It’s summertime—gardens are bursting with tomatoes and zucchini and hot peppers! Over the last few years I have been setting up little garden beds wherever I can fit them in my Los Angeles home’s small yard, but last winter I went whole-hog: I transformed my front lawn into four new raised garden beds, separated by gravel paths and succulents. Over the winter, these new beds yielded bountiful crops of fava beans, Tuscan kale and all manner of lettuces. And as summer gets going, they are already producing great cherry tomatoes, hot peppers, zucchini and borlotti beans.
This has all been inspired by my childhood. While we never had a garden at our own house growing up, my grandfather was a proud gardener on a small patch of land in his yard. A true Italian, he grew as many of his own vegetables and herbs as he could fit. In fact, one of my favorite old photos is of my grandfather Giuseppe holding me as a baby in front of that garden (see photo). His gardening even led me to borrow some garden space from a neighbor, Mr. Vetter, where I proudly grew a cabbage bigger than my head!
So when people say you can’t grow vegetables and such in tiny Los Angeles yards, tell them they are wrong. All it takes is a small amount of space, some love and care, and before you know it the gardening bug will bite you, too! View the recipe at L’Italo-Americano…
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