I’m Susan Martin. My blog is about 52 weeks of edible gardening in coastal Southern California. I write about gardens, food, family, community and place. The blog is a very personal work, an opportunity for me to capture thoughts, memories and experiences of gardens, gardening and the gardeners I have known. I share what I’ve learned from many decades of having my hands in the dirt.
The groove runs deep. My parents and grandparents were gardeners and probably my ancestors who came to Maine in 1639. Memories of my garden in Ipswich, Massachusetts linger and influence the seasonal rhythms of my life in California. I follow several New England blogs and think of myself as “bi-coastal,” though I’ve been in San Diego for over twenty years. See my recollections of Massachusetts gardens in posts like Mud Season and look for other “bi-coastal moments.”
The photos in my blog are mostly from my garden. Flowers and trees in my yard or travel images show up occasionally. I regularly remind myself that the blog is about edible gardening; otherwise you’d see more images and stories of my other love, perennials. I always grow flowers with my vegetables though, for some very good reasons. Zinnias are next to the peppers right now and feverfew pops up here and there. Mesclun lettuce always looks better edged with calendulas or violas.
ediblegardens52 is a natural extension of my “day jobs.” As a consultant, I’ve helped people plan and plant vegetable gardens and offered a workshop on The Second Season Garden. As a dietitian, I care about fresh, sustainably grown and locally sourced foods. The recipes chosen for the blog reflect what I grow and prefer to eat. As Michael Pollan says, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” My long-time mantra at work is similar: “Eat less. Move more. Eat more fruits and vegetables.”
To that I add, “and let their beauty shine.” Gardening is a creative, artistic process. The greens and lettuce in my garden are ordered by color and texture as well as by height. As Miss Rumphius says, it’s “to make the world more beautiful.” I look forward to using all of what I’ve learned to help people plan and plant edible gardens that feed body and soul while they delight the eye.
I’m pleased to be able to share my garden with you through images and words. I look forward to hearing from you too.
Come into my garden. Linger awhile. Let’s talk.
In an era when the traditional notions of time have all but disappeared,
when the work of a week occurs in a matter of seconds
and the world is no larger than a cell phone,
the steady rhythms and solid surfaces of a garden are a comfort.
Thomas C. Cooper