Why grow food in the city?

Growing Up with Gardens: Becoming an avid kitchen gardener & locavore


Edible Berkeley: Residential garden blog



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Sunny September

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The last two weeks have been sunny and beautiful and the garden is thriving.  Our two Meyer lemon trees are continuing to be strong producers throughout the summer, despite the fact that the primary season for this fruit is "supposed to be" the colder months of December-February.  It looks like our trees missed that memo... We harvested over 60 pounds of lemons in July, an additional 70 pounds in August, and there are still quite a lot of ripe lemons on the trees now.  We sold much of the harvest to a local restaurant, but still have plenty left to use at home and to give to friends.  What fun!

I was out of town for a week at the end of August and returned to find abundant cherry tomatoes, red raspberries, ground cherries, and scarlet runner beans ready for harvest.  Our kids had their fill of these treats in the garden and there was a good amount left over to bring up to the kitchen to prepare for dinner, too.  Our huge baskets of cherry tomatoes don't last long, though, as both of our kids eat them by the handful every day!

Lately, I have been trying to tune in to the food choices we are making, and record the use of local organic ingredients in our daily home cooking.  We are not trying to live 100% within our local "foodshed" but do try to purchase local, organic products on a regular basis.  We enjoy eating seasonally, and prefer foods that are freshly harvested and raised with care.  In this season, we have abundant herbs, vegetables, and fruit from our backyard garden, and supplement it with regular trips to the farmers' market and a weekly box of vegetables and fruit from Full Belly Farm.  We also have a well stocked freezer filled with meat we purchased from Full Belly Farm and Wind Dancer Ranch in the Capay Valley (about 90 miles from Berkeley.)  With all this good food on hand, it's easy for two home cooks to make a delicious meal.

Here's an example of two recent meals we cooked where the primary ingredients came from these local organic sources:

Fancy home-cooked dinner for friends

  • Grilled rack of lamb (Full Belly Farm) with herbs (our garden)
  • Roasted potatoes (Full Belly Farm) with rosemary (our garden), garlic and shallots
  • Capresi salad (tomatoes and basil from Full Belly Farm, fresh mozzarella from "California cows")
  • Vegetable platter, including carrots from Full Belly Farm
  • Ravenswood wine (Napa, CA)
  • Water with sliced lemons (our garden)

Recent family weekend breakfast

  • French toast (local organic eggs, milk, and butter, purchased at the grocery store; sourdough bread made locally at La Farine bakery (flour not local); maple syrup and vanilla, not local)
  • Delicious bacon from Wind Dancer Ranch
  • Salad of local organic fruits including: peaches (Full Belly Farm), watermelon (Full Belly Farm), pears (Berkeley farmers' market), cape gooseberries (our garden) and gala apples (our garden)
  • Peet's coffee (not grown locally or organically)



All opinions expressed are my own.
Copyright 2007 Sharon Danks