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Japanese Dried Persimmons

There are two major types of persimmons commonly available in America: fuyu and hachiya. Fuyu persimmons are squat and round and can be eaten out of hand like an apple. They have a crisp, almost waxy texture, and a sweet flavor slightly reminiscent of gingerbread. For hoshigaki, however, you will need to use hachiya persimmons. These are longer and pointed. …

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Preserved Limes

We have a Bearss Lime tree in a large pot in the corner of our yard. The Bearss lime is ripe in December and January. It is golf-ball sized and when ripe the rind is yellow instead of green. This year there were several dozen limes. What can you do besides play golf. Preserve them! They add a great flavor …

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Lemon Verbena

Lemon Verbena has a citrusy fragrance and a pretty light green foliage. The leaves can be used in a variety of cooking: including limoncello. I grow it in a foot-square patch under a fruit tree It’s an herb with a strong lemon flavor.. Lemon verbena’s flavor is also rounded out by the lack of acidity that comes with lemons, and …

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Salvia leucanthus – Mexican bush sage

Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) is a beautiful, hardy plant for Alta California. This downy, bushy, evergreen subshrub produces white or purple flowers clasped by soft purple calyces from late summer to frost. It grows 3 feet tall by 3 feet wide, and is great for the border. Salvias are some of the showiest plants for containers, annual borders, and …

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Gingko Biloba

Ginkgo is practically pest-free, resistant to storm damage, and casts light to moderate shade. Young trees are often very open but they fill in to form a denser canopy. It makes a durable street tree where there is enough overhead space to accommodate the large size. The City of Sunnyvale has planted them in the median along Sunnyvale-Saratoga Road. The …

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Calero Park

Calero County Park is a large park in southern Santa Clara County. It is in a string of parks and open-space-preserves that stretch for 50 miles from San Francisco down to Gilroy. The 4,000 acre park is in the eastern foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and is comprised of the Pueblo lands of San Jose, the Rancho Canada de …

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Cilantro – Caribe

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum). Used for fresh green foliage, edible flowers that attract beneficial insects, and coriander-its dried seeds. Produces lots of excellent eating foliage with great flavor. A preferred strain of cilantro providing essential flavoring in Indian, Chinese, North African and Latin American cooking. The perfect accent to soups, salsas and bean dishes.Grows to 2′. Make successive plantings in well-drained …

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Nuttall’s Woodpecker

California’s oak woodlands are the place to look for Nuttall’s Woodpeckers. If you find an oak tree in California, even in suburban areas, there’s a chance that a Nuttall’s Woodpecker will be around. These small woodpeckers don’t just forage on trunks and branches, they also forage on tiny stems in willows and alders where they might look more like a …

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Salvia greggii

Salvia greggii, the autumn sage, is a herbaceous perennial plant native to a long, narrow area from southwest Texas, through the Chihuahuan Desert and into the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi, typically growing in rocky soils at elevations from 5,000 to 9,000 ft (1,500 to 2,700 m). It was named and described in 1870 by botanist Asa Gray after …

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Carrot Ginger Hot Sauce

Introducing the Creaper! My hot sauce made with home-grown Carolina Reaper chile peppers, carrots, ginger, and some other stuff. I will say it again later but I am saying it here first: Use a food mill to filter out the pulp. It quickly and efficiently squeezes the thick sauce to extract the juice and leave behind the chile pepper seeds …

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