A CULINARY GARDEN TOUR WITH FARMER TUCKER

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Last month, Constance and I took a trip to Sonoma County to learn more about the Kendall-Jackson family, their mission, and what makes their wine so special. Between the fragrant vineyards, the terroir, and their familial roots, the trip was nothing short of a inspirational. Touring a vineyard is one thing, but learning about the belief system behind it, it’s sustainability-driven mission, and dedication to giving back is something entirely different. This week, we are taking you with us as we visit the Kendall-Jackson family vineyards. First stop, the culinary gardens with Farmer Tucker.KJW0001

Meet Tucker, Kendall-Jackson’s resident Culinary Gardener. With the belief that everyone should have access to good food, Tucker & his culinary garden at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Garden grow produce & herbs for over two dozen restaurants in California.

If a restaurant wants fresh, locally grown produce, but doesn’t have the space or time to dedicate, they can reach out to Tucker and his team to request certain vegetables at a fraction of the cost & keep business local.

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The culinary garden located on the K-J estate is magnificent. The love, care, and dedication poured into the grounds are inspiring. Not only is the scale impressive, but the belief in being hosts to the environment and being a good steward of the earth is felt by everyone who enters the property.KJW0046

Tucker wants the Chefs that work with the garden to feel like it’s a gift every time they open a produce box. By teaching his crew to think like Chefs, they are able to connect to the full cycle and it makes gardening so much more rich when you know the flavors an herb produces or how a beautifully prepares vegetable tastes.

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Think culinary gardening is too advanced for you? Think again! If Tucker started his culinary garden off in terracotta pots, we can try our hand at a windowsill herb box or a plot of carrots.

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First tip – start with a good base. No matter what you are planting, it’s all about the soil. Compost is best, but something local to your area works well. Pro tip – grab some organic fertilizer to jump-start your new green thumb.

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Next, don’t be afraid to try something new. Rosemary & basil are a new gardeners best friend, but let’s spice things up a bit and try lemon verbena or pineapple sage. Lemon verbena is terribly easy to grow & phenomenal when muddling a good cocktail. Love well-seasoned meat? Try planting some pineapple sage. It’s a wonderful robust herb that makes a killer seasoning for a roast or a protein on the grill.

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Want to step things up a bit? Try your hand at lettuce or kale. They are easier to grow than most produce and are easy to harvest. Stuck with low light, try “short day” tomatoes!

Ultimately, it all comes down to being good stewards to the earth. Whether it’s in the wine you drink or the food you eat, the care, love, and intention is what matters most.KJW0014


Like what you see? Follow @FarmerT on Instagram to see all the garden happenings!
constanceThis post is sponsored, but all opinions & thoughts are our own.