Close to 20 years ago, while I was researching RECIPES FROM AN ECOLOGICAL KITCHEN (now titled LORNA SASS’ COMPLETE VEGETARIAN KITCHEN), I visited Rosalind Creasy at her home in Silicon Valley. My longtime friend and colleague, produce specialist Elizabeth Schneider, author of the extraordinary reference cookbook VEGETABLES FROM AMARANTH TO ZUCCHINI, made the introduction.
We are talking about the early 90s and Rosalind Creasy was annoying her suburban neighbors by planting corn, zucchini, cabbage, and other edibles on her front lawn. In fact, her vegetable garden was her front lawn! Since that time she has gone on to write many books about variously themed edible gardens: French, herbal, Mexican, and salad greens, among others. She has also written a number of fine cookbooks about cooking with garden produce.
I went to hear Creasy lecture on the subject of edible gardens at Burpee’s lovely Fordhook Farm, which was part of the The Garden Conservancy’s program of opening private gardens around the country to the public of one or two days per year. (I joined the Garden Conservancy www.gardenconservancy.org about 3 months ago and have been to six magnificent private gardens so far. If you love gardens and gardening, join! You won’t regret it.)
At Burpee’s, Creasy was as feisty as ever, promoting the idea of edible gardens over chemical- and water-guzzling lawns. She understood the value of sustainability long before most people had ever heard or thought of the notion. She is also a very talented photographer and showed slides of her various gardens. She does two differently themed gardens each year and then writes a book about how to do so yourself.
Here is one of Creasy’s photographs, taken from her highly informative web site www.rosalindcreasy.com. You will see at a glance that an edible garden can be every bit as beautiful as a non-edible one.