Category Archives: gardening

Home Brewed Julian Apple Cider

For some reason this year I am very excited for the onset of fall. All I can think about is apples and pumpkins. A few weeks ago Suzi and I headed up to Julian with some friends of ours, in search of fresh apples. The mission: home brew cider. Continue reading Home Brewed Julian Apple Cider

Save Your Tomato Seeds

Fall is rapidly approaching in San Diego. We will likely have a few more hot spells, but there is a slight but distinct chill in the air most nights. By now most of the summer garden is winding down. Carrots are huge and waiting to be pulled, pumpkins are developing a nice orange hue, and the tomato vines are ripening the last of their fruits and withering away. Now is your last chance to harvest some seeds and put them away for next year.

Seed saving is a rewarding experience for the home gardener. Grab the best fruit you’ve grown and save its seeds for next year. By doing so, you train your plants to grow and thrive in your exact microcosm. Before you go too crazy though, there are two things to consider: 1) hybrid vs heirloom, and 2) cross-pollination vs self-pollination. Always choose heirloom plants for seed saving; hybrids are almost always sterile. Also stick with self-pollinating plants, as cross-pollination leads to hybrids (see above). Continue reading Save Your Tomato Seeds

Garden Files: Onions

This was my second year growing onions, and my first year actually producing something. Two winters ago, I planted Spanish Yellow Onions around December/January. By April I was ready to put in my summer tomatoes and eggplant, and having limited garden space at the time, had to tear the onions out. Those onions were like massive green onions; a 1 inch diameter stem, with little to no bulb to speak of. When I did pull them out, the smell of onions and the feeling of regret were overwhelming. Continue reading Garden Files: Onions

Homemade Baba Ghanoush

As the summer wears on, our bumper crop of eggplant continues. We started with the eggplant parmesan then moved on to an asian dish I’ve been trying to replicate for years; eggplant and tofu. Most recently, I have been experimenting with Baba Ghanoush; a traditional arabic dish made from roasted eggplant. When roasted, the eggplant emits a sweet earthy smell. The flavor becomes rich and complex, with a hint of smokiness. The roasted eggplant is mashed or chopped, and mixed with lemon, garlic, olive oil, and salt. The result is an incredibly rich and sometimes potent spread, perfect on toast.

Continue reading Homemade Baba Ghanoush

A Whole Mess of Eggplant: Eggplant Parmesan

A few weeks ago I posted about my first summer harvest; including the first eggplant of the year. With the heat wave we’ve been having the eggplant have really switched on. This past week I harvested 3 lbs and there are tons of flowers and fruits in the chute. It looks like this will be the summer of eggplant. I’ve been doing a bit of research on the ways to store it for later use. But I figured I’d get started with one of my favorite recipes of all time; eggplant parmesan. Continue reading A Whole Mess of Eggplant: Eggplant Parmesan

First Summer Harvest

If you’re fortunate enough to have a bit of yard, or even a small patio, one of the most enriching uses for it is edible gardening. The ability to grow your own fruits and vegetables, in your own backyard, is an unmatched experience. It connects you to ages past. It gives you a feeling of satisfaction and self-reliance. And it can provide you with some really excellent produce.  It does require a bit of patience though. This week I had my first summer harvest worth any mention; a pair of radishes, a bunch of carrots, some cherry tomatoes, a bundle of swiss chard, the first of the summer squash and eggplant, and of course, a dozen eggs. Continue reading First Summer Harvest