Small Space, Big Appetite? Even a Tiny Garden Can Enhance These Recipes
No matter the size of your space, you can use homegrown herbs and produce to cook up healthy, delicious dishes.
No matter where you live, no matter how small of your space, it’s possible to garden.
This is the driving force behind Amy Pennington‘s new book Tiny Space Gardening: Growing Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs in Small Outdoor Spaces. The Washington urban farmer wants to empower others to use what they have to grow the things they want to eat. Pennington, in fact, doesn’t even own what one might call a “garden.”
“I live in a small apartment in Seattle with no access to a backyard, a lawn, or even green space,” Pennington writes in the book. “And though I often dream of tearing up my assigned parking spot and building a raised vegetable bed in its place, I don’t think my landlord would appreciate the effort. So like most city people in search of greener pastures, I make do with what I have: in my case, an east-facing deck that gets the first rays of morning sun.”
Thanks to an array of pots and baskets, window sills, and all sorts of containers, Pennington has “overcrowded this tiny 75-square-foot space” for more than a decade to grow an array of herbs and produce, from tomatoes to potatoes and berries. (The author also cultivates container beds on a shared rooftop garden.) Tiny Space Gardening is a revised edition of Pennington’s 2011 book Apartment Gardening. In it, you’ll find an array of garden-to-table recipes, countertop garden projects, and more.
Pennington follows a “few basic principles” when putting together garden recipes. “I like to keep it fresh and let flavors shine through,” the author writes. “For me, the simpler the recipe, the better. My guess is that most people don’t like overly complicated food, and when you’re cooking with herbs and flowers you needn’t do much to highlight their flavor.” You’ll also find tricks for using every part of the plant, from stems to leaves and flowers, when cooking. “Make it your goal to leverage all the energy you’ve put into keeping the plant alive and well,” Pennington writes. “You can do this by using every last bit to your advantage.”
If you’re curious about how to put together a bountiful garden that will keep your kitchen stocked with fresh herbs and produce all year long, grab a copy of Tiny Space Gardening to discover even more tips and recipes for growing your own food—no matter the size of your space. We’ve excerpted a few recipes here to get you started.