After some modest attempts at amateur gardening the past few years, managing not to kill a random pepper plant here and there (thankfully, while leaving my wife to design our lovely flower garden), I suddenly decided during the seemingly endless chill of last winter that if other determined folk could grow their own food, well heck, why couldn’t I? 

Many seed germinating trays, heating pads, grow lights, and garden pot buying sprees later, I learned that Nature prevails. Not even I could stop things from growing, as long as I kept the water coming and added a bit of fertilizer here and there. I couldn’t kill kale. I was able to chard, hard. I felt like the Dr. of Peppers. I grew dill at will; I watched my Brussels sprout with their Brussels out. Heirloom tomatoes loomed large. I couldn’t squash my… well, you get the gist. My container gardens turned into a joyous jungle of tangled tongue-tantalizing fresh food. It was a bit of work, truth be told, to keep up Mother Nature’s pace, but the taste almost daily of just-clipped herbs and just-harvested veggies was almost too good to be true. 

In this month’s Foodie Issue you’ll be treated to these tastiest of treats:

  • Meet THE Guy at Neoteca: Guy Sorrentino, whose love of authentic cuisine is deliciously realized in his artfully prepared meals. 
  • Local food blogger and Instagram artist Claire Ryan shares her passion for Home Cooking.
  • You don’t have to die to go to Foodie Heaven; Sue Shimkus takes you there (hint: it’s Italy).
  • Design your Perfect Home Kitchen with these innovations explained by Boone Creek Cabinetry & Design’s expert, Michele Buch.

Tell you what folks… writing this, I’ve worked up quite an appetite. Time to harvest the crops!

See you Around Town,


Stephen Neilson

Editor, SW Lake Lifestyle

ON THE COVER:  Housemade Gnocci from Barrinton’s Neoteca.  PHOTO: STEPHEN NEILSON