Category Archives: Horticulture

The price of bananas…

It is a given that Ned and I eat a lot of bananas. Indeed, we do not feel entirely prepared for a day on the road without a couple stowed in the panniers. A banana is the perfect snack whenever, … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Horticulture, Mexico | 2 Comments

Defenders of the topsoil

One of many, many surprising things about California is that there  are a lot of eucalyptus trees. These are not native to North America, and, according to Steinbeck in ‘East of Eden’, they were brought here in the 1800s to … Continue reading

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Wrigley Garden, Long Beach

Cycling over 50 miles through the LA metropolis round the boardwalk we saw little vegetation – just sand, sea and concrete. It was therefore extra special to stop off at the urban oasis of Wrigley Garden, Long Beach. The garden … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Food, Horticulture, Urban Projects | Leave a comment

In praise of the (not so) humble potato

The French call it the ‘apple of the earth’ – pomme de terre. The potato – the tuber that changed the course of history. The species, Solanum tuberosum is native to South America (from the High Andes to the coast … Continue reading

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Sourcing seeds in Santa Cruz

A few weeks back we visited the University of Santa Cruz. Apart from gaining the somewhat non-academic accolade of being ‘the most stoned campus on earth’ in an article in Rolling Stone magazine back in 2004, UCSC has a rather … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Horticulture, Organic Farming, Young Farmers | 1 Comment

Strawberry fields forever…

Slightly inland from the coast our cycle route took us into the Salinas Valley – John Steinbeck stomping ground and fertile agricultural centre. Reaching the flatland between the Gabilan and Santa Lucia mountains it felt like we had burst into … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling: North America / On the Road, Horticulture, Local Agriculture | 2 Comments

Shopper’s guide to pesticides in produce

I came across this at a farmers’ market and thought it was quite interesting. It is not always possible, or affordable, to buy organic all of the time so resources like this one might help negotiate the minefield.

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Permaculture in the city

One sunny afternoon during our stay in the Bay Area we set off to visit some city farms in San Francisco. As with the urban projects in London that we are familiar with, these places combine growing food with educational … Continue reading

Posted in Community Supported Agriculture, Farmers' Markets, Food, Horticulture, Local Agriculture, Permaculture, Urban Projects, Young Farmers | Leave a comment

A seed worth saving…

Anyone that has seen the movie Food Inc. will be familiar with some of the issues surrounding saving seed on commercial farms. It’s a complex topic that I’m going to delve briefly into, and hope to learn more about as … Continue reading

Posted in Horticulture, Organic Farming, Politics | 1 Comment

California’s Cash Crop

One of the more common hazards for the cycle-tourist in Humbolt and Medocino Counties is the stoned driver. About one in every five vehicles to pass us leaves a pungent haze of marijuana smoke in it’s wake that fills our … Continue reading

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