Dear Seed Companies: Please Stop Making It So Damn Hard To Love You.

Just look at this amazing, astonishing, beautiful, very unusual new purple tomato.  Does it not fill your heart with lust?  Do you not want to order one of these RIGHT NOW? What?  You don't see it?  Why is that? Because the seed companies make it so damn hard to get a picture, that's why!  I […]

Read more in: Eat This, It's the Plants, Darling, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on February 22, 2012 at 11:36 am   This post has 10 responses.

Chicken Gardens: We Have a Winner!

Thanks, everybody, for your comments in response to my chicken gardening dilemma. Jessi Bloom, author of Free Range Chicken Gardens, chose a winner and offered all kinds of interesting ideas for keeping the girls out of the vegetable beds.  First, our winner is Kerry, who Jessi chose because she...

Read more in: Eat This, Guest Rants, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on February 8, 2012 at 4:31 am   This post has 3 responses.

Drunken Botanist: The Website

  It'll be at least a year-possibly more–before my new book is actually printed and in my hands.  But it's never too soon for a website, right?  So here it is:  TheDrunkenBotanist.com, named after my forthcoming book of the same title, which is due out in 2013, probably in...

Read more in: Drink This, Garden Rant Cocktail Hour
Posted by on February 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm   This post has 2 responses.

Sign a Petition to Stop Mexico’s Botanical Foolishness

(via Flickr) This just in:  Mexico’s trademark bureau (called the IMPI)  has issued a proposal to restrict the use of the word “agave” as it is used to describe some agave-distilled spirits.  Under the proposal, which is sponsored by the tequila industry’s trade group, only spirits produced within a...

Read more in: Drink This, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on January 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm   This post has 8 responses.

You Deserve a Toddy. Maybe.

Here's the latest in a series of columns I'm writing for the North Coast Journal. The column is called The Drunken Botanist; my book of the same title will be out next year. A friend of mine has been on a grueling book tour to promote her new novel....

Read more in: Drink This, Garden Rant Cocktail Hour
Posted by on January 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm   This post has 11 responses.

The Organic Egg Scorecard

  This winter, I bought two dozen eggs.  I'm generally content to just do without as my hens go through their winter moult, but there were a couple of times when I just needed eggs for something or other, so off I went to try to pick up something...

Read more in: Eat This
Posted by on January 18, 2012 at 4:55 am   This post has 15 responses.

Fun for Potato Obsessives

That would be me!  Potatoes are just about my favorite crop.  They are famous for yielding the most food in the smallest possible space, why is one explanation for why the land-poor 19th century Irish became so dependent on them. They are very forgiving, producing early, late, everywhere in between....

Read more in: Eat This
Posted by on January 13, 2012 at 7:59 am   This post has 20 responses.

Urban Self-Sufficiency, One Crop At a Time

Here's one way to go about making a city more self-sufficient, food-wise:  Start with just one crop. Once you get that one right, move on to the next one. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Friends of the Urban Forest is doing just that:  They are mapping every Meyer...

Read more in: Drink This, Eat This
Posted by on January 11, 2012 at 8:54 am   This post has 18 responses.

Making the Case for Good Food

I was in New York on Sunday, and some friends invited me to an event sponsored by the picky eater offshoots of Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Big Food and the Food Justice committee of Occupy Wall Street. The event included a farmers' rally in an East Village community garden and...

Read more in: Eat This, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on December 9, 2011 at 7:52 am   This post has 8 responses.

Fruit Trees: A Triumph of Hope Over Experience

Rest in peace Of all the amazing plants in my garden–'Scheherezade' lilies 8 feet tall, 'Big Smile' tulips the size and shape of a dinosaur's egg, 'Russelliana' roses that explode into phosphorescent magenta blooms in June–there is only one that causes gasps of astonishment…and that is my peach trees....

Read more in: Eat This
Posted by on December 2, 2011 at 7:48 am   This post has 20 responses.

Turkey madness

Photo by kc kratt. Up until now, on Thanksgivings when I cook, I’ve been satisfied with small fresh turkeys that didn’t seem to be injected with anything weird. I was never one to sign up for the expensive “organic” birds through the local food co-op. In my view, the...

Read more in: Eat This
Posted by on November 21, 2011 at 5:30 am   This post has 10 responses.

Apple Season

Here’s another in my ongoing series of “Drunken Botanist” cocktail articles for the North Coast Journal, loosely based on my forthcoming book of the same name. Forgive the Humboldt references, which are, of course, of interest only to people in Humboldt. Seems like everyone in these parts has an...

Read more in: Drink This, Garden Rant Cocktail Hour
Posted by on November 16, 2011 at 4:39 am   This post has 15 responses.

If There’s An Easy Way to Juice a Pomegranate, I Don’t Know What It Is.

This time last year, I made a little homemade grenadine during pomegranate season.  We had a party shortly after that in which we mixed up Pink Lady cocktails according to this recipe in Imbibe magazine. The drinks were a hit–and although we hadn’t been using grenadine around the house...

Read more in: Drink This, Garden Rant Cocktail Hour
Posted by on November 9, 2011 at 10:28 am   This post has 14 responses.

Curry Please

I really enjoyed my visit to Cornell Plantations this week, particularly the herb garden, which was still looking good after several hard frosts. Even in the relatively chilly November air, I was overpowered by scent as I passed one of the 17 theme beds.  This was clearly the "tussie...

Read more in: Books, Eat This
Posted by on November 4, 2011 at 5:07 am   This post has 8 responses.

Weird Wonderfulness from Hendrick’s Gin

As long as we're talking about booze today, here's a strange and marvelous thing:  the people at Hendrick's Gin are injecting their usual madcap absurdity into London Cocktail Week, an event it pains me greatly to miss.  Anyway, they've created an Umbrella Emporium to pay tribute to the cocktail...

Read more in: But is it Art?, Garden Rant Cocktail Hour
Posted by on October 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm   This post has 6 responses.

The Wonders of Cassis

This is another in a series I'm writing for the North Coast Journal based on my book in progress, The Drunken Botanist. (Your intrepid reporter at the Cassissium.  Notice the pen and notebook. This is work.  Really.) After a week spent touring distilleries in France, Scott and I had...

Read more in: Drink This, Garden Rant Cocktail Hour
Posted by on October 19, 2011 at 6:13 am   This post has 10 responses.

Just for looks?

What we took for a centerpiece at a recent al fresco lunch* turned out to be an appetizer—baby carrots, tiny radishes, and micro-greens planted in an edible “dirt” made out of dried malt and chocolate. It was granular and only slightly sweet, not at all like the crushed cookie...

Read more in: Eat This
Posted by on September 19, 2011 at 5:00 am   This post has 10 responses.

Peach and Bourbon Wonderfulness

This is the latest in a series I'm writing for the North Coast Journal loosely based on my next book, The Drunken Botanist, due out in 2013.  Read earlier cocktail-ish posts here.     Bess assisting with my photo shoot. It is almost too late to write this column–almost. ...

Read more in: Drink This, Garden Rant Cocktail Hour
Posted by on September 14, 2011 at 5:14 am   This post has 13 responses.

Jefferson’s Kitchen Garden

Here’s the iconic view of Thomas Jefferson’s kitchen garden at Monticello, showing his little Grecian temple of a garden pavillion in the middle of the 1,000-foot-long vegetable garden. Jefferson famously identified his profession as “farmer,” even after his presidency, and fittingly, he had this garden built for his retirement...

Read more in: Feed Me
Posted by on September 13, 2011 at 5:53 am   This post has 15 responses.

Grafted Tomato Update

Throughout the summer I've been reporting on the grafted tomatoes, called Mighty Matos, that Log House Plants sent me to try out.  Go here to see the earlier posts. As I've said before, it is hardly fair to send a tomato to my house and expect it to live. ...

Read more in: Eat This
Posted by on September 7, 2011 at 4:11 am   This post has 10 responses.
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