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Tips for Growing an Edible Garden

Articles: Tips for Growing an Edible Garden

A delicious, healthful, organic harvest to inspire Bay Area gardeners. Photo: Ronald Castagnetti

[sidebar] Ronald Castagnetti received the Pitschel Prize for an expanded version of this essay in 2016.[/sidebar]


Growing up in Virginia and New Hampshire my parents instilled in my three brothers and me enjoyment and respect for creating edible gardens. We helped build a raised bed and cultivated various crops including tomatoes, corn, green beans, potatoes, carrots, squash, cucumbers, strawberries, and more. But I was the only child who appreciated the importance of weekly maintenance. I methodically weeded and removed pests by hand alongside my mother, who was pleased to no end, as she shared stories from her childhood in Hawai’i and the lessons, tips, and tricks she’d learned in her family’s vegetable patch.

Today, more than three decades later, I’m living in California. After a meandering path through a variety of jobs I studied environmental horticulture at City College of San Francisco where, as a senior, I was part of a small team tasked with expanding and maintaining the Horticulture Depa...


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