Comice Pear Harvest

our own freshly harvested Comice pears (Pyrus communis) After pressing the majority of our Bartlett pears into cider, some of which we combined with the juice of ripe Roma apples, we made a point of reserving our delicious Comice pears for eating raw. The large pear has the juiciest, creamiest fruit, and its flavors combine […]

The Week in Bloom

After more than three years on the land we’re getting a better feel for the rhythm of the garden and the fruit trees and have successfully stocked the larder with treats for the rainy season to come. Working with friends and neighbors, we’ve harvested and pressed all of our Gravensteins, which yielded about 20 gallons […]

In the Studio with Donald Fortescue

Donald Fortescue with one of two identical parts of his latest sculpture, ‘Nio’. Donald Fortescue was preparing to join the last of the coopered sections of his latest sculpture yesterday afternoon when I dropped by his home-based studio in West Oakland for a chat. I arrived just in time to help him and his talented […]

The Week in Bloom

Native to the state, the California Buckeye (Aesculus californica) grows prolifically along seasonal streams and south-facing hillsides, and was often planted as an ornamental next to barns and schoolhouses of West Sonoma County. The tree has been in bloom for longer than expected this year with the cooler weather, and its sweet smelling blossoms are […]

Oakland Installation Dispatch

Despite ongoing gentrification, the warehouse district surrounding Oakland’s Jack London Square remains a muscular commercial hub. Nestled between a major highway and the bustling Port of Oakland, the waterfront district is a town within a town, an island of urban opportunity appealing to anyone who values the authentic remnants of a working city- barges and […]


the marinated fish is ready to add to the boiling broth Bouillabaisse is a fish stew whose origins date to the ancient sea routes of the Mediterranean. Though strongly associated with coastal Provence, the stew has roots in Greece and Italy, where for centuries fish has been cooked in rapidly boiling  broth combining strong wine, […]

Shopmade Tamales

I love having a kitchen in my woodshop, especially during the rainy season when I often have something bubbling away on the stove while I make things in the shop. As I was making my prototype Windsor Longboard over the weekend, I prepared tamales for about twenty people coming over for our monthly ‘dinner club’. […]