
No yard needed: For people who live in an urban environment or those looking for a simpler
way to grow food, container gardening during any season can work great for
vegetables, fruits and herbs, Lavin says.
Get the family involved: Giving the garden a fun food theme like “pizza,” will get kids excited to
help out, she says. A pizza garden could feature garlic, tomatoes, oregano and
basil.
“Children
love to get their hands in the soil,” Lavin says. “It is a great way for
parents and grandparents to engage with the child. They learn a lifetime of
healthier eating knowing where their food comes from.”
Try new things: Many beginner gardeners mistakenly believe they don’t have the space for
the items they want to grow, she says. But many fruits and vegetables come in
multiple sizes and varieties.
“Look
at seed catalogs,” Lavin says. “A garden store may only have one kind of tomato
that is too big for your garden, but if you check with a seed company or
online, the varieties are limitless.”
Stay local:
Plants grown locally will flourish better, says Lavin, and they have a smaller
carbon footprint. If you are buying a plant, ask where it is grown,”
she says.
Ward off animals: Critters may be tempted to chow down on an edible garden, so consider
putting a small fence around it or installing a sprinkler that is motion
activated. Mirrored pinwheels placed around the garden also can scare away
animals looking to eat plants.
Just try it: “When people look at gardening, they have a fear of it because they are
afraid they will mess up, but when you see that first seedling come up, there
is such a joy in it,” Lavin says.



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"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
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 I adore plants. Plants are my muse ~ they are my paramour… I’m a garden artist; a nature lover, & horticulturist. I’m an author & writer. My passion for culture & beauty, along with my trait curiosity, brings you an authentic celebration of life. I’m a storyteller ~ weaving the artful gifts of horticulture, garden design, tablescape decor, floral design, cocktail culture, garden-to-glass recipes & their glamorous garnishes, homegrown edibles, food & drink; & cooking, to bring you my flair & what I’ve been told is an avid elan ~ as well as the stories from those who inspire me ~ to pursue an elegant, enduring, & joyful, entertaining lifestyle. It’s an honor & a privilege to do what you love.

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