Harvest from Your Own Subtropical Paradise

  By Joshua Burman Thayer | Illustrations by Helen Krayenhoff   If you enjoy the pleasure of picking a lemon at home, you know the sense that we live close to paradise. Growing subtropical—and even some tropical—perennials around the Bay Area is possible because of our “warm-winter Mediterranean” climate. Microclimates in certain parts of the Bay…

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What’s in Season?

Produce harvested at its peak is your sure bet for flavor and freshness. By Barbara Kobsar | Illustrations by Charmaine Koehler-Lodge   By 7am on a typical Sunday at the Walnut Creek Farmers’ Market, Regina Gonzalez and the Garcia brothers, Julio and Adolfo, are unpacking, sorting, piling, and laying out their array of fresh organic vegetables…

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5 Herbs for Your Culinary + Medicinal Garden

By Anna Beauchemin | East Bay Herbals | Illustrations by Cheryl Angelina Koehler     Looking to spruce up your springtime planter boxes with some fresh herbs? These are my top five medicinal and culinary herbs for growing in the home garden. Each makes a lovely addition to the kitchen and adds a vibrant dose…

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What’s in Season?

By Barbara Kobsar | Illustration by Charmaine Koehler-Lodge The holiday season is an especially good time to appreciate our farmers’ markets and the local growers, makers, and farm workers who supply so much valuable food to our communities every week through good times and bad. Paulina LaBelle and Alfredo Gonzalez are among the many helping…

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What’s in Season?

Produce harvested at its peak is your sure bet for flavor and freshness. By Barbara Kobsar | Illustration by Charmaine Koehler-Lodge   Snap Beans & Shell Beans Now is the time to scoop up fresh beans at your farmers’ market. Both edible-pod snap beans and shell beans (those you have to shell) are ubiquitous through…

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Your Backyard is a Garden of Eden

  By Joshua Burman Thayer, based on interviews with John Valenzuela | Illustrations by Joshua Burman Thayer   As a Bay Area horticulturalist devoted to encouraging home food production, I often find myself thinking about the Eastern Mediterranean. It’s the region where many of the important food crops we grow in Northern California originated.   “Where…

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How to Grow a Farmer

Erin Eno uses a hoe to cultivate her half acre of diversified crops growing near Mount Diablo. First-Generation Farmer Erin Eno Finds Community Through Growing Food on Mount Diablo Story and photos by Austin Price July 2019: The rising sun is just hitting the eastern face of Mount Diablo as Erin Eno pulls weeds on…

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What’s in Season?

Produce harvested at its peak is your sure bet for flavor and freshness.   Story and recipe by Barbara Kobsar Illustration by Charmaine Koehler-Lodge February Your secret for turning drab to delicious this month is the tangy juice, zest, and pulp of winter’s lemons and limes. Choose a common Eureka or Lisbon lemon if you…

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What’s in Season?

Produce harvested at its peak is your sure bet for flavor and freshness. By Barbara Kobsar Illustration by Charmaine Koehler-Lodge   August Plums please the palate this month with their slightly tart or sweet honey notes. Over 200 types are grown in California (we see only 15 to 20 of these) and make up 90%…

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At Flowerland

  Coffee and a Witty Marquee Illustration by Cathy Raingarden Tooling up Solano Avenue, it’s hard to miss the big and welcoming vintage sign for Flowerland. Constructed in 1947 by the Pleich family, the building has always been a nursery, and it has always been Flowerland. “I purchased the business from Bob Willson in October…

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