Meanwhile, in the Philadelphia restaurant world—and very much in the spirit of “if you grow it, you will cook it"—acclaimed chef Marc Vetri’s school lunch program cooks with the OG testers’ recommended varieties, while teaching students about health and nutrition at the same time. In another part of the megalopolis, writer Nancy Matsumoto visits the Columbia Secondary School in South Harlem to learn how student gardeners there are wrangling urban compost to teach their parents and the school administrators about the importance of soil health to personal health.
Talk about budding: My winter-planted garlic is poking through the mulch, so I was happy to learn about an efficient way to peel garlic, and you’ll find that kitchen skill in the first appearance of a new department dubbed Food Central. There you’ll meet a selection of culinary professionals gathered round the OG kitchen counter to share with you some of their favorite ways with familiar, and sometimes not-so-familiar, ingredients or, occasionally, a special food event. This is neatly balanced by Simply Fresh chef Edward Lee introducing his discovery of health-giving, lip-smacking varietal grapeseed oils for cooking, dressing, or dipping.
It often seems the world is a very different place than it was some 50 years ago, when self-sufficiency made us scramble for the garden and we prided ourselves on safe, microbe-free harvest-preserving skills. Today, community resilience gets our attention, and fermentation is the buzz in preserving what we grow—go, you microbes!—but otherwise, not much has changed. There’s just more of it, and more people getting growing. And I can dig it. Totally.
Editor in Chief
Originally published in Organic Gardening magazine, February/March 2014