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Heirloom Exposition and Free Tickets

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The Third Annual National Heirloom Exposition takes place in Santa Rosa, California on September 10, 11, 12.  Read on for a free ticket offer.

First a word or two about heirloom vegetables.  What’s the big deal ?   They are often funny looking, can be hard  to grow, and often yield less than modern hybrids with no better nutritional value.  For many they are a fad, appealing to trendsetters, snobs, and the politically correct since “heirloom” is often tied to “sustainability” and “organic”. Continue Reading →

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Finding Frost

frost on kale leaf

When we go out into the garden to take pictures, we don’t always find what we expect.  So don’t get locked into seeing what you want to see.  See what is.

When my friend Kate Frey suggested I might want to photograph the tapestries of winter vegetables she planted at Lynmar Winery I could hardly wait for the next free morning.  I knew her keen sense of design and plant combinations would be exquisite.  An organic edible garden designed to be an artistic visual treat ?!  Think the Roadrunner cartoons… zeeeeeeeeoooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwww …. I’m on my way. Continue Reading →

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Garden or Museum – what’s the big deal with heirloom veg?

Medieval peasants worked hard for low yields. Do we really want to go back to their heirlooms?

Heirloom vegetables and flowers (or as well call them over here – heritage) have been big for some time now. Much more so in North America than home. In fact I am always really surprised about how enthusiastic American gardeners are about ‘vegetables our grandmothers grew’. The love of heirloom veg however goes along with a certain hostility to modern varieties, and modern breeding methods such as F1 hybridisation, particularly claims that heirlooms taste better; there is also an undercurrent that heirlooms are somehow better for the world, more ethical. Here I’d like to challenge this and stand up for modern scientific plant breeding. There is also a political point I’d like to make.

Continue Reading →

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Picture This – Photographing Abundance

There is still time to send in your photos for this months contest.  The theme is Abundant Harvest which we kicked off with a smorgasbord of photos, all of which are interpretations of the theme.  Rules and prizes in the October 5 post. I should remind our readers that the photos do not have to be recent ones, nor do they even have to be in the garden.  A farmer’s market or a jar of homemade pickles can say abundance.

What does matter is good composition and a photo that has ‘abundant’ in its impact.  Extra points for color; and when I think of harvest I think of edibles, be it fruit, veggies, or herbs.

I thought it might be fun to analyze my construction of a photograph that was commissioned to show abundance, the lead photo in the original post. Continue Reading →

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Picture This Photo Contest for October

weighing the crop“It’s the 5th of the month of October which means a new Picture This Photo Contest .

After having completed 6 months of what we initially said was an experiment, we can confidently say that Picture This has not only become a fun and much participated in contest but has also evolved into a photographic resource for gardeners who want to learn about more about specific plant material. So, a big thank you to all who have participated and continue to participate in Picture This. And for those of you who haven’t yet done so, this month is a perfect time to get your feet wet and select a photo to throw into the ring. You never know….

Who better to be the October judge than our own Saxon Holt, a GGW Regular Contributor and a prolific and highly respected photographer. Saxon has chosen the theme of ABUNDANT HARVEST. Below he describes the criteria that he’ll be using in selecting this month’s winners. Continue Reading →

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