MLJohnsonI had already been writing about food and agriculture for a few years when I read Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. I gave the book to my boyfriend, Greg.
The first thing he said to me after finishing it was, “What should we grow in our garden?”

The garden eventually grew to 50-by-37 feet. It produced far more than we could eat, or even give away. We are in the process of scaling back.

Having a garden cut our food bill, improved our diet and forced me to learn to cook with what I had on hand. I no longer pull out a recipe and go to the store for ingredients. Now, I assess what’s in our yard and figure out how to use it.

I still buy meat and dairy products, of course. Greg won’t let me have livestock because he says I’ll turn the animals into pets, and we’d never get any meat.

I’ve had some great teachers in my journey. Books by Michael Ruhlman and Kathleen Flinn have been invaluable. I count on Martha Rose Shulman‘s weekly recipes in the New York Times. And of course, I learned the basics from my mom, who I continue to trade recipes with.

This blog records our meals and other adventures in eating and gardening. I need to acknowledge that in recent years, I’ve been posting fewer recipes, and the narratives have gotten shorter or disappeared altogether. I’ve had less time to blog as I’ve devoted more time to work and other aspects of my life. Still, this is an important repository of my food history, and I hope you find it useful.

— M.L. Johnson

Follow me on Twitter @MLJohnsonOnline.