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Garden with the ‘All-Stars’ during dry times

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As the growing season ramps up, visions of a luscious garden don’t evaporate simply because water is in short supply. Cultivating a landscape that’s considerate of our record drought doesn’t have to mean a yard covered in rocks. There are a number of beautiful flowering plants that thrive with minimal water. The UC Davis Arboretum offers a list of 100 “All-Stars” that are recommended for a drought-stricken California garden. It’s the…

California Quinoa Tabouli Salad

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Ever since I lived in Greece, tabouli has been one of my favorite salads. Tabouli, or tabbouleh, is commonly served throughout the Middle East as a starter or side dish. Traditionally, wheat bulgur forms the base of a simple tabouli, since it was readily available in Syria and Lebanon where the dish originated. The wheat formed a hearty base for a filling main dish where meat was scarce, so it’s…

'Strawberries and onions newly planted' CC BY-SA 2.0 Korye Logan

Easy square foot gardens offer abundance, variety in small spaces

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If you’re new to gardening, you’d likely prefer to start small. Which is why many people begin their gardening experience in containers that they can easily inspect and maintain. Once you’re confident that you won’t kill off every single plant immediately — especially if you’ve had the pleasure of eating your own fresh-picked produce — you’ll probably want more. It just happens that way. You’ve been bitten by the gardening bug. So…

Tomatillo soup with jalapenos, canelli beans and corn. Little Green Wheelbarrow

Tomatillo soup with cannellini ‘chicken’

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Living in California as I do, regular doses of Mexican food are a must. If I go a week without it, I get the shakes. It’s like salsa runs through my veins. One of my favorite salsas is the green type, used for enchiladas and verdes, or to top tacos and salads. The base of green salsas is the tomatillo, a fruit that’s a staple of Mexican and Central American…

'Square foot gardening' CC BY-NC 2.0 Chiot's Run

How to build a raised bed vegetable garden

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Raised beds are a great solution for many gardeners, and for many reasons. In areas where the soil is poor, a raised bed allows you to skip all the double-digging, weeding and amending in the effort to get a healthy environment for your garden. Simply add the ideal mixture of garden soil and compost to the bed, and it’s pretty much ready to plant. Raised beds are also easier to…