About Barbara

Barbara Ganley, Founder and Director

Barbara Ganley

I’m a writer, photographer, teacher, ecological gardener, wildlife habitat restorer and kitchen adventurer. In 2008 I left teaching writing at Middlebury College to open Community Expressions LLC, to assist rural communities in enhancing civic engagement and lifelong learning through storytelling.

In 2010 I  established Open View Gardens LLC on sixty-five Vermont acres to encourage healthy eating, community building and inter-cultural understanding through gardening and cooking. Over the past thirty years,  I have grown much of  my family’s food while experimenting with what can be grown in a Vermont garden and orchard.  I design and teach culinary explorations that bring people into contact with cultures and traditions other than their own.  I have given talks and workshops and consultations around the world, and write widely about  local, slow community, cooking and gardening, and storytelling.

With painter-writer Kate Gridley (see her new blog, Three Tenths of an Acre), I write a seasonal garden-kitchen column for our local newspaper, The Addison Independent, called Patchwork, ManyGardens, Many Kitchens and we are the garden bloggers for Eating Well Magazine.

learning to lookWhen I was growing up, my parents had a small but productive garden, (you can find some of those childhood gardening moments on my writings page) and my mother was (still is) an accomplished, innovative cook.  I have had a vegetable garden since 1980, some years growing all my family’s food, other years experimenting with the growing zones and my family’s taste preferences (the year I grew almost nothing but broccoli should be forgotten…).  I cook as an expression of the sensory arts, to express my love, to celebrate friendship and community.  I hang out in the Mediterranean kitchen quite a bit, from Morocco to France, Spain to Lebanon, Italy and Greece, but I also cook into Latin America and Southeast Asia.

through the window earlyAnd so here you find me, in my garden, my kitchen, at the table, on my computer exchanging stories, teaching and learning, traveling the world.  I hope you’ll join these adventures through sampling my wares, taking my classes, engaging me in conversation, having me cook for you, and teaching me what you know about the world through food.  Welcome!

You can reach me at openviewgardens@gmail.com.

16 Comments on “About Barbara”

  1. Julia
    April 30, 2010 at 4:21 am #

    Inspiring vision Barbara!!! I offer my full support and encouragement and excitement for your new chapter!!
    with warmth,

    • Ofelia Barrios
      August 2, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

      I am looking foward to sharing my Mexican cooking this weekend on Open View Gardens. Can’t wait to be with my familia en Vermont! Nos vemos pronto.

  2. April 30, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    Thanks, Julia. Your encouragement means a lot to me–you are one of my inspirations: watching you engage with the world with open mind and heart has reminded me that mindfulness and joy can be at the heart of all we do.

    • michele (cutsforth) curtis
      June 29, 2011 at 2:13 am #

      This is sooooo cool!!!!!! I have been reading all and showing pictures to my daughter, and we are both excited to try your recipes!! Way to go!!!! Michele Cutsforth

      • June 29, 2011 at 6:39 am #

        Michele! I’m delighted to see you here…with your daughter! You’ll have to let me know how the recipes turn out for you. So great to reconnect after all these years.

  3. Barbara T. Ganley
    April 30, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    What a fascinating experience it is to be your mother! I am getting quite well known because your father named you after me! I am so looking forward to touring the garden and enjoying the adventures around your table. Bonne chance.

    • May 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

      Heheheheh. I know..it’s ridiculous that there are two Barbara Ganleys, but being a female junior may have something to do with my fierce drive to explore, to find my own way. You have been an important inspiration for this work–your own passion for art, good food, good conversation about important things have taught me much in this journey!

  4. Priscilla
    May 7, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    So GLAD to have discovered your site! It is simply stunning, and I hope to return to it often.

  5. Laura Scott
    May 11, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    What a wonderful surprise! Your new project looks intriguing and inspiring. I’m excited at the prospect of following you as you most certainly will teach and nourish.
    Coming from an italian grandmother, cooking and feeding my family and friends has always been my passion. Gardening also falls into that category. Good luck!

  6. Sophie
    June 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    Just lovely! The stories, the pictures, the thoughts provoked! Thrilled to have you sharing with us!

  7. June 10, 2010 at 7:25 am #

    Thanks, Priscilla, Laura and Sophie–

    So great to see an old college friend, a local friend and a former student find their way here and be so supportive! Food stories, food memories do bring us together-now let’s see what I can do combining them with cooking-to-explore-a-whole-new-local.


  8. October 20, 2010 at 6:32 am #

    Another exciting and inspiring project to feed both body and soul. Follow your heart and passion. Sharing a quote I particularly enjoy:

    «What does cookery mean? It means the knowledge of Medea and of Circe, and of Calypso, and Sheba. It means knowledge of herbs, and fruits, and balms and spices.. It means the economy of your great-grandmother and the science of modern chemistry, and French art, and Arabian hospitality. It means, in fine, that you are to see imperatively that everyone has something nice to eat.” John Ruskin (1819-1900)

  9. February 24, 2011 at 4:30 am #

    I’ve come here because of a reference made by another blogger to your idea of meditative blogging (http://rippleeffects.wordpress.com/2008/11/22/slow-blogging-and-the-long-take/) and I’m about to read your post on that topic. Your connection to Middlebury was intriguing, too (Heidi Grasswick is my cousin).
    I’m here to read and learn, and won’t always have much to say, but am glad to have found you!

  10. March 3, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    Deborah, I’m pleased you’ve found your way here. My old blog, bgblogging.com, is where I mused on slowblogging topics for several years. Once I left higher ed, I started thinking about taking action on many of those topics. Here I take on gardening and cooking as ways of thinking about our place on this planet and committing to healing what parts of it we can.


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