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Tasty Trends for the New Year

Laughing Red Pepper

The Boston Herald is talking about tasty trends for the New Year, so here in San Diego I thought I would join in the fun and steer you in the right direction at the same time!

In talking about their local trends here’s what they say about what we’ve been doing for years:

On-site gardening. The “eat local” movement finds its most direct expression in restaurants with on-property gardens where chefs pluck ingredients for immediate use. “I can see the explosion of on-site gardens at restaurants being a big trend,” said chef Steve Zimei of Chopps American Bar and Grill. His Burlington restaurant has a terrace herb garden used to grow basil, sage, tarragon and lavender; he plans to expand it in 2018, growing heirloom tomatoes, parsnips, ramps, onions and more. Though other restaurants produce ingredients on site, from Dorchester’s Dbar, which has a rooftop garden, to the Seaport Hotel, which harvests honey from its seven rooftop beehives, 2017’s most awesome addition to this trend was at Cultivar inside downtown’s Ames Hotel. There, “Iron Chef America” alum Mary Dumont serves what she calls “modern American garden cuisine” using many ingredients grown on-site in Freight Farms: a Boston-born brand of shipping containers refitted as hydroponic gardens that can grow everything from kohlrabi to tomatoes year-round.

Well, I will say I’m glad to hear that. And if you started salivating I am going to suggest you give yourself and your family a gift at home.

Do what I did: I asked a handyman/gardener ‘helper’ to build me waste high flats and put a drip system in. I then researched and got just the right combination of organic dirt to create a good ‘terroir’ for my ingredients to grow strong in.

I carefully taped copper tape to the sides of the flats to say ‘no thanks’ to the snails. And I put a next up high to prevent birds from dropping all kinds of nuts, seeds and weeds into my garden.

I planted seeds for all my spices, salad ingredients (lettuce, tomato, onions, etc) plus strawberries, which of course you can also add to a salad. For decades I had fresh organic produce. And if you are motivated I will say it’s worth the investment.

If you’re living in a smaller space, I like the idea mentioned in the Herald: use hydroponics to grow on your balcony or even in the corner of your apartment. Growing food is ‘all that’. Tastes better. Looks better. Smells better. And eats best!

Wishing you a Happy Healthy New Year,

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