About

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Thanks for visiting.

More than anything else, A California Kitchen Garden will be a space for my wife, Jean, and me, Chris, to write about our kitchen garden and the cooking (and eating) we do using what comes from the garden. Jean mostly writes about cooking (but not only), and I write mostly about planting and growing (but not always). We would never claim that what we do is as adventurous as the totally seasonal rural regimen that Barbara Kingsolver describes in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle or as downright urban hardcore as Novella Carpenter’s Farm City.

No, what we do is mighty tame–and is probably not much different from what millions of other families do when they use their available space to grow things that they then turn into food for themselves and others. The “others,” by the way, include not only other humans such as neighbors, friends, and relatives, but also the critters that fly into the garden most days to nibble or drink whatever’s on the menu and the creepy crawlers that clamber through the undergrowth or up through the dirt to do their own nibbling.

When you click the Search button on any page, you’ll see short excerpts of all our posts.

Once we get the hang of this WordPress thing, we might turn this website into a more communal place, where we’ll add contributed stories and articles from others. But for now it’ll just be us rambling, and we’ll invite others in personally to look by giving them our address, unless some just happen to stumble on to this site while looking for something more serious, funny, or useful.

A few facts about us:

We’re a mostly retired couple who have wonderful children and grandchildren living busy lives around the U.S., while we make our home in the Sacramento Valley of Northern California. The space where we grow our veggies, fruit, shade trees, flowers, bushes, and herbs is along one side and the back of our house–about 1500 square feet of garden in total, give or take a couple hundred, in a rough L shape. Our small property is surrounded closely by houses on three sides. From the street in our suburban-style neighborhood, our house looks more or less like everyone else’s.

But in the space where we have our garden, I’ve removed all the grass that was there when we moved in some years ago, and the portion of ground that is not planted with fruit trees, veggies, flowering bushes, and herbs is covered in bark mulch, fallen leaves, and a variety of small plants either native or attuned to our semi-arid climate. The stories you will read and the inhabitants you will see in these entries pretty much all live in this small space, or visit from time to time. You’ll get more details about the bits and pieces of  our space in the pictures and stories.

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Jean’s peach pie and homemade peach ice cream, from our peaches.