Welcome to day 29 of 30 Days to a Food Revolution. Today’s guest blogger is Andrea. Andrea Meyers writes about cooking and edible gardening at her blog Andrea Meyers: cooking, gardening, & four hungry guys, and she enjoys teaching about both. She has many years of experience in education and has had organic gardens for 13 years. Andrea is the founder of the blogging event Grow Your Own, which showcases dishes made with foods people have grown, raised, hunted, or foraged themselves, and is a contributor to GoodBite.com. Recently she was named one of the Top 50 Mom Food Bloggers by Babble.com.
Andrea’s Recipe: French Green Beans with Prosciutto and Pine Nuts
Andrea’s Tip: Grow Your Own
Gardening is one of the things that brought my husband and me together. When we first met he had huge heirloom tomato plants in his yard and I had several pots of tomatoes and herbs on my apartment balcony, so it was natural for us to talk about what we liked to grow and eat. We’ve always had an edible garden of some sort no matter where we lived, and now we are turning our backyard into an organic edible landscape with vegetables, herbs, and fruit and nut bushes and trees. We like to grow our own food because we know it is carefully grown without pesticides and fed only with nutritious homemade compost, and because our children are learning where food truly comes from, not just the grocery store shelf.
That’s why my tip is to grow your own food whenever possible. Even if you don’t have room for an outdoor garden, you can grow a few herbs in a pot to add flavor to your cooking. If you aren’t sure what to grow, start with your favorite dishes and find out what herbs are used in those. Then get a window box or two—you don’t need huge pots to grow herbs—fill them with a light organic potting mix, and then add the plants or sow some seeds. My favorite herbs for containers are cilantro, basil, mint, and sage. If you happen to have some outdoor space where you can plant, try some perennial herbs such as chives, oregano, sage, and possibly rosemary (depending on your location) that will give you lots of flavor year after year. Based on our experience, we think the best herbs for growing from seed are mint, basil, cilantro, chives, sage, and oregano. Parsley and rosemary are challenging to grow from seed, and I think it’s just easier to buy the plants.
Sage is one of my favorite herbs because it has such an interesting flavor and texture. Our sage keeps going every year and even survived the recent record setting winter blizzards, and it adds a wonderful fragrant flavor to French green beans. This green bean dish is very easy to prepare with widely available ingredients, so even if you aren’t yet growing your own, you’ll be able to find them at a grocery store or market near you.
You can find the recipe and more gardening tips at Andrea’s site.
Andrea Meyers: French Green Beans with Prosciutto and Pine Nuts
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I love the story about how you and your hubby met! I want so badly to grow a garden I just don't know where to start 🙁 Living in FL I think has its challenges so I just don't try. But after reading your post, I am going to start small and try my hand at a couple things.
We've tried growing herbs before but we haven't had the right space for it. We've got lots of room at our new house, so we'll be trying again soon.
Hi Andrea–Food can definitely bring people together. 😉 That it was real food that you both grew yourselves is really cool! 🙂
We live in the woods and just have sunshine around our driveway basically, but I recently picked up basil and mint at the farmers' market and am growing them in two big planters. I usually plant petunias in them, but we have plenty of other flowers and plants in the shade, so these are a nice addition. So far, they are thriving.
BTW, tried the recipe link, but got an error. Love green beans and the sage and prosciutto version sounds heavenly.
It was so nice meeting you at BlogHer Food last year, albeit briefly. Hopefully, we'll get to see each other there again this year. Thanks for this post!
I have just started to really grow a lot of our own food. I want to expand our garden next spring, but I've successfully started parsley, basil, sage, and thyme from seed…and rosemary and mint in pots from small plants. I also have eggplant, tomatoes, and squash this year, and I'm thinking of digging up a corner of the yard just so I can plant some pumpkins! I love your tips and your story about you and your husband.
Every year I say I'm going to get my garden going, but each season passes with nothing more than what survives on its own – mint! However, I have been having success with an indoor AeroGarden. I got a small countertop one for Christmas, and I've been enjoying the basil, which seems to thrive in it. The chives and thyme haven't done quite as well.
I love garden recipes – thanks!
Sarah, I hope you give gardening a try, just start small and let it grow when you feel ready. I have some friends in Florida and they do their gardening in the winter because the temperatures are better then, so perhaps give that a try.
Jenna, how wonderful that you have more space for a garden now.
GFE, basil and mint are both good for planters, and the bonus is you can put a planter anywhere the sun hits. Hope we can catch up soon!
Alta, that's great. We've expanded our garden little by little over the last three years. We have more plans for the garden, but will have to wait until next spring.
Sarah, I hope you enjoy it.
Heather, I did some testing on an Aerogarden a few years back. They do very well with basil, just keep an eye on the pump and make sure the roots stay clear of it. Have fun!
Thanks for the garden tips! I'm determined to grow some of my own veggies this year, even if I have to use planters to do it.
I was not able to access the green bean recipe when I followed the link.
thanks, we are planting our garden this weekend, I now feel even more inspired, thanks
Oh man, that bean recipe looks like a winner!!!
Thanks for the gardening tips, I love growing herbs and hope to have a greenhouse in the future to grow even more! Thanks.
I'm planting my vegetable garden this weekend – thanks for the inspiration!