Gardening in a Crisis--Resources

If you have a food garden these days, while we are sheltering in place, I know you are grateful for whatever it produces. I am harvesting lettuce and other salad greens (including miner's lettuce and some mesclun), Swiss chard, collards, parsely, cilantro, wild onions, and still have some maggot-free radishes too. I have on the way: globe onions, carrots (still tiny seedlings), mustard greens, snap peas, peppers, and tomatoes. 

One issue for many gardeners right now is where to find seedlings and soil products. I have just discovered that the Garden for the Environment has a new blog and one of their entries is where to get garden supplies. They have information on hours, curbside pickup and delivery for several nurseries and hardware stores. It was posted on March 25th.

There are other useful topics to explore on this blog. 

Hope your garden is going well and that you are staying safe!

I am no longer associated with

I am writing this post to tell readers of my blog that I am no longer associated with In the past, if you clicked on the link to my books (shown in the right hand column), and purchased them or any other products from, I received a small "advertising fee." No more. There is a new California State Law that will require them to charge sales tax, and their response was to drop all California affiliates.

The links to probably still work fine, but I will not receive any fees if you purchase from them. I have been in the process of changing the links to, a web store created by an association of independent bookstores. I will try to finish that job ASAP. In the meantime, I suggest that if you want to purchase my books online, you do so by going to the website of

Following are excerpts from the two messages I received today from

Excerpts from he first letter:


For well over a decade, the Amazon Associates Program has worked with thousands of California residents. Unfortunately, a potential new law that may be signed by Governor Brown compels us to terminate this program for California-based participants. It specifically imposes the collection of taxes from consumers on sales by online retailers - including but not limited to those referred by California-based marketing affiliates like you - even if those retailers have no physical presence in the state.

As a result, we will terminate contracts with all California residents that are participants in the Amazon Associates Program as of the date (if any) that the California law becomes effective. We will send a follow-up notice to you confirming the termination date if the California law is enacted."

Then tonight, a message arrived that began thus:

"Unfortunately, Governor Brown has signed into law the bill that we emailed you about earlier today. As a result of this, contracts with all California residents participating in the Amazon Associates Program are terminated effective today, June 29, 2011."


Chronicle Changing Home and Garden Section Days

Did anyone notice that the SF Chronicle, aka, is about to change its home and garden coverage around? They say a newly remodeled section is to appear on Sundays, starting February 1, and that another new section with "home and garden content" will premiere on Wednesday, February 4. My column will be in the Sunday section. (If you are a reader of the column, this might be a good time to log onto, click on "living" and then on the notice about the new sections and send a comment to let them know you appreciate it.)

Behind the Scenes

Haven't written in this blog so much recently, but much is happening behind the scenes. I am working on a web site, which will link to this blog. I am also shooting digital images, soon to appear here.

I have also begun to teach one of my 3 6-week vegetable and herb gardening classes at City College of San Francisco, and plan to put some links in this blog to sites that offer information on subjects I teach in the class. These include obtaining seeds, seed starting, and saving seeds. Look for these to start appearing in the next week.

I continue to write a weekly Q&A column for the Wednesday Home Section of the SF Chronicle. I also wrote an article on our weedy but edible wild onion which appeared on January 20th in the Chronicle. You can read the column and the wild onion article at

Since I wrote about Allium triquetrum, the Chronicle received 3 letters scolding them for running it, since the plant is a weed. In fact I said it's a weed, and gave a lot of tips for keeping it from spreading or for getting rid of it. I have been able to keep it in a small corner of my garden using these methods, plus I grow some in a planter box. Weed or no, it sure is good to have it growing in my shady garden in the winter. In Golden Gate Gardening, several recipes specify green onion, or wild onion, or garlic chives (Alliium tuberosum), whichever you have at the time.

If you just got my blog address at one of several talks I gave recently, scroll down a bit and see some older entries, and expect a return to more regular ones now.