Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Italian Edibles

I have begun to purchase seeds for the 2011 growing season, and because I now live in an Italian neighbourhood, I have easy access to Italian edibles. The above photo represents my first, in-store (as opposed to online), impulse seed purchase of the year. Most of the seeds I bought were varieties of radicchio (Cichorium

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Growing and Eating Cardoon

My final Globe and Mail article for the 2010 growing season was on growing and eating cardoon. Cardoon is lesser-known relative of the artichoke that is considered a delicacy in Mediterranean cuisine. Like artichokes it grows into a stately and somewhat dangerous thistle-like plant, but unlike artichokes you eat the stems, not the flower buds.

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

A Glut of Green Tomatoes

When it comes to dealing with an end of season garden glut I have one rule: everything roasted. I am yet to find a vegetable or fruit that doesn’t benefit from this treatment. I thought I’d tried it all and there were no more surprises left. I was wrong. Last weekend I pulled out almost

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Variegated Arugula

Perhaps it is because I have a penchant for the weird and the unusual, or maybe it’s because I just think it’s pretty, but I seem to have a strong affinity for variegated plants. It doesn’t matter what it is, if there is a variegated version, I must have it. Well, that’s not entirely true.

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We Made a Pumpkin

Thanksgiving weekend has just passed in Canada, and even though I’m not big on the holiday, the one thing I do demand is a homemade pumpkin pie. Fortunately, we made a pumpkin this year. Accidentally. Here’s how it happened. Back in the late spring, a friend gave us some unmarked transplants for the Yardshare Garden.

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Air Potato

I was introduced to this “potato that grows above the ground” on an organic farm tour in Dominica. It was one of the plants we were most excited about, but because we only got the Patois name (and it turns out I heard that wrong, too), were never able to identify it. Davin and I

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Food Worth Growing: ‘Trionfo Violetto’ Pole Beans

Back in June I wrote in my Globe & Mail column about growing beans. Within the piece I mentioned a favorite pole variety ‘Trionfo Violetto.’ It’s been years since I have grown this particular variety and now that the plants are in full swing and producing a little crop of beans daily, I can’t understand

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Seasoning Peppers

In the Caribbean, that’s what they call peppers that look like hot peppers but aren’t. Although, I have also heard the term used with hot peppers, too. I suspect they really are hot, just not by West Indian standards. All of these were hot, let me tell you, and incredibly aromatic. But hot, ho yeah,

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Growing Sweet Potatoes in a Bag

My most recent Globe and Mail Kitchen Gardening article is on sweet potatoes and chronicles an experiment I took up by chance, growing sweet potatoes in a shopping bag. While in Dominica I learned that when there is not enough soil fertility to produce tubers, sweet potato leaves are cooked or steamed like spinach. I

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Yes Virginia, There is a Blue Tomato

And I am growing it! Back in February a secret somebody, whose identity I will not reveal (pinky swear), gifted me a package of seeds of the only open-pollinated (OP) blue tomato to have been raised by natural plant breeding techniques (not GMO). I was under the impression that this yet-to-be-released tomato was so secretive

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Update on the Morelle de Balbis

When I wrote about the Morelle de Balbis (Solanum sisymbrifolium) last it was on April 30, 2010 when the seedling was still living in the greenhouse. It had just begun to produce its thorns and I was beginning to get a glimpse into what I’d signed on for. It is now July 1 and the

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Hanging Colander Lettuce Pot

You are looking at one of this year’s serendipitous brainstorms. I feel perhaps a little bit too genius for coming up with it, when really, it’s just an enamel colander filled with ‘Sea of Red’ cutting lettuce and hanging in a wire basket. I quite like it. So much so that I haven’t had the

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