Why do the words “companion planting” bring fear to the home gardener? According to the Star Apple Edible Garden’s Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner, companion gardening brings out the best in a garden’s beauty and its own ability to stave off plant-threatening insects without the use of poisons.
Leslie reminded The Real Story that the most alluring gardens that are the ones that are beautiful, aromatic and yield fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables. Companion planting is all about matching up nature’s own pairs, like tomatoes and basil (anyone for mozzarella?), carrots and onions (the carrot fly can’t get a scent of its favorite meal when onions are planted nearby) and lettuce and radishes. Not only does companion planting help create a lush landscape of healthy plants, but it means the home gardener has some delectable dishes in the making, just a few steps from the kitchen door.
While The Real Story was touring the Star Apple Edible Garden’s own organic raised bed plantings, the sound effects of chickens punctuated the conversation. Chickens, says Leslie, are the perfect animal component to the urban garden—unless of course, one lets them run free, and discovers that nothing loves organic salad makings as much as a vegetarian chicken.
Part Four of this four-part interview gets posted right after the Fourth of July weekend. In the meantime, take a look at www.starappleediblegardens.com and give their blog a read.