Salad Fixin's: Spicing Up the Mundane Romaine

I’m getting ready for a mini vacation. I don’t get many and when I do I tend to focus on the cheaper stay-cations and end up doing more work in the yard than I would ever do at the museum. Doesn’t do much for my weary back and sore muscles. But not this time. This time I’m going to Palm Springs to sit by the pool and sip many cocktails and have many laughs.

We rented a house and are meeting up with old friends from Portland and LA. Our plans are simple, eat, drink, swim, sit and relax. Finally.

I decided that I should bring some food from the garden so I’ve loaded up with fresh eggs for breakfasts and then noticed that the romaine lettuce was just too perfect to leave behind. Then I realized that I also have some blue borage and some nasturtium that would make an excellent addition to the salad. So while packing and prepping the dog for a desert voyage, I took a little harvesting break. And, apparently a blogging break as well. I’m going to be soooo late!

Here’s the romaine all green and yummy looking. Followed by the borage whose flowers have already been harvested.
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The Winter Cover Crop Part II: Green Manure

Day I: In which noodle was scratched and there were many distractions.

Well campers, it looks as though my little experiment in the veggie garden has moved on to phase two. My hope is that the soil has been rejuvenated by my planting back in November of buckwheat, ryegrass, clover, oats, rye grain and valley peas. Deep root plants as well as nitrogen fixers have been working hard over the past few months replenishing lost nutrients from the previous year as well as aerating the soil to make room for new roots. You can learn about how I began this process, as well as some more info on green manure, in the first part of this project found here.


Using green manure is a new practice for me. The San Diego summers get awfully hot in my neck of the woods. I’ve been trying to combat this hot dry weather with some grey water reclamation and micro irrigation systems. Now that the soil below the surface has been treated, it’s time to move on to above ground. The plan was to chop up everything and use it as a mulch to help lock in the moisture and eventually break down into a nutrient rich compost.

I’ve basically just let it grow over the last few months. And it definitely did just that. Check out this vigorous growth!

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Former food desert now feeds a community’s spirit

Good morning friends! The community garden I volunteer for was just featured in an article by UC San Diego! A great honor and a beautiful write up to boot. Check it out and see what other activities I’ve been up to! Try not to be hypnotized by the ridiculous mustache. I use it to filter compost as well as sniff out truffles. Continue reading “Former food desert now feeds a community’s spirit”