Eat Local, Eat Fresh
Cofounder of Slow Food Oklahoma City, Kamala believes that meals made from naturally produced local vegetables, fruits, meats, and dairy products are good for your health, good for the local economy, and good for your taste buds.
Her soil, unfortunately, was “horrid, black clay.” She learned to loosen and enrich the soil by tilling in copious amounts of composted cow and horse manure, green manure cover crops like clover and alfalfa, and even worm castings. Mulching with hay each year also adds organic matter as it breaks down.
Tip: Kamala grows cucumbers on wire frames leaning against a fence for easy picking.
When to plant: Plant in spring for summer harvest.
Why she loves it: Very productive; essential for pesto; "ridiculously pricey in the store."
Why Kamala loves it: Loves the flavor of 'Lemon' and 'National Pickling' varieties; "[they] give you phenomenal production."
Why Kamala loves it: Let a green pepper turn red for sweeter flavor and more vitamins; "'Giant Marconi' produces like nobody's business."
Why Kamala loves it: "At the store, baby greens cost an arm and a leg, but if you sprinkle a packet of lettuce seeds over the soil, in two weeks you'll have baby greens and save $10 a pound."
Why Kamala loves it: Great in salads; very nutritious; a quick grower that builds confidence.
Why Kamala loves it: Tremendous number of types; "they give you the most flavor 'pow' from your garden."
Step 1: Stack several basil leaves together; roll the stacked leaves lengthwise.
Want that you-pick flavor without gardening? Consider these options.
- Join Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)―These programs connect farmers directly with the public. CSA members buy subscriptions and in return receive weekly or monthly boxes of harvested goods. www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/csa/csa.shtml
- Farmers Markets―To find one near you, visit the Southern Living Local Market Listing or www.localharvest.org
- You-Pick―If you pick it yourself, then you know it’s fresh. Find what’s available in your area at www.pickyourown.org