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EntertainmentJez Recs

Carmen in the Garden’s TikTok

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“We must make a cocktail so let’s get some things from the garden,” Carmen says in a recent TikTok before picking cilantro, a serrano, baby jalapeños, limes, and kumquats and crafting a mouth-watering spicy kumquat cilantro sour. The Los Angeles urban farmer has a sprawling garden where she grows fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and also has bees and chickens (whom she calls “the Ladies”). It’s probably the most wholesome content I’ve ever consumed in my life.

It’s not meant to be ASMR, but the sounds of her walking through her garden, harvesting vegetables, and picking herbs are so soothing; they feel like getting a head massage while lying in a flower-filled field with a cold glass of iced tea on a hot but not-too-hot summer day. I could watch this woman pick sage leaves and walking onions for hours.

Besides artisanal cocktails, she shares recipes like artichoke ravioli, lavender coffee, and scallion chive cheddar biscuits. She also gathers flowers and makes harvest baskets for her friends, family, and in-laws, which are filled with fresh produce as well as homemade goodies like orange marmalade, savory herb jelly, and lemon sage wine mustard. (The gesture has me questioning what I’ve ever done for anyone in my life.)

She’s also open about her mental health struggles, especially around a fear of failure, and talks about how gardening—which comes with an endless string of failures—has helped her handle stress and anxiety. She is pure delight and sunshine and her account fully satisfies my fantasy of escaping to the country to grow vegetables and have pet goats. For now. —Lauren Tousignant

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