Do you ever find yourself fascinated with gardens that are far from the conditions you grow in? I’m not talking jealousy but the feeling of wanting to learn more about how those places far from you garden. I’ve always found myself interested in big city roof top gardening even thought I live out on the middle of the country with wide open spaces to grow in. One of my favorite roof top gardeners online is Pamela at brooklynfarmgirl.com I not only love the really cool methods she uses to grow healthy food but her recipes FABULOUS!!!!
I love connecting with fascinating people… and the Brooklyn Farm Girl is one of my favorite peeps not only because her websites inspires me with gardening tips but her recipes shares are always unique combinations of healthy veggies I’ve never thought of putting together. It was an honored to have the opportunity to connect with Author Pamela and now to share this interview with you. I think you will find yourself inspired to grow something living in the country or city.
Question 1:How long have you been growing your own food?
Pamela: As a kid, my dad would grow the tallest tomatoes in the neighborhood. I remember they grew so tall we couldn’t see out the kitchen window anymore, but it didn’t matter. I moved to a big city in 2002, and then eventually NYC in 2005. Around 2009, my husband and I got to discussing how much we missed growing vegetables, and thinking about how we could use our NYC rooftop to grow them on. That Summer we started a small square foot garden and tried to grow a few simple veggies. It worked! Each year the garden has continued to grow to the point of we grow all the produce we eat on our rooftop now. Last Summer we harvested 600 pounds of veggies!
Question 2: Do you have a favorite list of veggies or herbs you enjoy growing in the spring?
Pamela: Tough question because I am the garden Mother, I can’t pick a favorite. I will say that I get extremely excited when we have a pumpkin patch on the roof growing. For Spring I always look forward to broccoli and especially bok choy this year. This Winter I went on a bok choy eating spree where I couldn’t eat enough so this Spring I made it my goal to plant lots of it!
Question 3: What inspires you first growing the veggie or a recipe find?
I’ve learned to cook so many different things because of the vegetables we grow. When we’re picking hundreds of pounds of tomatoes I’m constantly looking for new ways to use them to mix up the dinner recipe lineup. I love trying new leafy greens and then learning how to cook with them. We love salsa verde and a few years ago learned we could easily grow tomatillos. It was an exciting moment to learn that we could now make our own and stock up on it to last all year. This was a case of loving a store bought food, and then growing it so we could supply our own.
Question 4: You are a city gal – what is your favorite place to grow veggies in town?
Pamela: Rooftops are magical places in NYC. If you look around you’ll see miles of empty rooftops that could be used to turn the city into a green paradise. Imagine if all used our rooftops or fire escapes to grow our own food – it would change how everyone buys and grows. I try to promote to my readers that you can grow anywhere no matter where you live. All it takes is a few seeds and excitement and you can start your own garden.
Question 5: What advice would you give someone who is new to growing herbs or veggies?
Pamela: Don’t be scared to try. Also don’t be disappointed if something fails. It happens to us all, but this is how we learn what grows successfully. Each growing season is a learning curve to help us improve next year. Also take advantage of the space you have – even if it’s a fire escape or a window sill, use it to grow!
Simple Pea Garden Pasta Recipe
I love growing peas this time of year and there are always plenty to enjoy out in the garden and in the kitchen. This recipe is from Brooklyn FarmGirl.com
Simple Pea Garden Pasta Recipe : Meet Brooklyn Farm Girl
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12 oz box of Ronzoni Garden Delight Pasta (I used Trio Italiano)
2 cups sugar snap peas, strings removed and cut into thirds
1 large tomato, cut up
1 radish, sliced thin
1 cup loose lettuce, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
salt + pepper to taste
Optional: Parmesan cheese or Chopped Jalapenos to garnish
Make pasta according to box, drain.
Add all your vegetables to large serving bowl. Add your cooked pasta on top.
Pour in olive oil, oregano and salt + pepper. Stir good so everything is combined and coated with olive oil.
Serve and enjoy!
For added yum, sprinkle a light amount of Parmesan cheese on top or for a kick, add finely diced jalapenos on top!
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