Several years ago we made the commitment with strong encouragement from our son, Joshua, to be more eco-friendly. He contacted a local company to pick up all our recyclable products; he schooled us on cutting down our carbon footprint, on not contributing to our landfills and encouraged the change from tiny plastic bottles of boutique shampoo and conditioner to refillable pumps in the shower and offering guests the opportunity to use towels and sheets for more than just a day. The first month of recycling alone reduced our curbside trash pickup from three large city-provided containers to only one.
Inception: March 18, 2011, First planting March 23, NOGS Tour of Gardens April 29, and May 5, 2011 as another marker.
[singlepic id=172 w=320 h=240 float=left]I spent a bit of yesterday trying to take pictures of our garden… of eating… but found that the pictures were not inspirational. I squatted close to buds peeping from the grounds, noting the similarities between melon, squash and eggplant spouts. Beans, whether purple bush, yellow bush or Kentucky Blue, were equally difficult to differentiate. Thankfully, our consultant farmer, Adam, gave us a layout of the gardens. But still… my excitement at planting produce for use in the inn was not being magically translated to these flat images. I needed to be reminded of why we had undertaken such a large project for our tiny urban footprint.
[singlepic id=170 w=160 h=120 float=right]I pulled pictures of last year’s bounty, and it short-lived existence, which produced the desired effect. I remembered. I can now compare our minimalist garden plot of last year to Azalea Inn and Garden’s new mini-mini farm situated in the tight space that comprises the long narrow building lots of the downtown historic Savannah and the incorporation of the old plot in a new and more productive way. Last year’s “Let’s give it a whirl” garden yielded an abundance of tomatoes (Sweet 100’s, Big Boy, Pink Brandywine, to name a few), fragrant basil, tarragon, sage, dill, chives, garlic chives and lavender, a tiny crop of green peppers, one lone stalk of asparagus, scallions, and near the end of summer, six cantaloupes of varying sizes.
[singlepic id=171 w=160 h=120 float=left]We put our largesse to good use: roasted cherry and yellow teardrops tomatoes for Eggs Pomodoro, chopped herbes into everything imaginable, used up the bell peppers in two batches of Confetti Potatoes, left the asparagus for next year (hopefully), and served the cantaloupes proudly mixed with watermelon and topped with a ginger-lime syrup (house made, of course). We were quite frankly sad to turn the earth over at the end of the season and return to buying produce.
In early March of this year, we attended a “Met Your Makers” dinner at the local “earth-to-table” restaurant, Cha Bella, to meet the producers /growers of all things nurtured by the earth (or nutured in loving hands of dairy farmers and artisan bread craftsmen) and used at the restaurant. There we met Adam Metzger of Adam’s Farm, the young up and coming hydroponics producer of all things vegetable for use at Cha Bella. Adam was more than willing to take on an urban garden project in historic Savannah, as long as we were willing to get dirty too.
Part 2: Design, build, plant. Coming soon.