Abundant Harvest

A couple of years ago, I was invited to scout Chef James Laird’s vegetable garden. Like many upscale restauranteurs, James and wife Nancy who operate Restaurant Serenade in Chatham, NJ, wanted access to fresh, organic produce. So they grew their own.

Rows of vari-colored leaf lettuce and peas had given way to heirloom and specialty tomatoes, green beans, and a wide variety of basil, parsley and other herbs by the time I arrived, but what a wonderful selection it was (photo).

James introduced me to Cherokee Purple tomatoes. It was love at first bite and I’ve grown them in my own garden ever since. What with all the rain this year, they were very late in blooming and I got only a few before the shorter days of fall bore only green fruit until our early snow. Well, now I’ve discovered that Cherokee Purple makes an excellent fried green tomato!

The photo contest theme over at Gardening Gone Wild (http://www.gardeninggonewild.com/?p=8318) is Abundant Harvest. Thanks, Chef James Laird, for sharing yours with me --- and my readers!

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