Urban farming, Berlin style

Lead photo © ECF Farmsystems Berlin

It was the most intense basil scent I had ever smelled. 27,000 basil plants, as far as the eye can see… well not quite, as outside the greenhouse the early 20th-century factory buildings stood tall nearby, which made the sea of basil all the more surreal. Continue reading

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Putting America first

Kohlrabi

Since the election, I had been in a black hole like so many of my friends and family. I tried to look at it as a gardener: Sometimes I dig up an entire area in my garden, I rip out everything to replant it. It is messy and unsightly in the beginning, and it takes muscle power, sweat, patience, perseverance, and quite a few blisters and calluses on my hands to turn it into a pretty flower bed or into a productive vegetable plot. Continue reading

Green Card Gardener

Flower feet

“Green Card Gardener” is my story, a work in progress about how I came to America on a Diversity Visa that I won in the Green Card Lottery, how I became a passionate gardener on a remote rural hilltop in Pennsylvania, and how with every gardening season I feel more at home in America. Yet, there is not a day I forget where I come from, a family of diverse identities, traditions and heritage.

By renaming this blog “Green Card Gardener” I speak as an immigrant to this country. Continue reading

Apple Masala

Apple Masala Bread

A long and productive gardening season is winding down. After the first frost, the last peppers and tomatoes are ripening on trays indoors, the freezer is packed to the top, the basement shelves are filled with all kinds of canned goods, and the water-bath canner and all the other canning equipment has been put in storage. And I finally have time to get on my bike again.

Well not so fast…. From one of my bike rides I brought back a whole basket of windfall apples. Continue reading