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From Garden to PlateFrom Garden to Plate

From Garden to Plate


Raising your own food has never been easier—or more fun. From Garden to Plate teaches you the basics of seed-starting and raising your own food inexpensively, plus it gives you gardening tips and recipes to highlight your garden produce. This magazine shows you everything you need to plant, raise, harvest, and prepare the freshest, most flavorful food.

United States
Meredith Corporation
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editor’s note

Raising food has never been easier—or more fun.And growing food right outside your back door means harvesting is more convenient than ever. You can grow food from seeds or plant seedlings in your garden, and once you raise a few of your own crops (and see how easy and tasty they are), you’ll want to expand your garden year after year. With the diverse selection of fruit and vegetable varieties available today, you can delve into a wide, flavorful world of heirloom and specialty varieties. With hundreds of tomatoes to choose from, don’t settle for tasteless, juiceless, nondescript ones. New, improved, and disease-resistant varieties make growing vegetables easier than ever before. And you don’t need a lot of space to raise fruits and vegetables. Container gardening means that anyone—with or…

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herbal heritage

Rita Nader Heikenfeld harvests herbs from her garden in the morning to ensure they’re at their flavor peak; by noon, the sun starts driving the volatile flavor oils back to the root or out the top of the flowering portion. Her tip: A day before harvesting herbs, sprinkle them with water to remove any dirt and allow them to dry.Rita grows about 75 herbs and a smattering of edible flowers in her raised-bed herb garden. She subscribes to the French intensive method, planting closely to choke out weeds.A nosegay for a friend holds basil, borage, oregano, tarragon, and Russian sage. Herbs are always on the menu at Rita Nader HeikenfeldÕs house. As a child, Rita and her eight siblings helped their mother grow marjoram, basil, thyme, oregano, mint, dill, and…

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growing herbs in containers

SELECT CONTAINERS WISELY. Most herbs need a wide pot to allow the roots room to grow. Dill and fennel require deep pots because of their taproots. Ideal containers include ceramic, terra-cotta, and clay pots, or even bushel baskets— anything with good drainage.WATER REGULARLY. You’ll need to water your herb containers often in the absence of regular rainfall. This is especially important if they’re sitting on a concrete surface, such as a patio, where reflected heat will dry them out more quickly.APPLY FERTILIZER. Herbs in containers need a light fertilizer to keep growing all season because frequent watering washes away nutrients. Add an organic fertilizer or a slow-release pellet type when potting herbs.HARVEST OFTEN. Herbs in pots grow more quickly than herbs growing in the ground because the soil…

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morel fever

ASPARAGUS AND MORELS Some hunters watch for mayapple leaves to unfurl in early spring. Others keep an eye out for the first lilacs to bloom. “It means you’re about three days into the morel season,” says Matt Rissi of Center Point, Iowa, who has been hunting morels every year since he was 4 or 5 years old. Matt learned the art of ’shrooming from his great-grandfather, Louis, an Austrian immigrant to the upper Midwest, where, if the weather is right, morel mania peaks about Mother’s Day. The hunt can begin as early as March in southern Texas and as late as August in Alaska.A long stretch of cool spring days in the low 60s sends Midwestern morel hunters out by dawn to their secret spots—around the bases of dying elm…

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know your greens

SPICY GREENS AND ASPARAGUS WITH ROASTED GARLIC DRESSINGFresh greens and other produce were grown ultralocally—preferably within footsteps of Clark Frasier’s and Mark Gaier’s kitchen—at the now-closed Arrows Restaurant.In Zone 4 Maine, greens are best grown in cold frames to extend the harvest into early spring and late fall. Plexiglass lids raise the bed temperatures by 8°F to 10°F. In summer, row covers keep bugs out and filter harsh sun.Restaurateurs Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier take taste buds seriously. Knowing that it’s all about balance, they ponder their menu pairings carefully before pulling together a plate. When serving fish, for example, something with zing and crunch might be called for. Many restaurants would turn to salsa. Instead, this daring duo tosses a few zesty Asian greens into the picture. What ‘Ruby…

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a dozen greens

With lots of hungry mouths to feed, restaurateurs and gardeners Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier keep their Asian greens coming throughout the season. As soon as a crop is harvested and whisked into the kitchen, that space is sown with another packet of seeds. In their quest to explore all the nuances of taste, the two grow a wide range of greens and monitor their performance in their Maine garden. Here are some observations gleaned from harvesting seasons of crops. 1. ‘GOLDEN FRILL’ MUSTARD (Brassica juncea) A bright companion to pair with the darker mustards, this flavorful green also can be sautéed. When sautéing, Clark suggests flash-stir-frying the greens.2. SENPOSAI (Brassica rapa × B. oleracea) This cross between mustard and cabbage is sweeter than most mustards. Large mature leaves are…