Cultivating Place: Stefani Bittner And The Beautiful Edible Garden And Its Multilayered Harvest

Cultivating Place show

Summary: Sometimes when you use the word garden – people immediately conjure up images of the ornamental perennial border. Other people, however, conjure up colorful visions of the summer vegetable garden – beginning to groan this time of year under the abundance and literal weight of the summer harvest of tomatoes, peppers, corn, zucchini and so on. Throughout history, these two distinct kinds of gardens – let’s call them the ornamental garden on one hand and the edible garden on the other – have had lots of overlap sometimes inadvertently and sometimes very intentionally. Who among us has not noted the beauty of the blossoms on any fruit tree, the freshness of the first peas of spring, or comforting shape and color of the apples of autumn? And who does not fully appreciate the double duty of some of our flowers and flowering plants – roses and salvias and nasturtiums, for example, in being both edible and beautiful? Today we are joined by Stefani Bittner, co-owner with fellow plantperson, floral and garden designer Alethea Harampolis of Homestead Design Collective based in the San Francisco Bay Area. They design gardens that are both beautiful and incorporate edible plants throughout. Stefani is co-author with fellow edible garden designer, Leslie Bennett, of “The Beautiful Edible Garden” (2013, Ten Speed Press). In February of 2017 Ten Speed Press will publish a book co-authored by both Stefani and Alethea entitled “Harvest.”