Throughout the summer and into autumn, The New York Botanical Garden will present The Edible Garden, an exhibition about growing and preparing good food. Set across the 250-acre Botanical Garden landscape through October, The Edible Garden will feature gardens devoted to the favorite edible plants of popular chefs. The exhibition celebrates locally grown seasonal food through demonstrations from food and gardening experts every day, during four festival weekends, and programs that demonstrate the bounty, economy, and nutritional value of edible plants. Featuring four spectacular kitchen gardens, The Edible Garden will teach visitors how to grow the best food at home. Proceeds benefit the Children’s Gardening program.
Brandywine Tomato in the Family Garden [The Edible Garden at The New York Botanical GardenPhoto by Toby Adams]
Celebrity chefs Mario Batali, Dan Barber, and others will narrate The Edible Garden Audio Tour through which visitors can discover where their food comes from and how it gets to their table. Recordings will provide insight into the local sustainable food movement and give a behind-the-scenes look at growing an edible garden. Listeners can also receive text messages with nutritional information, recipes, tips, and facts about growing food. The Audio Tour, accessible by cell phone, allows listeners to leave feedback, enabling them to share their own tips, recipes, food traditions, and more.
Cardoon in Martha Stewart's Culinary Herb Garden [The Edible Garden at The New York Botanical GardenPhoto by Talisman Brolin / TALISMAN PHOTO]
Festival weekends during The Edible Garden will offer visitors the chance to discover the origins of food and learn about the plants and plant parts that they eat every day. Festival weekends are scheduled for Fiesta de Flores y Comida, a celebration of Latin
American and Caribbean food and flowers, on September 25 and 26; Family Harvest (Columbus Day Weekend), on October 9, 10, and 11; and the Fall Finale, October 16 and 17.Check nybg.org for all the details. Text “NYBG Chef” to 56512 to find out who is cooking each week.
Garden-to-Table Weekends and Cooking Demonstrations Every Day
Each weekend during the four months of The Edible Garden will feature cooking demonstrations by chefs such as Keith Snow and food blogger Cathy Erway in the Conservatory Kitchen with special themes based on seasonal ingredients. Rick Bayless and Peter Hoffman will make a special appearance on September 12.
Cooking Demonstrations [Edible Garden at The New York Botanical Garden. Photo Credit: Courtesy Jupiterimages]
Visitors can view cooking demonstrations every day during the exhibition. In addition to the Saturday and Sunday weekend demos, each day will offer something to see: “Cooking for Kids” every Tuesday and Wednesday at 11 a.m., “Cooking for Your Health” every Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., “Cooking for the Season” every Thursday at 2 p.m., and “Whole Foods Market Fridays” every Friday at 2 p.m.
Four Vegetable Gardens including Celebrity Chef Kitchen Gardens
One of last year’s popular attractions, Martha Stewart’s Culinary Herb Garden, returns, featuring a display of the finest culinary herbs personally selected by Martha Stewart, whose distinctive design aesthetic has inspired millions of fans through her multimedia ventures. Martha and her team of gardening experts will once again bring their ideas to The New York Botanical Garden’s historic Nancy Bryan Luce Herb Garden, exhibiting a rich selection of herbs from common chives to savory curry plants and aromatic artemisia.
Martha Stewart demonstrates making herbal cocktails.[The Edible Garden at The New York Botanical Garden. Photo by Talisman Brolin / TALISMAN PHOTO]
In the Home Gardening Center, visitors can orient themselves to a broad variety of edible plants and learn how easy it is to grow their own food gardens through a number of display gardens including Seed Savers Heirloom Vegetable Garden, one of New York’s best heirloom vegetable gardens, and Sensory Garden, with touchable scented herbs. Kitchen garden planners will include gardens devoted to the favorite edible plants of popular chefs – Daisy Martinez, the host of the Food Network’s ¡Viva Daisy!; Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns; Michael Psilakis of restaurants Kefi in New York and Eos in Miami; and chef, writer, restaurateur, and media personality Mario Batali.
Eggplant from the Family Garden [The Edible Garden at The New York Botanical Garden. Photo by Toby Adams]
New beds in and around the Home Gardening Center will offer visitors an intriguing range of edible plants:
Chili Pepper Garden
A new Conservatory Container Garden display will provide an artful combination of interesting exotic plants in containers on the terrace in front of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. The display will feature a range of edibles from peppers and tomatoes to gourds and sunflowers.
Each year 40,000 schoolchildren and families participate in programs at the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, which will once again be a key destination for visitors during The Edible Garden, enabling children to plant, tend, and harvest fruit, herbs, and vegetables all summer long and harvest them in fall. The Children’s Vegetable Garden will include various display gardens, creatively educating visitors about the ingredients in their favorite meals:
wheat, oregano, basil, garlic, onions, and
tomatoes in the Pizza Garden
corn, barley, oats, and rice in the Breakfast
Radishes in the Family Garden [The Edible Garden at The New York Botanical Garden. Photo by Toby Adams]
Global Family Gardens at the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden offer families and children the opportunity to learn about gardening in different cultures, such as Korean, Italian, Chinese, Irish, and Caribbean. Located across from the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, Pumpkin Patch is a new feature to this year’s Edible Garden exhibition, showcasing the best and easiest pumpkins for home gardens in a bed surrounded by sunflowers, gourds, and dinnerplate dahlias.
People interested in vegetable gardening week-by-week can access weekly videos and gardening advice by Botanical Garden experts on the Botanical Garden’s Web site, www.nybg.org, giving home gardeners plenty of information to keep their gardens lush and productive through the entire growing season. The Web site will also include details about the vegetable gardens featured in The Edible Garden and specifics about
the weekly programming during the exhibition, as well as a weekly update of “what’s in season” at the Greenmarket every Wednesday at The New York Botanical Garden. Also, a harvest calendar will show the ideal harvest time for certain vegetables that people can grow in their own gardens, along with recipes and healthful preparation tips.