Food & Drink Magazine

The Art of Gardening..

By Marialiberati

The Art of Gardening 

The Art of Gardening..

By: Morgan Weindel 

copyright 2020 Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc

Because I am always blogging about how much of a difference fresh vegetables make in a meal, I wanted to do a segment discussing inThe Art of Gardening episode I talk to Canadian TV Host and expert gardener Frankie Flowers and from Bracco Farms-Tony Bracco. 

Frankie gave gardening tips and tricks for people to try during quarantine and Tony Bracco talks about his farm and what makes it so unique..

“If you have never experienced a freshly grown vegetable that goes from garden to table, you should try it.” 

Gardening in America

Gardening is becoming a very popular trend through the United States. “Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love my fresh fruits and vegetables.” 

In April, there are several days dedicated to gardening… Earth Day, Fresh Tomato Day, National Day of Fresh Mushrooms and National Zucchini Bread Day. While all of these days have a specific day in April to celebrate, April is also National Fresh Garlic Month and National Fresh Celery Month. 

To celebrate these wonderful occasions, I sat down with two gardening experts to discuss a variety of things. From tips on gardening to learning about a local farm. 

“Gardening is the slowest of the performing arts.” 

Meet Frankie Flowers 

The first guest is Frankie Flowers. Frankie is a gardening expert from City TV in Toronto, Canada. He is a four-time best-selling author with greenhouses in Bradford, Ontario as well. 

Frankie says that gardening is in his blood. His grandfather originally wanted Frankie to be a lawyer. After a couple years, he decided he didn’t like the paperwork and loved gardening instead. He went into the family business and now gives garden tips and the weather in Toronto. 

Frankie’s Gardening Tips

Frankie’s first piece of advice is to turn to local growers instead of supermarkets. He tells listeners to do a quick google search to find out who’s growing in their area. He recommends making a few phone calls to get more information from the local growers. 

His second piece of advice he tells is to “pick the right plant for the right place.” Frankie tells Maria how important sunlight is, no matter if it is indoor or outdoor. A quick tip he gives to listeners is to find a place that has six hours of afternoon sun. Frankie also recommends using a raised bed if planting a garden outside. 

Coach Frankie

Frankie has an online gardening coaching service. Frankie tells his listeners he does virtual calls during quarantine. As well as virtual calls, he also allows people to send him pictures. 

His gardening coaching service allows him to not only walk you through the gardening process but do check-ins as well.Through this service he hopes to help people build confidence and love gardening like he does. 

Frankie does weekly Facebook lives answering any questions about gardening. To find more information, listeners can visit his website  or Twitter or Instagram. 

Meet Tony Bracco 

Tony is the owner of Bracco Farms, locating in Pine Island, New York. He tells Maria that he has owned this 25-acre farm for over 11 years. 

Tony and Maria talk about he has had a passion for gardening his entire life. He is from an Italian family, where his father’s side owned a large farm in Northern Italy. Tony told Maria it took him years to find the perfect farm. When he’s not farming, he’s creating graphic designs in his free time. 

Bracco Farms

Their mission at Bracco farms is to produce sustainably and organically. Along with running a farm stand, Tony also produces products for restaurants, golf courses and resorts. 

At Bracco Farms, they avoid using commercial pesticides. Tony tells Maria how they only use natural, nonpoisonous pesticides. His advice to avoid using pesticides is crop rotation. 

Tony and Maria talk about how important crop rotation truly is. He tells listeners how pests will go to the same spot each year. By using crop rotation, the pests get confused and will not harm your plants as much. 

A visit to Bracco farms … That’s definitely worth the trip.”

If listeners want more information about Bracco Farms they can find them on Facebook or LinkedIn or visit their website

The Importance of Gardening

In this unprecedented time, Tony and Maria discuss how important it is for people to grow their own food. Tony recommends that people begin gardening with one box and seedlings from a garden center. He explains if they feel comfortable to begin expanding to more boxes. 

Tony tells Maria how much food is going to waste during this pandemic. Because many are unable to get their products to the markets, food is being destroyed. He tells listeners, “In our county we have 11 dairies and in New York raw milk is also legal so a lot of people from New York City get the raw milk which isn’t treated or pasteurized or anything. They have to dump 9,000 gallons a day because they’re not selling it.” 

“So now it’s more timely than ever to grow your own because at some point the tomatoes are gonna become expensive, the peppers are gonna become expensive because they’re dumping a lot of this and by the time they regrow it, you’ll have yours.”

What Does Food Mean to Frankie and Tony?

To end this week’s episode, Maria asked both Frankie and Tony what food means to them. Frankie first tells Marie that food is connection. He says, “I think food connects everybody. Some of my most memorable moments when I have this feeling of love is around food. 

While Frankie associates food with connection, Tony associates it with freshness. Tony tells Maria, “There’s nothing like having fresh food, fresh vegetables available to you. So if you have the chance to grow your own, you’ll see the difference and it will make you appreciate even more.”

Listen to The Maria Liberati Show at

The Maria Liberati Show

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