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Karen Schaffer
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Karen Schaffer

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Spring Garden Market: the beginning, the middle, and the end. 
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Karen Schaffer

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Look what I found growing in our yard. Yum!

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We had tourtière for dinner tonight in honor of Pi day. How about you?
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The six-session course on Sustainable Vegetable Gardening that I'm team teaching is starting next Tuesday, Jan 24. If you know anyone who you think would be interested, please pass the word. Details and registration link on the MG page. Thanks!
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These book art sculptures are just amazing. Take a look.
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Karen Schaffer

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The Master Gardeners Spring Garden Market is this Saturday, 9-2, at History San Jose. We work hard to put on this yearly fundraiser that supports our program, but it's a ton of fun too, both for us and our customers. If you come by, stop and say hi. I'll be in the tomato section as usual. 
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I'm giving a talk at Google on cool season vegetables today at noon. Location is 2375 Garcia (aka GWC5). Way off the main campus, but I gather they have quite a following for their garden class series. Growing cool season vegetables is one of my favorite topics (and activities).
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Karen Schaffer's profile photoLisa Hirsch's profile photoLaura Majerus's profile photo
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Karen, sorry I missed it. Just saw the G+ post this evening.
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After a chilly, rainy spring, it's suddenly summer here, with highs in the 80s this entire week. I've been busily getting my summer veg in the garden: peppers, eggplants, beans of all sorts, flowers mixed in, and even a couple of tomatoes this year. I've been avoiding tomatoes for the last several years due to gastric reflux problems, but I'm going to experiment (carefully) this summer with my beloved Sun Sugar cherry tomatoes and a localized Brandywine called Ed's Millennium, selected and saved over many years by a fellow MG (named Ed, no surprise).

My cukes, melons, and squashes are still in pots, waiting to get just a bit bigger before setting out. But parsnips! I started some parsnip seeds a while ago, but I don't know where they are. Having I been overlooking that pot, thinking they're a flower I need to pot up at some point? Or did I already plant them out next to the carrots? Must investigate.

The hot weather is hastening the demise of the irises, but they've put on a good 3-week show. The sweetpeas are also going to seed very fast, alas. I've let Cupani and April in Paris naturalize in my yard, which makes for some lovely crosses, all of them intensely fragrant. They've entirely blocked one entrance (non-critical) into the garden. I may let them drop seed there, but a few other spots I need to pull them before the seed matures, delicate thugs that they are.

Off to the MG research gardens this morning. I'm doing a best of the best winter squash trial this year. I've been trialing 9 to 12 different varieties of winter squash for the past several years and serving them up to MGs for taste testing. This might be our last year at this research gardens, so I'm going to grow the top one or two varieties from past years. To wit: Butternut Rogosa Violina Gioia, Greek Sweet Red, Hokkaido Stella Blue, Marine di Chioggia, Potimarron, Red Kuri, Sibley, Tahitian, Thai "Rai Kaw Tok", Tonda Padana, plus Swedish Banana as a sub for Georgia Candy Roaster. The latter was listed a crop failure or sold out from all of the sources I knew of, and one place swore that Swedish Banana was even better. Also, I was seduced by descriptions of two new ones, Gill's Golden Pippin and Guatemalan Blue, so I'll slip those in somewhere.

Cross posted to The Secret Garden and LJ -- apologies to those of you who see it multiple times.
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Wow, that was fast!! Mine is only thinking about flowering.

Btw, if your baby zucchini turns yellow and falls off, don't worry, it just means that the female blossom wasn't actually pollinated. But it's still a great sign if you're already getting female flowers. The first flowers are usually male.
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Karen Schaffer

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Our Master Gardener Spring Garden Market is tomorrow, Saturday 3/31. Hope the rain holds off! If you're in the area, c'mon by. It's going to be fun.
Loyal fans have been coming for years for the 75+ varieties of tomatoes and 100+ varieties of peppers, and now you can pick up beans, eggplant, collards, Chinese broccoli, amaranthus and kohlrabi - an...
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Karen Schaffer

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The Topp Twins are brilliant! Comedic singing, yodeling, activist, lesbian twin sisters -- what's not to like?!
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looks interesting ,indeed.
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First Dungeness crab of the season. Yum!

Happy Winter Solstice!
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Flash event at UMN, fun!
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Utterly charming.
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I'm a Master Gardener volunteer in Santa Clara County, a science fiction fan, and I love to cook.