“Kitchen gardening is poised for a powerful revival. It’s always made infinite sense, and in the midst of a financial collapse and energy and climate crisis, it makes triple infinite sense. Even though I am now an experienced old hand at vegetable growing, I still want to hear what the super-expert parsnip growers have to say, and I really want the recipes. Won’t you please bring Kitchen Gardener back?”
Will they listen? Do they need to? I wrote an article on Kitchen Gardens as a style, and as an old seventies homesteading wannabe I have a little experience in resurrecting the kitchen garden. I think Michele absolutely nailed the description when she says:
we vegetable gardeners are the dirtiest and sweatiest of all gardeners, we get dirty for refined reasons: We love beautiful food.
Vegetable gardening is the most demanding in terms of work and preparation for home gardeners. For some, that is the only garden worth having, but for many – organic foodstuffs are best bought from local farm markets and such places. The whole world of garden information has really changed since the advent of masses flocking to the internet for their information. For myself, I break my info “desire” list down this way:
- quick info: always the internet
- in depth info: usually a good garden book
- handy reference: again, a tried and true book in hand
- pretty pictures and inspiration: magazines
I know not everyone is the same and I am sure that there are Micheles who are going to love a Taunton quality magazine centering on Kitchen gardening… but I think her own answer to the question is “Apparently, back in 2001, I was kinda eccentric in my interests”. I think it was more the combination of being the vegetable gardener with a refined aesthetic sense who was willing to pay the magazine price. Not enough in that set to make the project profitable for the publishers, I’m guessing.
Garden Rant is an example of just why we no longer patronize the garden magazines in small niches: great information, beautiful pictures, some high quality writing, and right-now inspiration….all on the garden blogs in the blogosphere. A great place to find many of those, and rated by fellow gardeners is Blotanical a good resource compiled and run by by Stuart Robinson [updated: sorry to say that this site closed down]. Of course this plethora of good garden blogs, along with the bad and the ugly, might mean there is too much to wade through to find what is wanted… in which case the time may come for this type of garden magazine, once again. But I don’t think that time has come quite yet.