SoCal Edible Plants

I recently shared my adventures through the San Diego Botanical Gardens, but this post is all about edibles.¬†Most of us live in climates where we’re thinking now about pulling out the tomatoes and growing cold-hardy crops. But let’s ignore the howl of the wind through the windows and drool over these pictures, dreaming together of… Read more »

Botanicals of San Diego

Traveling with kids slows you down quite a bit, but we are learning to settle into a rhythm with Juniper as our regular traveling partner. This time our travels took us to southern California, a couple days of which were spent in sunny San Diego. An¬†excellent, kid-friendly outing was spent at the San Diego Botanical… Read more »

Fresh Tomato Soup

I have been busily canning stewed tomatoes, marinara sauce and ketchup, but still the harvest basket fills with tomatoes. Roasting fresh tomatoes with garden onions and garlic is an easy way to blow through that late summer harvest. Sauce tomatoes work best, like the delicious San Marzanos. But any old mix of tomatoes will work… Read more »

Apricot-Rosemary Preserves

Our Puget Gold apricot tree has been prolific this year! This variety of apricot was developed in Washington and is particularly well-suited for the Pacific Northwest, with our late cool springs. They are self-fertile, meaning you only need one to get fruit. Apricots are a finicky fruit tree that doesn’t grow well in much of… Read more »

How to Plant Tomatoes

It is time to get those tomatoes in the ground! I pulled out almost everything in my late spring bed – all the bolted celery, arugula and mature onions – and replaced them with healthy young tomato starts. There are a few things you can do when planting your tomatoes to make them extra happy…. Read more »

From Spring to Summer

I can’t tell you how many people I have heard gushing about the amazingly sunny spring we are enjoying in Portland… How much they love being outside again… How it’s so overdue after a gray winter… Meanwhile, I’m the curmudgeon wishing for showers in the forecast! It has turned out to be one of the… Read more »

Baby Fruit

A home orchard is the best way to savor the delicious sweetness of summer fruits. I would argue that it is just as much fun to watch the baby fruits develop as it is to devour them when ripe. It’s like Christmas as a kid – the presents were that much more fun because of… Read more »

The Case for Boring Vegetables

My first years of gardening really focused on the divas of the produce world: tomatoes, pepper, eggplant and melons. Those are the plants that want a hot climate (something the mild NW can barely provide) and lots of water. They are the plants we garden nerds coo and crow over with one another, talking about… Read more »

Awakening Garden

April has stirred the garden to life and I wanted to share some of those signs of beauty with you this morning. Of course there is a lot to be done this season, but this moment in time reminds me that there is a lot to cherish as well. By June we will be swimming… Read more »