Jim Cotton, Food Growing and Foraging

One of my very first blog posts complete with photos showed “Jim and Kim’s garden” in Arcata — they have a small slice of heaven in the bottoms and the amount of produce they get out of it is astounding.

While I used to be the Garlic Queen among my friends, Kim usurped the throne many years ago, growing dozens of varieties of garlic.  Kim can hardly wait for the new garden supply catalogs to arrive and eagerly dives in to order varieties we’ve never heard of.  When my crop was completely wiped out by rust — she supplied me with seed garlic to start over — and vice-versa.  Since the early days of garlic rust, Kim has beat the rust by planting later (we used to plant on Indigenous People’s Day FKA Columbus Day) — but now we plant in late November or early December.  It works!

Both Kim and Jim are foragers too — gathering mushrooms, mussels, clams, crab, fishing for salmon — they both have a passion for locally produced food, and for knowing the land and what it has to offer.

Listen here for the interview with Jim Cotton

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Danielle Orr

Danielle Orr, Volunteer at KHSU, gets a turn at the other side of the interview by providing us with a look into her life and why she grows and raises some of her own food including a fabulous selections of berries — click here.

Danielle Orr with one of her favorite berries!

Happy healthy harvest!

and a harvest of beauty...

Luscious Gardens: Edible Landscaping

Kashi Albertsen and Naomi Withers are the owners of Luscious Gardens and aim to set up an edible landscape in your yard that will provide an abundance of food throughout the year. They intersperse the edible plants with beautiful ornamentals that provide wildlife habitat and esthetic value.  They like to use plants that are hardy and easy to care for.  Click here to listen to an interview with Kashi and Naomi

Photo of Naomi and Kashi

Joyce Houston Discusses Michael Pollan’s Book

In a two part interview local nutrition expert Joyce Houston discusses Michael Pollan’s book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.

http://foodforthought.yoursavinggrace.net/audio/26_FFT_Joyce Houston.mp3
http://foodforthought.yoursavinggrace.net/audio/27_FFT_JoyceHouston.mp3

Home Canning and Food Preservation

Update November 5, 2012 — The next Master Food Preserver Program will meet every Saturday in Feb – Mar 2013 from 9a-3:30 p.  The program will be help at the Northcoast Co-op Community Kitchen in Eureka.  The cost is $150.  Deadline to apply is January 8, 2013 — and there is a mandatory orientation meeting in the evening once selections are made.  You can contact Deborah Giraud at the University of California Cooperative Extension at (707) 445-7351 for more information.

I come from a long line of canners — I can’t see fruit dropping from a tree without wanting to go up to the door to ask the owner if I can pick it.  I can more than anyone could possibly use when there is produce available — sometimes I can, sometimes I freeze, I just can’t stand to see people throw away good food. Join us for research based information on food preservation and become a volunteer to help others learn as well.

jars of cherries

Cherries from So Hum

Produce canned

Cherries, tuna, chili dillies, jam and more cherries

Eddie Tanner, Deep Seeded Farm CSA

http://foodforthought.yoursavinggrace.net/audio/14_FFT_Deepseeded.mp3
To listen to the interview with Eddie Tanner click the link!

Tomatoes in Arcata?…Do you have Greenhouse envy too? — I sure do!

Have you been wanting to grow tomatos...but you live on the coast?  Here is your answer!  Even a small home greenhouse is adequate to produce all those hot-weather crops we expect from the inland regions!
Here is your answer! Even a small home greenhouse is adequate to produce all those hot-weather crops we expect from the inland regions!
CSAs allow the member to support the farmer at the beginning of the year so that farmers don't need to take out expensive loans.  Members then come to this shed during the season and gather a basket of fresh produce.  The chalk board will list the number and type of crops that members can choose from.

CSAs allow the member to support the farmer at the beginning of the year so that farmers don’t need to take out expensive loans. Members then come to this shed during the season and gather a basket of fresh produce. The chalk board will list the number and type of crops that members can choose from.

Eddie also teaches a class on Organic Gardening through the Office of Extended Education at Humboldt State University in the spring semester — call (707) 826-3731 to be added to the mailing list for the next class.

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Frogs loving their habitat at Eddie’s Farm!

BIG Beef Tomatoes!

Zucchini were ready as early as April this year…grown in the giant greenhouse.

Jennifer and Steve’s Home Garden

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 Ok — time for an update on Jennifer & Steve’s Home Garden (March 2012

) — We shoveled out all of the bark in our garden at the end of last season — we had been adding new bark when the old bark broke down, but the problem is it didn’t go anywhere — and the bark kept building higher and higher until it was higher than the tops of our raised beds — and was starting to fall inside the beds.  So out with the bark and in with the black volcanic rock — in hopes that the dark color with make the beds even warmer.  We have only planted garlic (in the fall) and onions and leeks (early spring) and I just sowed beets 2 weeks ago — so it’s not much to look at.  But I did add an art piece to the garden with a little “stained glass window” — made by glueing stained glass to an old recycled window pane — then framing it in.  What do you think?!  zucchini logs!

 
 

Our vegetable garden is on Humboldt Hill — mostly growing garlic, fava beans and various greens that do well in the cool weather.  We have also grown some funkycarrots that look like little people (I know, too much nitrogen in the soil) — over the years we have learned what does well in our climate so we can be really successful growing those things — and the local farmers market is where we go for the hot weather crops!  We like to try new and interesting crops when we pick out the seeds each year — this year we are planting a spinach that produces a berry…sounds strange doesn’t it?  We will post photos to let you know how that goes!

 
 
 

More garlic -- and kale...yes, we grow lots of cool weather crops!

Herbs for cooking are very important too!
Herbs for cooking are very important too!

Fava beans are delicious with olive oil,vinegar and mixed herbs!

Mom shelling fava beansFava beans nestled in their podsPot of fava beans...about 2 hours of labor?Miss America...complete with the bouquet of roses!These are photos from early September — Zuchini like logs, lots of blended zuchini soup (Steve likes it cold, I like it hot), and check out these funky spinach plants that grow red berries.  When I first planted them in the late spring they didn’t really make it, apparently they need warmer soil to germinate.  So, back at it planting in the summer and look at what I got! Beetberry spinach (strange but true)Right — so the package says “sweet berries” but what I found is that the berries taste green, like a green plant — but wouldn’t that be lovely in a salad?!  (yes, and don’t you wish I could focus my camera?)Yes, I'm enamored with the beetberry spinach

End of the zucchinis

Nothing more beautiful than purple cabbage

Ailsa Craig and Copra onions as recommended by Eddie Tanner

Beets -- I grow lots of beets, good cooked and pickled, greens are good too!

So, I have to say this…I added amendments this year as suggested by Eddie Tanner in his book — this is the best garden I’ve ever had — and no, none of my carrots look like little people — they are long and well shaped…ok, I thought the little people were well shaped but in a different way…!  Hooray for soil amendments in addition to chicken pooh!

Kim and Jim — Raised Concrete Garden Beds

Kim and Dan's garden in the Arcata Bottoms

Kim and Dan's garden in the Arcata Bottoms

Kim and Jim live in the Arcata bottoms — they built great garden beds out of concrete blocks.  Some of them they planted trailing herbs and flowers in, others they covered with a flat piece of concrete so there is an edge to sit on while you garden.  These are two blocks high so are a good height for sitting while tending the beds.

 

Lots of garden crops in a small area -- goodbye lawn mower!

Lots of garden crops in a small area -- goodbye lawn mower!

 
 
 
 

 

Jennifer in Kim's garden

 
Jennifer in Kim’s garden