Here’s how it starts:
Why should one bother to till a cut of the land on which he lives and grow much of what he needs for his daily dinner? The reasons, are several, but the most compelling is this: the kitchen garden is an indispensable aid in the attainment of a day-by-day good cuisine. Or put it this way: without a kitchen garden – that plot of land on which one grows herbs, vegetables, and some fruit – it is not possible to produce decent and savory food for the dinner table. This generalization admits no exceptions; it is as sound as the assertion that a stone thrown in the air must return to earth. And since a fine dinner after the day’s labor contributes so much to one’s well-being, I may state, further, that the kitchen garden is an indispensible aid in the achievement of the Good Life. Are you convinced? Of course! Then you must procure the necessary tools to become a gardener.
Well, I was convinced when I first read this book as a young twenty something with my first bit of land in which to grow a garden. This book is part kitchen garden how-to, part cook book, part testament to the American Dream.
Pellegrini started writing in the 1940’s, but many of his messages resonate in our time. Namely: you don’t have to eat the mush they sell in the grocery store. If you have a bit of space it’s possible to grow wonderful things such as artichokes, cauliflower, radishes and marjoram.
Sounds like a lot of work? Pellegrini agrees. He suggests adding a healthy bit of joy to your gardening and your food will taste all the much better for it. Don’t have time? Pellegrini worked full-time too, and had kids, but fit gardening in to the little cracks and crevices of his day.
I read this book every winter. It is the cornerstone of how I garden, and how I’m teaching my kids to garden. It’s an old book, but still timely, and every year I seem to pick up on something new.
Linked to: Booking It at Life As Mom