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.…

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  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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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…

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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…

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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…

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  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…

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Gardener’s Notebook By Joshua Burman Thayer My saying of the moment is Vaccinium for Everyone! The Vaccinium genus of plants includes over 450 species worldwide with 40 native to North America. Many are members of the temperate forest understory, which have evolved to set edible fruit in less than full sun. Among them are the…

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  By Joshua Berman Thayer   Here in the East Bay, many of us live within the confines of an urban grid. If we have space to landscape, it’s likely to be a quarter acre at most. How can we make these small urban lots produce abundant organic produce? The answer might be to fill…

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  Gardeners Notebook By Joshua Burman Thayer | Illustrations by Cheryl Angelina Koehler   Have you ever imagined an orchard in your yard? Or perhaps you already have one but sense that your space is underutilized? Try composing your plantings into guilds. These are groups of plants that operate together to enhance each other’s health…

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Gardener’s Notebook By Joshua Burman Thayer     It only takes a few cool evenings and wet mornings to give a sense that fall is coming. Squirrels stash nuts and songbirds fatten on dry seeds, giving us a little help with clearing away the summer plant residues as we make room for cool season crops.…

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