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Dinner Conversation: Lavender (Lavandula)

Lavender harvest has begun. After a day in the field of cutting sticky handfuls, I met my friend Liz Birnbaum for dinner, who just happens to be the lovely mastermind behind The Curated Feast. A lively conversation ensued about the history, uses and folklore of this odoriferous plant. We even had a musky grapefruit and lavender saison by…

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Planting Tomatoes in Pots

Container gardening has its advantages. It’s perfect if, like me, you’re renting and want to be able to take your plants with you when you move. It’s also a great way to get around gopher problems and plots with poor soil or disease issues. Container gardening might be the only way to have a garden for many apartment dwellers, and…

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Growing Coffee: Colombia Edition

I am currently travelling in Colombia, the world’s 3rd largest producer of coffee last year, and I have fully immersed myself in all the joys of this flavorful, earthy beverage. My friend Mark lives in Medellín, and he considers coffee to be one of the major food groups. The next stop on my journey from that…

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Organic Agriculture: Know your Farmer or Big Food?

A growing controversy within the organic industry is whether or not the development of large-scale organic agriculture is in alignment with the original goals of the organic pioneers. Organic has been extremely successful, so much so that all the large food corporations now have their own organic brands for value-added (processed) organic products. There are those…

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Planting Garlic

So, I’m a little behind in planting garlic… I think. I meant to do it last month before the fall window closed, but somehow it is now mid-December! Luckily, I live in a mediterranean climate that is quite forgiving of procrastination. This is actually my first time planting garlic so I’m excited to see how…

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The Roots of Organic Farming: Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front by Wendell Berry Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay. Want more of everything ready-made. Be afraid to know your neighbors and to die. And you will have a window in your head. Not even your future will be a mystery any more. Your mind will be…

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If Nothing Else, Grow Herbs

I love cooking with fresh herbs. They add just the right touch of flavor to bring a dish from decent to sensational. Not only are herbs delicious, but they also have numerous health benefits when used both internally and externally. Even if you don’t have space for a garden, you can still grow herbs on the patio…

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The Lion of Flowers

My first Russian Mammoth Sunflower has bloomed, just in time for my birthday month. Sunflowers, with their bold, sunny presence and golden, lion-like mane have always been at the top of my favorite flowers list. Not only do they have a pretty face, but they attract pollinators, can make great borders for beds, privacy screens, or…

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