Grow Sunflower Microgreens in a Window Box

Gardener’s Notebook by Joshua Burman Thayer Sunflower microgreens are easy to grow in a window box or in a flat out on your porch. Here’s how to start your patch: Fill a vegetable window box or seeding flat with coconut coir to within a half inch of the top of the container. This fiber is inert,…

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Plant Some Dry Hedges Around Your Home Food Forest

  Gardener’s Notebook by Joshua Burman Thayer Do you have a sunny property line that could use some softening? Here are some sturdy hedge options that will thrive and endure in our Bay Area climate. These trees will build soil and provide food in an interacting ecology known as a food forest. For a dense…

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Organic Home-Grown Cannabis for Food and Medicine

  By Joshua Burman Thayer | Photos by Rachel Stanich Each summer brings an opportunity to grow your own cannabis. Here is my journey from 2021, when I was able to grow two pounds of organic cannabis in one 8-x 4-foot raised bed. To grow the best cannabis, you want sinsemilla, which means “seed free”…

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Winter Gardening for Kids (of All Ages)

January Gardener’s Notebook by Joshua Burman Thayer   Got some mopey kids who are fed up with the rain? Bundle them up and get them started on a project that guarantees both delight and valuable insight. If you have a garden space or raised bed with bare soil, you can take full advantage of growing…

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Evergreen Your Garden in November

Gardener’s Notebook by Joshua Burman Thayer   As the first rains dapple the landscape, there’s new opportunity to expand your home garden with productive food plants. Here in Northern California you get the advantage of continued growth throughout our wet-cool season with the following evergreen plants, which can continue to develop all winter long.   Citrus…

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Grow Garlic in Your Winter Garden

Gardener’s Notebook by Joshua Burman Thayer Why and how to plant garlic in October for winter enjoyment.     Garlic (allium sativum) is a Central Asia native of the onion family. Known as “shumim’ in the Talmud, this sacred medicinal and edible plant was used as currency in ancient Egypt. During college, I lived with…

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Grow Your Soil with Fall Cover Crops

September Gardener’s Notebook by Joshua Burman Thayer Once those winter rains come, the daily pummeling of raindrops can do a number on your soil, which is why some people put their gardens to bed through the winter with a two- to four-inch-thick layer of mulch. You can use straw hay, wood chips, cocoa hulls, or…

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Add a New Crop to your Midsummer Veggie Garden

  Gardener’s Notebook: story and photo by Joshua Burman Thayer August is almost here, and your tomatoes, basil, peppers, melons, and zucchini are in full summer swagger, ready to yield food for your kitchen well into September and October. That means it’s prime time to assess your garden for open spaces and unused corners where…

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Create an Oyster Mushroom Patch

Gardener’s Notebook by Joshua Burman Thayer This easy garden project lets you explore the magic of mycelium while you grow a valuable source of vegan protein for your table. I first got turned on to growing oyster mushrooms years ago while I was running several community gardens in San Francisco. Installing a 3- x 10-foot…

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Feed It Through the Leaves

Photos by Joshua Burman Thayer By Joshua Burman Thayer In spite of challenges like poor soil and drought, the Bay Area is a great place to grow your own food. Organic gardening practitioners like me are constantly working to build our soil by amending with organic matter and green mulch from nitrogen-fixing cover crops. These…

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