Sunday, June 28, 2009

Edible Garden Exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden

The Edible Garden exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden opened this past weekend. The exhibit runs all summer, but the weekend’s events included food demos, tasting and talks with people like Mario Batali, Martha Stewart and Dan Barber from Stone Barns. We caught a good part of a cooking demo with Peter Hoffman of Savoy restaurant. He was using garlic scapes, which are in season now, to flavor a stovetop dish with potatoes, beans and peas.
Afterwards we headed over to the tastings area where some charming men forced us to drink Italian prosecco, luscious pear cider, watermelon beer, and wine slushes. There were also opportunities to taste cheeses (the horseradish cheese was our favorite!), flavored oils and vinegars, granola and coffees. Indside the conservatory was the "Tropical Fruits, Roots and Shoots"exhibit.

It was fun to see things growing that we’re always consuming, but rarely get to see in their natural form. Things like coffee ...

Papaya ...

Chocolate ...

Cashew nuts ....



Sugar Cane....






Pineapple... (aren't they cute?!)

and even citrus.



Outside, an array of containers – most featuring corn and nasturtium, a decoy for pests. Peppers, tomatoes, and even squash and cucumbers were on display.

Martha Stewart’s culinary herb garden was another highlight.


The Home Garden exhibit was more practical and inspiring.

I love the way they planted and mulched in a diamond formation in many of the beds. This is the Seed Saver's Heirloom Vegetable Garden.








We never made it to the children's garden or the greenhouse - two areas I very much want to see before the summer's end. Later I’ll post some photos I took of the perennial gardens - they're really at their peak.

16 comments:

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Nice shots... excellent collection of plants.

It really brings back sweet memories of childhood days looking at cashew nuts. The plants natural habitat is sandy soil. Perculiar fruit because the seeds are not in the fleshy part of the fruit. Fruiting season was our childhood fiesta as we climbed up and crawled along low branches..

Shirts would be dirty with permanent stains from the fruit juice...... Nice fruit. The nuts are awfully addicting..... haha.

~ bangchik, Malaysia.

tina said...

It would be most fun to see these exotic things growing in a garden. What fun!

our friend Ben said...

Yikes, I didn't know chocolate fruited right on the trunk like redbuds. Yecchhh, that always freaks me out. But sounds like a really informative time, and I'm delighted that they're educating on edibles!

Joanne said...

It looks like visiting other parts of the world! I like the corn in the pot, a great accent plant, most definitely. And the diamond shapes remind me of the year we planted our red impatien seedlings in the shape of a heart, and when they filled in, we had a great living Valentine all summer long.

JGH said...

Bangchik - we were marvelling at the black seeds hanging off the bottom of the fruit and wondering what the fruit tastes like!

Tina, it occurred to me that citrus doesn't qualify as exotic to most people, but it certainly doesn't grow up here in NY.

Ben, I know! They look like some kind of alien parasite pods when they mature.

Joanne - love your impatiens idea. I'll have to try planting in formation some time.

Lzyjo said...

Beautiful and at one of my favorite places to boot! Not to mention the fabulous high-profile guests. Sounds like the makings of a wonderful time. I love their container garden displays!!

Louise @ Buddy Garden said...

I've heard of this exhibit and am planning to go this coming weekend. I'm looking forward to it after seeing your pictures!

tut-tut said...

What an eclectic array there! We're enjoying our beans, cucumbers, radishes, onions as scallions at the moment. Renee's Garden seeds have proved to be great, btw.

Talon said...

Hi, JGH. Wonderful shots - gives me a real feel for the exhibit. Those diamond patterns are really pretty, aren't they? It's really neat when you get to see the plants that give us such good stuff from places we've never been.

You're right - the idea of "exotic" is definitely relative to where you live. Here in Canada it can vary province to province.

subtorp77 said...

Beautiful! Simply beautiful! I'd not mind a bit of that horse-radish cheese. And did I spy a nice big rhubarb plant? Not sure about th' watermelon beer, tho'?

JGH said...

Liz, I'll definitely go again if you decide to visit this summer!

Louise, let me know how you like it -- maybe you'll post some photos too??!

Tut, I need to get Renee's catalog - I've heard it's great.

Talon - so right. When I lived in Florida, I didn't consider citrus nearly as exotic as I do now ;-)

Subby, the watermelon beer had a cucumber aftertaste that was really interesting and refreshing. It wasn't at all like Jolly Ranchers! The red stalks are chard, but I wouldn't be surprised if some rhubarb were close by too.

subtorp77 said...

JGH, intersting. And wonder if those chard leaves are as deadly as the rhubarb ones? Amaizing that some of the flora we comsume, can also do away with you, if you eat the wrong part, wot?

spookydragonfly said...

I enjoyed the tour right along with you! Sounds like an interesting visit...I especially enjoyed the Chocolate growing!

Brigit said...

What fabulous exposure to plants you normally wouldn't see, and thanks for sharing them with us. I had no idea what some of edibles look like we by them ripe and delicious.

JGH said...

Hi again Subtorp! I've eaten swiss chard leaves many times and survived - in fact I highly recommend them sauteed in olive oil and garlic! Thanks for the warning, though - I'll stay away from the rhubarb leaves.

Spooky, thanks - I'd love to see the actual pods in person sometime too.

Me too, Bridget. Good to learn a little about the plant's journey before it hits the grocery store shelves.

subtorp77 said...

JGH, you just said my second favourite food--garlic! Will have to give it a try( I mean, I've eaten clover, nettles and dandelion greens )...