Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

It’s not every day in the garden that you get an animal handler, a weeder, a person to hold the harvest basket, and someone to hold your hair back as you dig up leeks. Yesterday was full of excitement in our Cooking Light garden. We’re not only busy planting our next huge plot of tomatoes, but also capturing crops for features in future issues. Even Millie, our lab puppy, and Lucy, our golden retriever, got in on the action.

I should mention how rare it is to have a full crew running around our garden. When the staff said they were sending an “H&M person,” I thought they didn’t like my grubby gardening clothes and sent a wardrobe from H&M…until our editor clarified Hair & Makeup! Obviously that’s another thing we don’t do a lot of around here… Together we

harvested bright Swiss chard, purple bok choy, crisp cabbage, and baskets of fluffy lettuces.  I don’t have any complaints of the job as Cooking Light Gardener – not a one. But one wee bit of torture is growing this gorgeous produce and drooling over it until we can properly photograph for you. Had there been a glass window between this lettuce bed and me for the last two weeks, you would have seen noseprints on it, like a kid pressed up against a candy store.

Now, in addition to the seed packets spread across our dining table, David and I have a kitchen counter full of Swiss chard, green onions, and kale -- all of the fresh ingredients for Lemony Kale Salad. That sounds like the perfect way to celebrate this week’s release of our new book, Pick Fresh! Well, maybe in my eyes. David just wants to count how many photos of his prized tractor made it into the book.

Look for Millie’s cameo and these garden-fresh goods–including this incredible purple sprouting broccoli–in our regular monthly recipes from the garden. Follow on Instagram for daily snapshots, too.