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Patchwork: Gardeners mix growing with cooking

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THREE AREA GARDENERS are writing a weekly gardening column called PATCH Work in the Addison Independent starting with this issue. The three gardeners are, from left, Judy Stevens, Kate Gridley and Barbara Ganley.

Editor’s Note: The Addison Independent is introducing a new gardening column to run each Thursday through the growing season. It is written by three local gardeners — Kate Gridley of Middlebury, Barbara Ganley of Weybridge, and Judy Stevens of Orwell — from three perspectives.

The column will focus on lessons learned from the land and explores the ancient connection between the garden and the kitchen.

Kate chronicles adventures of the in-town artist-gardener who is passionate about the possibilities of growing and cooking with local seasonal ingredients.

Barbara, from her rural Weybridge setting, considers just what we mean by local through her adventures in the kitchen and garden with herbs and vegetables she didn't think could be grown in Addison County.

Judy, the resident garden expert who works with her husband, Rep. Will Stevens, at Golden Russett Farm, joins them periodically for her "Ask Judy" series in which she replies to readers’ food gardening questions. Moving through the seasons in their gardens, they hope to give people ideas for their own gardens and kitchens, and engage the issues of accessibility and affordability of “local” foods.

Here is a bit more about each writer’s background:

• Gridley is a painter who lives in Middlebury on three tenths of an acre that contains her home, her studio, six raised beds and a couple of perennial borders. Her illustrations (mostly of her own home grown vegetables) have appeared in Amanda Hesser's “The Cook and the Gardener," Horticulture Magazine and Harrowsmith Country Life Magazine. Kate commutes to work through her garden every morning.

 • Barbara Ganley is a writer, photographer, storytelling consultant and explorer of inter-cultural understanding through culinary diversity. Gardener and cook for over 30 years, she has at times grown all her family's food, pushing the limits of growing zones and her family's taste preferences (the year she grew nothing but broccoli should be forgotten). To learn more, visit her at openviewgardens.com.

• Judy Stevens has practiced commercial vegetable production with her husband Will in Addison County since 1981. This year marks her 20th year selling at the Middlebury Farmers Market, and the fifteenth as a participant in Community Supported Agriculture, Farm to Kitchen Connection. Visit her at Golden Russet Farms and Greenhouses in Shoreham.

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