In the garden

Planning and Indulging My Garden for Spring with Native Seeds/SEARCH

April 4, 2017 // 4 Comments

When I first started gardening, I focused almost exclusively on New World vegetables. I loved that more interesting vegetables from Europe were coming into vogue, like having three or four types of arugula available, but it increasingly seemed weirder and weirder that as we became experts in Euro-centric food, we were still in the dark about our indigenous plants and contributions to the world. I (Click for more)

My Puny Little Olive Harvest

January 5, 2017 // 0 Comments

My house came with two olive trees that the previous owner planted. I love them but I live on a forested mountain top and it gets warm but there’s lots of shade and I don’t know if it’s the ideal place to grow olives. I don’t care. The trees seem happy and some years you get more olives than others. This year was one of those meager ones. Ta da. This was it. On the advice (Click for more)

The Kind of Company You Want For More Than 3 Days

November 17, 2016 // 0 Comments

I think this is the hummingbird that stays all winter and makes nests in the spring. I get the sense that the egg-laying hasn’t been successful but I’m not sure. She rests on this gorgeous Par-a-Sol feeder and leaves when a bullying male comes by, but she returns back in her own time. I pretend she knows I am helping her. Hey, you get your kicks where you can! We sell the feeders in (Click for more)

What Do You Say To a Fresh Bean Flower?

September 13, 2016 // 0 Comments

Hello, gorgeous! It’s that time of year where the flowers aren’t going to turn into beans any time soon and the cold weather is on the way . These runner bean flowers are better served in other ways. For me, scrambled eggs with Hatch chiles seemed like a reasonable idea. I was right. (Click for more)

How to Make Garbage Soup and Eat Well All Week

July 14, 2016 // 3 Comments

One of my favorite recent cookbooks has been Decolonize Your Diet. Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel offer a cuisine based on pre-Conquest foods, mostly vegan and vegetarian. Even if you don’t care about the concept, there is a lot of good food to consider. But why not think about how great the Mexica diet was in 1491? The foundation was beans, chiles and corn. Occasionally there was (Click for more)

More Fun with Weeds for Breakfast: Purslane Fritatta

May 18, 2016 // 0 Comments

I think we all know now that yes, purslane is a weed and yes, it’s loaded with nutrition. I don’t think everyone is on board with how delicious it is. Let’s fix that! Pick the leaves from the stems from a bunch of purslane. If the stems are thin and young, you can chop them up. Saute the purslane with onion and a little Oregano Indio. Whisk eggs and add some leftover beans and (Click for more)

Help Wanted: Rancho Gordo in Napa Customer Service Specialist

May 12, 2016 // 0 Comments

I’m going to take advantage of your attention here and post a job that’s available in our Napa offices. For me, it’s one of our most important positions as this person if the voice of Rancho Gordo. It would be a really rewarding opportunity for the right person. (Please excuse the photo. I MADE some the staff show off our new tee shirt because I’m so proud of them. (Click for more)

An Obscure Heirloom in the Garden: California Beans

May 5, 2016 // 1 Comment

One of the easiest beans from the summer of 2006 was something called California. The seeds, received as part of an swap from the Seeds Savers Exchange, germinated quickly and they seemed to enjoy Napa’s warm days and cooler nights. The pods were kind of pretty but I have to confess that the taupe beans are pretty ugly and unspectacular. I have a hunch these are somehow related to the old (Click for more)

Let’s Make a Weed Fritatta! (No! Not That Kind!)

April 28, 2016 // 2 Comments

When I first started gardening, quelites were one of the first things I was curious about. I’d been told that in Nahuatl that the word meant “edible green” so the term was pretty broad. In Mexico today, it seems to mostly refer to lambs quarters but more and more, people are quick to point out that it also refers to other greens like purslane (verdolagas). Even within lambs (Click for more)
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