I like to consider myself somewhat of a green thumb. I love to garden. There is something so magical about planting something then with a little love and nurture that plant will produce something that tastes better than anything you have ever bought.
My first attempt with growing a vegetable garden came when I was about 12. My dad and I went to Home Depot, bought some wood and soil and built a raised garden bed on the side of our house. We even put a sprinkler head in the middle. I relished with pride looking down at what we had done. The only problem was that it was on a shaded side of our house and the only thing that grew were weeds.
And so it began. My life as a farmer.
My next attempt and it was barely successful came when I graduated from college and lived in a big ol’ mansion with 6 girls (one of them being Chefanie Wambach) in the Hollywood Hills. I had an indoor tomato garden. While the sun was right there all the time, other activities took top billing and the poor little tomato plant took to the back burner. However, one little tomato did end up producing and I was hooked. We named him Little Buddy.
A few years later I moved to NY and thought I could probably grow some citrus trees on the roof of my building. Someone stole them. I put up signs begging for the return.
A few years later I met my boyfriend Jason (soon to be fiance – ahem, Jason if you are listening this is a hint) and we moved to Malibu (last year). It was his encouragement that really pushed me to the next level of gardening skills. That and Malibu has the perfect climate for growing just about everything. It’s true. No matter what you put in that soil it will grow…And grow it did.
Artichokes, Tomatoes (10 varieties, a little crazy I know), Carrots (not much a root gardener), Spinach, Lettuces, Strawberries, Eggplant, Tomatillos, everything! In fact, our old neighbor and landlord told me she still uses the chives I planted. (I guess chives are annuals and never stop growing)
Tomatoes are my sweet spot.
Fast forward 1 year and here I am in San Francisco. Not quite the Southern California climate that I am used to but it is a learning experience. Oregano kills it here. So does Pineapple Sage. My sweet peas did well in the winter.
Now as spring is in full bloom I have some tomatoes working their magic. They are looking promising. But it is the strawberries that are really surprising me. It looks like a few more weeks and they will be ripe for picking.
So in the meantime here is a delicious salad recipe that you can make right now or in a few weeks when your strawberries are ripe and plump.
Strawberry Feta Salad
Salt & Pepper
Assemble the salad and mix the vinaigrette to your liking. Combine and eat it up!