Andrea Bellamy raises enticing edibles on her balcony and in a community garden in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her credentials include a certificate in garden design from the University of B.C., and design is a focus of her new book, Sugar Snaps & Strawberries. She writes a blog called Heavy Petal, and both blog and book brim with smart advice on cultivating fruits and vegetables in tight quarters.
For readers in my geographic area, marine-influenced West coast gardening instructions will require adjusting to our more extreme climate. The design ideas, however, are appropriate anywhere space is limited. Bellamy’s work stands out for its artful garden structures and plant placement. Photographs of small and smaller working gardens inspire, teach, and delight. See how narrow planter boxes dress up an alley, basil seedlings thrive in a hanging basket, lush sage plants rise out of a big tin can. Let Bellamy lead you, and before long you’ll savor your own small, tasty harvest.
When it’s time to inventory your garden’s produce or shop at a farmer’s market, have a look at Cooking in the Moment, a new book by Andrea Reusing. With her brother, in 2002 she opened Lantern, a restaurant in Chapel Hill, N.C. I thought her book might focus on simplified restaurant recipes, an approach that doesn’t appeal to me. But these recipes are clearly written for the home cook.
Cooking in the Moment is organized by season, spring through winter. Simple to celebratory fare includes vegetables from every season, poached chicken, pot roast, pickled figs, rhubarb-ginger sorbet and strawberry ice cream (made with buttermilk and cream). One of the author’s seasonal essays bears the title “Seafood Market,” which questions whether there is actually such a thing as sustainable seafood. As part of a recipe for grilled Spanish mackerel that follows her essay, Reusing states, “The fact that our great-grandchildren may never eat a real seafood dinner gives those of us who still eat fish a responsibility not to put blue cheese on it.”
Grow. Eat. Ponder.