Sharing comes more easily in the spring 3-1-13

The garden at GRUB is alive year-round. This time of year the onions are progressing and row-after-row of seedlings have begun in the greenhouse.


Sorry if you missed it, but last weekend was the annual seed swap at the GRUB cooperative.
There’s a lot to be said about having something “new” even if it was already something new to someone else.
To prepare for the event, I rummaged through the wicker picnic basket where I keep my seeds.
A big, sunny room at the GRUB house ( was filled with tables where seeds had been arranged by plant type — flower, herbs, vegetables and seed starts.
I snagged some seeds of California poppy, summer saucer squash and alyssum. But what was the most fun was to watch as people picked up the seed packets I had quietly deposited on the tables.
As I watched, with a secret smile on my face, two gardeners amicably divided a package of echinacea roots I had forgotten to plant last year.
My friend Kara had never visited the GRUB house on Dayton Road. We spent about an hour petting the goats and peeking into the greenhouse. Here they grow the plants for the local farmers markets, as well as for their own lush vegetable garden.

We also bought some farm-fresh eggs from the “honor table,” where you put your money into a box and then are trusted to take only the items for which you paid.
Sharing among gardeners seems to come naturally. Maybe it is because we receive so much from the earth that it only feels right to share. There is also a great feeling to know others will enjoy the gifts for years to come.
My friend Aleecia sent a text for advice on deer-resistant plants for her Magalia home. I told her to prepare to grieve, as deer will nibble at things they have no intention of eating.
Yet, I know irises will survive the onslaught of deer diners. I have too many irises in my yard, and gladly offered to dig some up for her new home.
A friend on Facebook named Robin asked recently if I was interested in some Jerusalem artichokes.
You betcha.
Last week Robin delivered a bag of roots to the front desk at work.
I was bummed Robin did not linger so I could meet her in person, but I’ll think of her when I put the tubers in the ground.
Saturday I saw Jerusalem artichokes for sale at Rob’s Natural Produce at the Chico Farmers Market.
The nice young man at the produce stall said I could put the roots in the ground in April. They’ll grow into rather tall plants with flowers resembling sunflowers. He recommended keeping them trimmed to about eye level.
In the fall the plants will flop over and after they die, I can harvest the roots.
The roots, as sold at the market, can also be eaten. The produce guy said he likes them best in a yellow curry/coconut sauce. To add the Jerusalem artichokes, he grates them into the sauce.
You can find some recipes and growing tips in a little file I put together here:
If you choose to grow them, you can dig them up and share with someone else. If you’re not willing to share, you can point your friend toward Rob’s produce stand.

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