Book Recommendation: Seeds by Thor Hanson

Summer’s almost here and that means reading time (if you’re not too busy gardening).  Let me suggest to you, if you haven’t already gotten your hands on it, the recently-published, simply-titled Seeds by ecologist Thor Hanson. I spend a lot of time thinking about and handling seeds, and yet after reading this book I realized […]

How to Best Use Yesterday’s News

Like so many things in gardening and in life, I have come late to many wonderful ideas.  And yet I give thanks for having stumbled upon them, realizing, in the words of the Chinese proverb, that although the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is now. The […]

Herb-Powered Salads

No one said that salads had to be mostly lettuce, but that ‘s the message I somehow absorbed during my life as a culinary being….received wisdom that I’ve never really much challenged. Oh, I’ve wandered a bit into cabbage salads and endive salads, but the idea is pretty much the same: something large and leafy […]

There’s a Reason Peas Rhymes With Ease

Lately I’ve been working on supplementing our rooftop garden’s produce with an indoor, year-round growing system.  I’m experimenting on lots of different crops,  grown in a half baking sheet (18″x13″) and housed in, no surprise, a baker’s proofing rack, fitted with LED grow lights. The new baker’s-proofing-rack greens system at the Rot.   Because the […]

Put Some Wild Magic in Your Garden This Season

Sometimes it takes  somebody else’s wisdom to confirm what you already know or partially know. I recently had that experience when I attended the Pacific NW Flower and Garden Show, where I heard author and designer Stefani Bittner of Homestead Design Collective (http://www.homesteaddesigncollective.com/) speaking about her new book, Harvest. This book confirmed my trials of […]

Hot Pepper Race to the Bottom

In a world where everyone seems to be ceaselessly striving to outdo everyone else and be more, better, stronger, faster, etc., it’s refreshing to be entering a contest of less, meeker, weaker.  And what contest might that be?  Why, the heatless hot pepper contest. If this pepper shape sends waves of PTSD through you owing […]

Volk Stokes a Farmer’s Imagination

I love  books about farming and gardening and books that friends have written, so imagine my pleasure on first realizing that this beautiful farming book was written by my friend Josh Volk.   One of the regular joys of attending the NW Flower and Garden Show (http://www.gardenshow.com/) is being bombarded with so many new and […]

Temporary Landscape Interpretation

You’d miss that a rose had been pruned if it weren’t for the sign.  Since it has been pruned, it’s a great opportunity to do a little guerilla education.   This post isn’t about a particular gardening technique, per se, but about our relationship to the land and how as caretakers of it, we are […]

Get Fresh In the Seed Room

Can you tell whether the foreground or the background had fresh lettuce seed?  If you can then you probably don’t need to read this post.   It’s an understandable reflex, the thrifty reach for last year’s seeds instead of starting off with the new package you just ordered or bought, but ask yourself the following […]

A Rooftop Garden Primer

  Delivered as a TED-style talk at the Greater Portland Sustainability Educators’ Network symposium on Jan 27, 2017   Greetings, my name is Marc Boucher-Colbert And I am here to tell you about a rooftop that once was bare And the garden that now we’ve got At a wine bar in town called the Noble […]