Mary, Mary… How does your garden grow?
If you’re an Italian American, Mary Menniti is the person to answer this question—and many more—in this week’s episode of the Italian American Podcast.
We’re sitting down with Italian America’s Number 1 Green Thumb to discuss her groundbreaking Italian Garden Project. Mary will share her appreciation for the centuries-old Italian American connection to the Earth and how our ancestors instinctively knew how to work the lands and harvest their bounty.
We discuss how this connection to the land we live on helps humanity survive and how younger generations are slowly rediscovering the recipes and habits from ages past. Mary tells us how she visits Italian American gardens as a part of this project in order to help preserve the heirloom fruits and vegetables grown there and how the Smithsonian Institute is interested in this project as a true representation of Italian ethnicity in the United States.
Mary also discusses what constitutes an Italian American garden, sharing her tips on how to best grow the staples of Italian American cuisine, from the heirloom tomatoes of a North End backyard to the mysterious “bacci beans” growing in Northern California. She’ll also shed some light on the rising popularity of foraging and why today’s “hipsters” are suddenly seeking out the same “weeds” Nonna used to pick for the perfect salad.
Finally, we discuss how the noble fig tree has become the ultimate staple of an Italian garden and how it perfectly represents the Italian American experience with its uncanny ability to adapt and thrive in a land that is not its own… much like our ancestors.
If you’re an Italian American who fancies yourself a green thumb, or one who is seeking to acquire the age-old skills of the Italian home gardener, then discover how to make your garden grow, and what you’ll want in it with Mary Menniti of the Italian Garden Project!