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Monday, June 28, 2010

How does your garden grow?

Gardening is a popular hobby, and personally, it’s one of my favorites. I’m one of those folks who likes to grow a variety of crops because I just love enjoying the fruits of my own labor. So, every March, I plot out what and where I’m going to grow my veggies, and by Mother’s Day, my crops are planted. This year, in mid-May, my family and neighbors were eating arugula and leaf lettuce from my garden. Besides greens, I’m also growing beets, corn, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, beans, potatoes and of course an assortment of tomatoes in my garden this year.

My personal garden

Believe it or not, we have a garden (on our balcony) at our Corporate Support Center in Homestead, and our crops are doing well. Each year, we try to grow things that people in the office can use during lunch. This year we are growing tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, corn and variety of herbs. We planted everything in “Earth Box” containers, which were developed by commercial farmers. This easy-to-use growing system controls soil conditions, eliminates guesswork and more than doubles the yield of a conventional garden…with less fertilizer, less water and virtually no effort, which makes it perfect for our office.

Corn growing on our balcony at the Eat'n Park Corporate Support Center

I love summer because I can enjoy fresh produce right from my garden. But just because summer ends doesn’t mean that my homegrown veggies have to disappear. As the cucumbers come, pickling them is great way to savor them in the fall and winter months. Tomatoes are great for canning, and can be canned whole or made into your favorite sauce. Green beans freeze very well; just blanch them, dry them, then freeze them in zip lock bag. At Eat’n Park, though we aren’t preserving fresh veggies for future use, we are making sure they’re incorporated into our daily offerings as soon as they arrive.

Here at Eat’n Park, a seasonal menu helps us take full advantage of the local produce available at this time of year. I work closely with menu development to make sure we have incorporated dishes that will utilize the bounty from our farms. So when you visit with Eat’n Park this summer, you’ll be able to have homegrown corn on the cob, local tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, and more, and it’s my job to make sure that all the produce is local.

So, enjoy the bounty of the season and remember to buy fresh and support local (businesses of course).
Hope to see you at Eat’n Park!

Jamie Share

1 comment:

rob corliss said...

Jamie - nice article. Liked the pic of your personal garden and the earth boxes (they are great from what I hear).

I mentioned your leadership example to my colleague at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, as they are well along the sustainability path and strive to progress.

Thanks for sharing the passion!