Gardener’s Notebook by Joshua Burman Thayer DON’T WAIT! Sow your summer seeds now to ensure they are ready for your garden, come April and May. Coco Coir is Cash:  When sprouting seeds, an inert non-soil medium is best. My favorite is coconut coir. This is the brown fiber at the palm frond’s base, which has been…

Read More

Gardener’s Notebook by Joshua Burman Thayer In this time of the winter solstice, we’re inclined to move slower and spend more time close to home. Thanks to our wonderfully mild Bay Area winters, we can continue to cultivate our soil and plant cool-season crops. December brings optimal planting conditions for arugula. Eruca vesicaria sativa (or…

Read More

GARDENER’S NOTEBOOK Story and photos by Joshua Burman Thayer Each year in February, I sprout out a bunch of summer crops like corn, squash, cucumber, tomato, and peppers. In about 10 weeks, they are large enough to sell to my home garden clients who are planning their summer gardens. In 2020, instead of selling my…

Read More

  Sitting in the early dusk, sipping tea, and looking out the window at the now dry tomato and squash vines in our summer garden, we can’t help but recall with longing the daily gifts they gave to our tables. But now is not the time for nostalgia! The seasonal shift is the signal to…

Read More

Gardener’s Notebook By Joshua Burman Thayer | Photos by Cheryl Angelina Koehler Photo by Joshua Burman Thayer The myth and the lore of the ancient Silk Road is saturated in the bright red of the lush pomegranate. Originating in the Caucasus mountains, Punica granatum has been in cultivation at least since the 5th millennium BCE.…

Read More

  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…

Read More

Strategies for growing food in an episodic drought environment By Joshua Burman Thayer Gardener’s Notebook, April 2020: I recently finished work on a large hillside landscaping project in Danville, California. Designing this orchard and herb garden “food forest” (and others I’ve done recently for East Bay homeowners) gave me a chance to apply some strategies…

Read More

Kids climbing the walls indoors? Get them out to help in the garden. It might seed a lifelong love of gardening and a better appreciation for nature’s wonders. Joshua Burman Thayer, author of our Gardener’s Notebook, offers tips for gardening with kids. Click here. Many local gardening centers can fill orders for plants and supplies. Look…

Read More

Gardener’s Notebook       We survived the winter and March is here. That means it’s time to take action and shape the scope of our summer gardens. Everything we do in the spring months affects the outcome during the coming growing season.    My mission today is to encourage you to plant Ribes uva-crispa, commonly known as the gooseberry. This larger cousin of the currant is a lovely, lacy, and elegant upright plant that might prick you a little if you grab onto its branches. It…

Read More

  Gardener’s Notebook   Tomato season may seem a long way off, but January is the time to sprout your tomato seeds. Knowing where your seeds come from ensures the high quality you seek in your organic vegetables. I have always been fascinated by seeds, seed savers, and the concept of seeds as the original…

Read More