Rapini is the New Broccoli

...i raab, broccoletti, saag, broccoli di rape, cime di rapa, rappi, friarielli, and grelos. It’s a member of the brassica family and is closely related to the turnip. And, unlike most vegetables found in our supermarkets, it actually tastes like something, with a mustardy bitterness I really love. I planted about 18 square feet worth and Mrs. Homegrown and I have been eating it for weeks tossed in pasta, omelets and on its own. Both the flowe...

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A Warning About Straw

...traw is a very inexpensive and useful material for composting, mulching and animal bedding (we use it for all of these purposes). If you use it for mulch you’ll probably get some seeds that will germinate, but I’ve never found it to be a big problem in a small vegetable garden. I get my straw from the feed store, but you can often get it for free from yuppies on Craigslist who have bought it to give their parties the Hee Haw ambiance...

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Allium ursinum

...te for our climate in Los Angeles, but folks in the northwest might consider planting some. Like all members of the Allium species it’s toxic to dogs, but we’ve never had a problem with our dog eating onions (he prefers raiding our avocado tree and tomato bushes for illicit snacks). Special thanks to Steve Rowell of the Center for Land Use Interpretation for the photos and report. Rowell spotted this tasty vegetable at a farmer’...

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Nettle Mania

...#8217;re left with a tasty green consumed plain or incorporated in a number of dishes, from soups to ravioli, to the German cheese pictured above (thanks to Berlin corespondent Steve Rowell for the photo). When dried, the leaves make a damn good tea, with a rich, indescribable flavor. If that ain’t enough, nettles pack a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and are perhaps the vegetable with the highest protein content (10%). At the risk of c...

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Boulder man faces $2000 fine/day for guerilla garden fencing

...wn the trellises and fencing. At that point, Arthur said, he could be cited, and a judge could impose a fine. Or the city could remove the impediments, since they’re on public property, Arthur said, if they’re not able to reach a compromise.” Myself and three other neighbors here in my Los Angeles neighborhood are doing exactly the same parkway vegetable planting Hoffenberg is doing. All it takes is one disgruntled and unhappy neighbor. W...

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Meet My Chickens: the continuing story of Chickenzilla

...dirt and eating worms. Now she eats all her greens like a good girl. She has more kale and less corn in her diet these days. And she is very active. Despite her heft she can outrun all the other chickens when I throw a choice grub or beetle into their enclosure. She can even jump/fly the three feet into the compost bin to hunt for good eats. If Chickenzilla can leave her corn-fed agribusiness breeding behind and transform into a homegrown, vegeta...

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Make Mag

...tion, and recreation. In MAKE Volume 18 you’ll learn how to make an automatic garden, heat your water with the sun, monitor and share your home energy usage, and more.” Here’s just a few of the many exciting projects: Chicago comrade Nancy Klehm tells you how to compost human waste. Homegrown Evolution has an article on how to install a drip irrigation system in your vegetable garden. Eric Muhs tells you how to collect rainwate...

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Matt’s Wild Cherry Tomato

...att’s Wild Cherry image from Johnny’s Select Seeds. Permaculturalist Paul Wheaton was in our neck of the woods this weekend to give a couple of lectures. In his talk on “Irrigation Free Foodscapes” he mentioned a variety of tomato called “Matt’s Wild Cherry” that, as the name implies, is a wild-type tomato that grows without supplemental irrigation. Many avid vegetable gardeners have probably had the expe...

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Growing Your Own Food is Like Printing Your Own Money: Ron Finley’s TED Talk

...rilla gardener Ron Finley’s inspiring Ted talk. I first heard about Ron after he got busted for planting a vegetable garden in what used to be a weed strewn parkway. He’s gone on to plant many more gardens around Los Angeles. The end of this talk really hit home for me, “Don’t call me if you want to sit around and have meetings. If you want to meet with me come to the garden with your shovel so we can plant some s**t.̶...

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Have We Reached Peak Kale? Franchi’s Cavolo Laciniato “Galega De Folhas Lisas”

...h. Apparently, too many restaurants have kale salads and fancy city folks like us are losing sleep worrying what the next hip vegetable will be. I have a proposal. Let’s keep with the kale for awhile longer. I propose a Franchi kale “Galega De Folhas Lisas” as the new big thing. Translated, the variety name is something like “Galacian smooth leaf.” To add to the confusion I get the feeling that Italians don’t d...

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