My kitchen garden was the most popular spot on the garden tour. It looks like everyone is already there; let's go and join the party.
The kitchen garden is situated on top of the hill. I know it takes a little effort to get to the kitchen garden. Once we get there, we forget about climbing all those steps. Another reason I like it because I am forced to get exercise going up and down multiple times every day.
When we bought the property almost 20 years ago, we didn't know this area existed. It was only after we fenced the property that we realized we owned a triangular piece of land on top of the hill. We took advantage of that land and created a kitchen garden of our dreams.
There are 16 raised beds to grow almost every possible vegetable, which also gives me opportunity to organize the vegetables and herbs. I grow over 20 varieties of tomatoes, herbs and salad greens and exotic greens such as moringa, fenugreek, and cuban oregano to name a few.
In between raised beds, there are potted plants filled with herbs and citrus plants to give height and interest to the garden design.
Philippine lemon called calamondin
I grow lots of Indian vegetables, which means they need lots of sunlight and warm weather. The garden tour was on May 4th and by that time, I could get only get plants growing but not the actual vegetables. It is the same case with this bottle gourd plant.
Lots of labels were made with the pictures of the vegetables of what to expect and explaining their health benefits. I wanted to make this interesting as well as educational experience for the visitors.
The famed curry leaf plant
Tamarind plants grow up to 80 feet tall in tropical climate. This two feet plant can hang out in the pot for another couple of years and then will be planted in the ground. Tamarind is quintessential ingredient to South Indian cooking.
Golden zucchini is almost ready to harvest
Ivy gourd patch
Eight different kinds of eggplants were planted
Tomatoes are going bonkers this year!
Three raised beds are planted with salad greens
The following bed is filled with swisschard, beets, kale and arugula
This one is with different kinds of lettuce
This is the patch with carrots, fenugreek leaves, spinach and Indian red spinach
Stevia is a zero calorie natural sweetener. I like to sweeten my tea with a leaf or two of stevia.
Different kinds of beans in another bed
Of course, we can't do without a myriad of chilies
Volunteers, thoroughly did their research about the all Indian greens such as moringa and fenugreek leaves before the assignment. They explained the health benefits of each and every plant in the kitchen garden. When all the guests were done touring the kitchen garden, they had even more questions for me. I love inquisitive visitors.
Outside the kitchen garden, a long line of table grapes are planted
Rumex sorrel. Don't you love those red veins in those leaves?
The view from the kitchen garden overlooking the house, palm trees and mountains
Different kinds herbs can be found all around the kitchen garden
Visitors were very interested to know how the spice turmeric grows. Turmeric is an under ground tuber just like ginger.
Garden from a different angle
After the tour, an another volunteer, Angie stands at the arbor and says good bye to all departing visitors from kitchen garden.
For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes), please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at