Sweet Potatoes for Breakfast

...redibly rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene. So high, in fact, I wondered if I might OD on vitamin A from eating them daily. The answer is no. You cannot harm yourself from eating too many sweet potatoes. You can take too much A in pill form, or too much cod liver oil, and you can kill yourself outright eating Retinol packed polar bear liver (should you have that golden opportunity), but the worst the vegetable form can do is turn you vaguely ora...

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California’s Drought and What To Do About It

...wn urine. Knife fights with a bikini clad Sting will break out and we’ll be trading our bikes for rides on the over-sized worms emerging from our compost bins. But I digress. Let’s cover what we’re doing at the Root Simple compound. We’ve expanded our drought tolerant plantings over the past few years. These plants use less water and encourage beneficial wildlife. I consider them part of the vegetable garden, in a way. I...

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Natural Products Expo West: The Good and the Ugly

...Foods dumped into a funnel and shoved down your throat. It will be no surprise to most readers of this blog that the “natural” (whatever that means) food industry suffers from the same problems that plague our food system as a whole. Most of the products at the expo are highly processed and high in sugar. Just because something is labeled “gluten free” or “GMO free” does not make it healthy. Getting beyond the...

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Chicks, Mayonnaise and Personal Responsibility

...at your local farmers’ market, or you may hear of someone by word of mouth. You might have to drive out to the country, or buy shares in an animal, or join a co-op. It will not be as convenient as running to the market. And yes, it will be more expensive. But it is possible to shift your dietary patterns to a more vegetable-based diet. If you eat mostly vegetables, using meat and eggs as a flavoring or garnish instead of the centerpiece of...

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Delicious Cauliflower

For me, cauliflower is a vegetable which eludes inspiration. I eat it raw. I roast it. I’ve made soup with it once or twice. That’s about the sum of my historic use of cauliflower. Now, everything has changed. I’ve found a recipe for cauliflower which I love. It comes from a book called Vegetarian Dishes from the Middle East, by Arto der Haroutunian. I think I’ve mentioned it before. It’s a good,...

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Straw Bale Garden Tour Part II

In this video we take a tour of our straw bale garden as it appears this week. The vegetables varieties you see growing are Tromboncino squash, Lunga di Napoli squash (growing up into a native bush), Matt’s Wild Cherry tomato, Celebrity tomato, eggplant and Swiss chard. And just to take down my smugness a notch I also included a shot of an unsuccessful cucumber plant. Other than the cucumber, though, this is one of the most productive v...

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Roasted Asparagus

...I forget that some people find it intimidating. Maybe that’s because of those dedicated asparagus cookers they sell, and associations with silver tongs and Hollandaise sauce and hotel brunches. Yet the truth is all you have to do is roast it. Here’s a universal rule: everything tastes better roasted. Even vegetables. I can’t think of one vegetable that doesn’t roast nicely, and asparagus is one of my favorites. All vegeta...

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Edible and Tasty Arugula Flowers

Our winter vegetable garden is just about finished. This week I’m going to tear out most of it and plant tomatoes and a few other summer veggies. I may keep some of the arugula that has gone to flower a little longer. Why? arugula flower taste great in salads bees love them arugula self seeds readily The flowers, which taste like the leaves, are a reminder of my favorite time of year: arugula season. Each year I curse...

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Getting Hardscaping Right

...er long term maintenance. Choose materials that are durable and easy to maintain. Every home needs a “hide the s@#t fence.” There needs to be a place to put potting soils, shovels, compost piles etc. I’m just about to embark on a couple of building projects–extending the back patio deck, building permanent vegetable beds and the aforementioned hide the s@#t fence. This time I’m going to get it right! How have your h...

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Cat Litter Compost, Installment #3

...7;t privileged or anything. A gentle reader reminds us that it’s been too long since we updated you all on the cat litter compost. For background, see Installment One and Installment Two Long story short, cat litter composting can work (under the care of an experienced composter, mind), especially in conjunction with a worm bin–but I’ve found a method I like better. On the composting experiment: In our last episode of Cat Box Ma...

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