Sensational Cool Season Salads from the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Kale Caesar Salad

Last Sunday I presented a garden-to-table cooking demo called Sensational Cool Season Salads at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. I showed how to make salads that highlight great winter produce. I’m always a huge bundle of nerves before any public speaking engagement, but I think it went pretty well. I crammed four salad demos [Continue Reading…]

How To Grow Arugula In The Pacific Northwest

How To Grow Arugula

It is inconceivable to me that arugula of all plants got pinned as a vegetable of elitism in American politics. Are you kidding me? Belgium endive, sure. Forcing chicons in the middle of winter just screams “I have people to do that for me.” Even cauliflower I could see; that’s one finicky veg. But arugula? [Continue Reading…]

Good From The Garden: Sugar Snap Peas with Herbs and Feta


I don’t want to brag, but because of that sowing peas in guttering technique I tried this year, we’ve been enjoying sugar snaps for about six weeks now. I have photographic proof that our first harvest was June 6th, and it’s been pretty well continuing since then.  I am almost relieved to say that the pea [Continue Reading…]

Garlic Rust and Gardener Waterworks


Last year, Nick really got on board with the gardening thing. His support and assistance and enthusiasm is what has allowed my backyard garden to become our urban homestead. The gateway plant, the crop that drew him into the entire gardening ethos, was garlic. Nick was so enamored of the way hardneck garlic scapes curl and twist, [Continue Reading…]

Creamy Spinach Puree

The garden has had a spinach ka-boom moment. I was waiting patiently for my spinach to size up, and now, oh boy, has it. But that’s not something to complain about, really. Spinach is tasty, quick to wash up, and always on those magazine lists of “Foods You Must Eat To Be Healthy.” When faced [Continue Reading…]

The Simplest Salad In The World


Salad days are here. My lettuce is responding to our cool drizzly weather by growing big and verdant and tender. Say what you will about a crappy, sunless spring; the lettuce loves it. Thanks to an over-eager over-seeding of lettuce back in February, I have a bed of lettuce to eat, and it all looks like this: [Continue Reading…]

Sowing Peas in Guttering: Wherein I Grudgingly Admit This Technique Rocks


Every American gardening book I own says you absolutely must direct sow peas because they loathe root disturbance. Every British gardening book I own advocates sowing peas early in the season in a length of guttering. They always use this exact phrase – length of guttering – and whenever I read it, my internal dialog [Continue Reading…]

Good From The Garden: Japanese Style Leek And Beef Skewers


When we pulled the last of the season’s leeks from one of our beds, we ended up with quite a few leeks. Several people asked me what what in the world I was going to do with all those leeks. Well, the first thing I want to clarify if that, as a family, we eat [Continue Reading…]

Good From The Garden: Kale and Sweet Potato Salad


Kale is a hearty green. It is tough and fibrous and people think you have to cook it to make it palatable. But kale can be fabulous raw, in big-time cold weather salads that double as a meal. One of my favorite combinations is finely shredded raw Cavalo Nero kale with roasted sweet potato. Every few weeks through [Continue Reading…]

Urban Homesteader Day of Hot, Hot Video Action

Today is another Urban Homesteader Day of Action, but this time it’s not just words, people! We’re taking our radical message of homegrown zucchini and backyard poultry to YouTube. My contribution (and my first ever video, so be nice, okay?) is a discussion and cook-up of that maligned and under-appreciated vegetable, the brussels sprout. Come join [Continue Reading…]

What We Look Forward To


Well, last week didn’t really feel like it in the Pacific Northwest, what with the intermittent hail and occasional snow flurry, but spring is fighting the good fight. President’s Day weekend was the traditional time to put your peas in the ground, though in my area the soil was still a bit cold. Did you sow peas outside? Did [Continue Reading…]

Lessons From A Year Without Summer

Last year (2010) we had a cool spring and a cool, short summer.  No one had a ripe tomato until damn near September. The heat loving tomatoes, squash, corn, etc. didn’t thrive, and so a lot of gardeners said it was a terrible, terrible year. I disagree!  I had the best year ever for cabbage, [Continue Reading…]