Last weekend, my long awaited visit to the Edible Garden came just in time before its close. I had never been to the New York Botanical Garden before. Located in the Bronx right across the street from the Bronx Zoo; it is an unexpected wonderland of colorful flowers, vast greenery and woods.
There was much to explore within the Edible Garden, divided into four separate “Kitchen Gardens”: an urban-friendly container garden, home gardening center with celebrity chef and trial beds, Martha Stewart’s culinary herb garden, and children’s vegetable garden. Each with a specific focus, all of the gardens are designed to promote the notion that the best, nutritious, and most rewarding way to enjoy good food is to grow it yourself.
As part of the exhibition, there are ongoing cooking demonstrations that focus on locally grown and seasonal foods. Throughout its run, there have been a number of celebrity demos and book signings. I missed Italian cook and public television cooking show host Lidia Bastianich by one day! For this final upcoming weekend, they are pulling out the big guns with Mario Batali, Todd English, and Michael Psilakis all making an appearance.
I thought that The Edible Garden exhibition was fantastic. From herbs to eggplants, as a cook, you get very excited having all of these fresh and unique ingredients sprouting up all around you. And seeing as that my gardening skills are not so hot (i.e. Garden FAIL) I was very impressed by the many possibilities of planting your own foods, especially as displayed by the container garden. While teaching me more about growing foods that I am already familiar with, the gardens also introduced me to many different plants, herbs, and strange vegetables that I only wish I could have picked myself to bring home and cook. To learn more about The Edible Garden visit: http://www.nybg.org/eg/.
Snapping away the entire time, I tried to capture some of most interesting and unusual plants growing in the gardens to share with you:
|Conservatory with container garden. |
Huge pots in front of the conservatory spilled out with all different kinds of edible plants, proving that you don’t need an actual garden to garden.
|Martha Stewart's Culinary Herb Garden|
|Vibrant Purple Basil |
This herb smells just like curry but actually tastes more like sage.
|Hot Peppers in the Trial Garden|
African Scarlet Eggplant
Also from the trial garden. It looks like a tomato or squash, but it's a eggplant! They are said to be a very bitter variety, even when cooked.
|Toga Eggplants in the heirloom collection of plants. |
Like the most familiar of heirlooms--the heirloom tomato, the seeds of all the plants in this gaden have been past down for generations.
|Lettuce Leaf Basil |
The largest leaf of any basil. Great for pesto!
How cool are these?