Apricots and Kumquats: Fighting the Nor Cal Winter

Saturday, February 14, 2015

-Royal Rosa apricot blossoms. This tree is only a few years old and it's going bonkers.-

Somehow we will survive this trial. I know you on the East Coast are going on your, what, tenth snow day is some places? Roads are shut down. You're trapped in your home with children (read: ankle-biting, stir-crazy goblins). You're doing things like salting the drive and snow-plowing, things I've only heard about in stories.

We on the West Coast are suffering as well. Have you heard about the record drought? The utter lack of water from the sky? It might mean nothing to you now, but when California is producing much of the meat and produce the rest of the nation consumes you'll feel it in your pocket book this spring and summer when the cost of fruits and vegetables skyrockets to two bucks per stick of celery.

-Too. Many. Kumquats.-

I'm trying my best to survive it. This Valentine's Day I braved into the 80 degree weather in shorts and a t-shirt. I plucked fifteen pounds of kumquats off the tree. Took an hour. Tree is laughing at me. Telling me to 'eff off. It groans in a mocking tone wighted with easily another hundred pounds of fruit.

Bernadette the Apricot Tree is in full freaking bloom. In February. The hell? At this point I almost have to hope there's no crazy rain storm like last year when spring hit us in February. All the stone fruit bloomed early and crazy March rains knocked off every last blossom and fruit. (It's why your cherries were so bloody pricy in 2014.)

It's a burden, but we Californians will survive.

Do not weep for us, rather, cheer us on.

Garrett out.

Check It Out!: Fruits & Vegetables at About.com

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Oof! Where have I been?!

My apologies, I have been taking over a new blogging job. I'm posting ten times a month over at my new Fruits and Vegetables Channel at About.com, and like all new jobs it takes time to find your footing. Sadly, Vanilla Garlic got a bit neglected, but now that I have my schedule sorted I can split my attention equally between both children.

Remember About.com? That site that you used a lot way back in the 90s when the internet first started and that you still get directed to time and again? They recently rebranded, reshuffled, and retinkered and now have a banging new food section of which I am a proud part of.

They've got me writing all about produce. You'll find posts on topics such as investigating interesting varieties, looking and health and nutrition, examining curious histories, uncovering fascinating lore and legends, conducting interviews and doing product reviews. For example…

There's an awesome recipe for a creamy, sweet-n-sour white bean and Meyer lemon dip!

And a recipe for a bombtastic lemon caramel sauce.

Think you know your beet varieties? Think again with Beets 101.

Curious on if poppy seeds can get you high or cause you to fail a blood test? I have the answers you crave!

There's also info on if sweet potato leaves can kill you, the legend of the great eel Te Tuna and how is death created the first coconut, the origin of the Italian mafia and how it's intertwined with the citrus industry to this day, and so much more!

I hope you'll swing by and become a regular reader. Now that I've found my pace, Vanilla Garlic will be back up and running full speed. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

Garrett out.

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