Whip Up a Tasty Edible Garden

Whip Up a Tasty Edible Garden

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Spring is around the corner! It’s not just a great time to enjoy fresh, seasonal vegetables but also to plant some. You can jump start your planning in the winter by plotting out your garden design now! 

We asked CE instructors Marni Swart and Chef Michele Sweeney for tips on planning your edible garden, what vegetables are in season for spring along with recipe ideas for enjoying your harvested edibles. 

Marni Swart says the best veggies to start indoors to get ready for spring planting are: 

Indoors under lights: 

  • Onions - bulbing and scallions 

  • Leeks 

  • Broccoli 

  • Kale 

  • Cauliflower 

  • Cabbage 

Seeding directly outside soon: 

  • Peas 

  • Lettuce 

  • Spinach 

  • Bok choi 

Here are some tips to help you get your garden started this season: 

  1. Start small: Growing a garden doesn't have to be a huge undertaking. Start with some small, easy-to-grow plants like lettuce, radishes, and herbs.   

  1. Choose the right location: Make sure to pick a spot that gets 6-8 hours of sunlight during the day and that is close to your house. You will be more prone to check your garden daily and harvest regularly.  

  1. Feed the soil: Add 1-2 inches of organic compost to the surface of your garden beds to feed soil organisms and improve soil structure. 

  1. Check for soil moisture: Make sure your plants get adequate water. Too much or too little can both be detrimental. Test the soil moisture at the root level (using your finger or a moisture meter) before watering. Water deeply to allow moisture to reach the roots. Water pots daily in hot weather. 

  1. Test your soil: Figure out the nutrients your soil needs before adding fertilizer. Check with your local conservation district for soil testing resources. Some nurseries and master gardener programs also offer free soil testing. 

Chef Michele says some of the best vegetables for spring cooking include asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, carrots, spinach, peas, and radishes. Try roasting these veggies with a little bit of olive oil, garlic, and herbs for a delicious side dish, or add them to your favorite pasta or soup recipes. One of Chef Michele’s favorite recipes is roasted veggies with Tahini Sauce. Roast up your favorite veggies and drizzle with the tahini sauce recipe below. 

Tahini Sauce Recipe 


  • ¼ cup tahini, at room temperature and well stirred  

  • 3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice  

  • Pinch of ground cumin  

  • 2 garlic cloves, grated to a paste using a micro plain  

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil  

  • 1 cup plain yogurt (not Greek-style yogurt)  

  • Kosher salt  


In a mini food processor or mini prep place all tahini sauce ingredients in (except olive oil) and blitz until well combined. Stream in olive oil and blend until emulsified.  

Following the gardening tips in this article will help ensure you have a successful garden this spring and delicious meal! Be sure to check out Marni’s gardening class schedule and Chef Michele’s cooking and baking class schedule for upcoming sessions. 


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