Heidi Ross: Growing a Garden Cultivates Good Cooks

by on November 8, 2011

HEIDI ROSS – Farmer of the Week

Heidi Ross: Farmer of the Week

Heidi Ross: Farmer of the Week

Number of Years Urban Gardening: 10 years
Favorite Thing To Grow:  Tomatoes & lettuce greens
Favorite Thing to Cook From the Garden: Pesto
Favorite Garden Recipes: Basil pesto pasta with roasted tomatoes & arugula pesto with goat cheese
Urban Farming Location: Venice, California

Heidi is one of those chicks that you just want to hang out with. She’s an avid gardener, the quintessential foodie and a fabulous cook. Heidi first learned how to garden edibles 10 years ago, gathering knowledge from a friend’s mother who was a master gardener. Starting with a 4×8 plot, Heidi started growing a garden in the hot, dry climate of Phoenix, Arizona.

Heidi says that growing her own food has changed her life – giving her joy and keeping her in tune with nature. Her vegetable garden not only provides inspiration for her kitchen, but it challenges her to try new recipes to accommodate what’s growing in the garden. She experiments more often and therefore has expanded her recipe repertoire.

Heidi currently grows her urban vegetable garden in the Venice Community Garden. She has a 4×12, one-foot raised garden bed (raised beds are a form of container gardening). The Venice Community Garden decided to raise the beds after testing the soil and finding that it was less than ideal for growing food. Testing soil is something that everyone should do before planting a garden.
[portfolio_slideshow]As a busy event planner and mother, I asked her how she finds the time for her urban vegetable garden. She smiled and said she spends about 1 enjoyable hour per week in the garden, and sometimes 3 or 4 hours on the weekend every two months. From her relatively small plot, Heidi includes part of her garden harvest in her cooking everyday, making it a very rewarding patch of dirt. At the height of the season, she will grow up to 10 different vegetables in that one garden box.

For the first time gardener, Heidi encourages people to find the joy in it and know that gardening is simply trial and error, “Things will die, it will be okay. But it’s all an experiment and as long as you’re enjoying the process, you’re on the right path to success.”

Heidi has shared two wonderful pesto recipes inspired by her garden. If you make them, let us know what you think.

Visit Heidi’s blog at

Heidi’s recipes: Basil Pesto with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Arugula Pesto with Goat Cheese

Carol Carimi Acutt

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: