This is Highly Recommend, a column dedicated to what people in the food industry are obsessed with eating, drinking, and buying right now.
My kitchen recommendation of late is plants. Your home is likely already filled with them, but we don’t always give edible plants the same real estate as giant fig trees and ferns. For all your basil and cilantro, I advocate getting a nice planter like Light + Ladder’s sculptural Vayu planter.
Most planters are quite uniform: round and consistent. What makes Light + Ladder’s planters so striking is that their surface plays with dimension, resisting the typical house plant pot dogma with designs reminiscent of 20th-century Brutalist architecture. Sweeping platforms wrap around the planter’s walls and the result is something that’s both awe-inspiring and calming, a feeling we could all use in the kitchen these days.
Farrah Sit, the designer behind Light + Ladder, creates many beautiful objects for the home, but she thinks her planters are the ones with the most avid following because her love of gardening is apparent in the design. “The aesthetic [of the planters] was an expression of that focused concentration and peace that you feel when you’re gardening,” she told me. “As I was taking care of a small veggie farm on my roof, at a particular time in my life when I was trying to figure things out, it gave me such a sense of peace. I wanted to bring that feeling to the planter design.”
Many of us are staying inside our homes now more than ever, and I not only find some solace in these beautiful planters that keep me company, but I’m also able to use them to cultivate a micro-relationship with the world. I’m growing my own food at a small scale and engaging with the ecosystem in a new way. And when my tasks and days bleed together, I find that plants are more reassuring timekeepers than calendars and clocks.