Grow Your Garden to Match Your Cuisine

Whether you have a large plot or a small patio garden to work with, fresh veggies and herbs that highlight different countries around the globe are both fun and functional. Some tips:

  • When designing a cultural garden, choose only a few edibles — specifically the ones you cook with most. You can always add on or switch out plants.
  • Consider how much sun the proposed site receives in a given day. Most edibles need around eight hours a day to thrive.
  • Edge edibles with ornamentals to keep the look pleasing and pretty. Just consider any ornamental plant’s growth habit, so they don’t end up eventually overshadowing low-growing vegetables and herbs.
  • Include one vertical grower, which provides interest. Cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, and pole beans are good considerations.

French

chard2

Beautiful Rainbow Chard

Ooh la la. A high-style potager (kitchen garden) featuring these favorite French goodies is tres magnifique!

  • Alpine strawberry
  • Chard
  • Chervil
  • Culinary lavender
  • French green bean
  • Garlic
  • Leek
  • Savory
  • White asparagus

Mexican

Cook up the freshest fare around with these must-have ingredients. The number of chili varieties out there is endless — choose a few to spice up your life.

  • Chili pepper (jalapeno, po
    tomatillos

    Ripe tomatillos

    blano, 
    serrano)

  • Cilantro
  • Epazote
  • Heirloom corn
  • Heirloom squash (summer and winter)
  • Red Mexican bush bean
  • Tomatillo

Italian

The vegetables and herbs in this region are as varied as the cuisine itself.

  • Broccoli raab
  • Cipollini onion
  • Fava bean
  • Fennel
  • Heirloom cantaloupe
  • Italian parsley
  • Roma tomato
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Savoy cabbage
  • Sweet basil

Asian

These exciting vegetables may be used in stir-fries and salads, or to accompany Chinese dishes. Use fermented cabbage in kimchi.

  • Bitter melon

    how-to-grow-bok-choy-slide3-1000

    Bok Choy in the garden

  • Bok choy
  • Daikon
  • Edamame
  • Green onion
  • Lemongrass
  • Napa cabbage
  • Snow peas
  • Thai basil

If you get a chance, visit the Cleveland Cultural Garden in Cleveland, Ohio. Featuring 31 gardens that are each inspired by a different ethnic group — Polish, Greek, Italian, German, Hebrew, Irish, Chinese, African-American, and Indian, to name a few — the Cleveland Cultural Garden in Rockefeller Park is a must-stop destination in Ohio. For more information, visit culturalgardens.org.

 

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One thought on “Grow Your Garden to Match Your Cuisine

  1. Oh how funny. I wrote a less glamorous article about ethnic gardening, and how ‘my people’ tend to grow certain vegetables, fruits and ornamental plants. It is sort of embarrassing, but too often true. However, we are also quite happy to try growing what we see in the gardens of others, which is how we ended up with rhubarb and dahlias.

    Liked by 1 person

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