Chile – Corno di Toro

Corno de Toros are a beautiful, long, dark-red heirloom Italian pepper. 6-10 inches long, twisted or curved and pointed on the end. These deep crimson beauties are very sweet and intensely ‘peppery’. They’re a perfect roasting pepper-their skins blacken nicely, and shed easily–and are also good raw in salads. In my opinion the flavor of Corno de Toros is superior …

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Chile – Serrano

Serrano Chile Pepper

Serrano chiles look like slender jalapenos. They are typically eaten raw and have a bright and biting flavor that is notably hotter than the jalapeño pepper. Serrano peppers are commonly used in making pico de gallo, and salsa, as the chili is particularly fleshy compared to others, making it ideal for such dishes. The Scoville rating of the serrano pepper …

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Watermelon – Moon & Stars

The “Moon and Stars” melon is a century-old heirloom from Tennessee/Missouri.  It is a large-fruited melon whose dark-green rind is speckled with tiny yellow dots (the stars) surrounding one or more larger yellow spots (the moon). It is cool that the leaves have the same pattern. Another cool thing is that this is an heirloom melon, not a hybrid, so …

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Western Gray Squirrel

squirrel eating sunflower

The western gray squirrel was first described by George Ord in 1818 based on notes taken by Lewis and Clark at The Dalles in Wasco County, Oregon. The bad news is that in a forty-house area around my home, I am dinner central: fruit, then tomatoes then sunflowers. I have a lawn and about 50 pots perfect for squirrels to …

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Sunnyvale Liquifaction Risks

This map shows the likelihood of liquefaction in Northern Santa Clara County during a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the northernmost segments of the San Andreas Fault. This earthquake is similar to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. At each location, the map predicts the approximate probability that shallow wet sands will liquefy and cause surface manifestations of liquefaction such as sand …

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American natives, sunflowers are grow for beauty as well as harvested for seed. An annual plant, sunflowers have big, daisylike flower faces of bright yellow petals (and occasionally red) and brown centers that ripen into heavy heads filled with seeds. Tall and course, the plants have creeping or tuberous roots and large, bristly leaves. Some sunflowers grow to over 16 …

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Bush Cucumber

Bush cucumbers have been bred to take up very little space with their extremely short vines — most varieties only require 2 to 3 square feet per plant. They have the same cultural requirements as vining cucumbers and ripen in about the same amount of time. Cultivars include “Bush Champion,” “Parks Bush Whopper,” “Pickle Bush,” “Pot Luck,” “Salad Bush” and …

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Sunnyvale Landmark – Stowell House

Sunnyvale pioneer Charles Stowell bought the home from F. C. Fry in 1899, who had built the home circa 1890. The Stowell family owned the home for 100 years. Stowell and his brother-in-law Charles Spaulding were prominent businessmen in the community. They built the S&S building on the corner of Murphy Avenue and Washington Avenue. They were also involved in …

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Sunnyvale Heritage Tree – Murphy Park Valley Oak

heritage valley oak in murphy park

Quercus lobata, the valley oak, grows into the largest of North American oaks. It is only found in California, growing in the hot interior valleys and foothills. Mature specimens may attain an age of up to 600 years. This deciduous oak requires year-round access to groundwater. Sunnyvale still has several prominent and venerable valley oaks. The Spanish gave it the …

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