Vegetables, herbs + flowers
A benefit of working with chefs and hospitality clients is having the opportunity to really push the boundaries with regard to growing food.
At the start of each season, I meet with clients to review the Verdura crop list - a five page document that includes over 150 varieties of vegetables, herbs, edible flowers and speciality plants. When Verdura launched in 2011, this list was a very brief two pages - but each year, it transforms and grows exponentially as a result of my clients' special, and at times, unusual requests.
The part of this process which I enjoy the most is the challenge of not only researching and sourcing rare, unusual or underutilized seed and plants, but the opportunity to learn how to grow these varieties, and to grow them successfully. Most recently, I've delved into sourcing and cultivating plant varieties that wouldn't commonly be found or grown here in the Midwest. It's the continuous expansion of product that I can provide to chefs and restaurants which makes me most excited and inspired to be a culinary gardener.