Growing up, many of us were told, “You are what you eat.” Of course, this is not a new idea in Judaism where the rules of kashrut are specifically laid out for us in Deuteronomy and Leviticus, outlining what is “clean” and “unclean” to eat. Yet thousands of years later, our modern communities are still wrestling with decisions of what is “good” to eat. In particular, the last decade or so has seen a distinct paradigm shift in our thinking about food and food systems, thanks to films like Food, Inc. and books like Michael Pollan’s acclaimed The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Joining this zeitgeist, the Jewish Food Experience’s own contributing writer Josh Rosenstein has launched a new business to assist those of us striving to do better and eat better.
Rosenstein is quick to point out that Edible Eden is not just a garden service: “Edible Eden Baltimore Foodscapes LLC designs, installs and maintains food gardens and edible landscaping for homeowners, businesses and schools. We also serve as garden coaches and troubleshooters, and educate about farm-to-table cooking and preserving.” Edible Eden makes food gardens accessible to anyone, whether you’re an apartment dweller or someone with a big, shady yard. There’s a plant, tree or vine in store for you!
In full-time operation since early this spring, Edible Eden is on a mission to help everyone eat locally grown, truly fresh food that is kosher in what Rosenstein calls “the truest sense of the word.” If “kosher” is taken to mean food that is “fit” to eat, food grown on one’s own balcony or yard can be considered eco-kosher.
Growing food locally allows us to bypass our current agricultural system, which is prone to degradation of our planet through use of pesticides, fossil fuel-based transportation and often oppression of farmworkers. As more and more of us revel in local, seasonal produce at our nearest farmers markets, Edible Eden brings that enhanced quality, health and taste difference directly to your doorstep, removing any and all doubts regarding how the food you and your family are consuming was grown.
Despite having more than 20 years of experience with food gardens and farming, Rosenstein says he’s “never gotten over the magic of seeing food come forth from the earth.” Putting seeds in the soil is both a craft and a scientific endeavor, he says, but looking down and seeing a big beautiful lettuce sitting there on the earth…that’s what Edible Eden strives to share with everyone.
The first yield of strawberries and seeing children pick them, that transition from seed, soil and sun to something delicious to put in your mouth—sharing that magic and excitement is what energized Rosenstein into starting Edible Eden. To learn more, visit Edible Eden’s website or find them on Facebook. Your mouth and the planet will thank you