One-Block Feast: Spring Garden Plan

This spring garden guide is complete with tips and adventures from the staff at Sunset Magazine. Read along as they prepare a spring feast from their one-block garden, brew beer, treat broody hens, hand milk their Jersey cow and navigate honeybee swarm season.

The One-Block Feast
“The One-Block Feast” by Margo True and the staff of Sunset Magazine is for readers nationwide who believe that dinner starts with earth, the sea, and a few animals. Take local eating to the next level with this cooking and gardening guide, complete with DIY food projects.
Cover Courtesy Ten Speed Press
Spring Garden Plans
Sunset Magazine's spring garden plan includes the following: 1. tea, 2. nasturtiums.
Illustration Courtesy Ten Speed Press
Spring Garden Plan
Check out Sunset Magazine's spring garden plan and how their efforts to eat only what they grow takes local eating to the next level.
Illustration Courtesy Ten Speed Press
Honeybee Swarm Season
Around the beginning of the month, our bees began pouring from the hives. We saw them everywhere, dancing over the flowers and herbs, their golden bodies glinting in the sun.
Photo By Thomas J. Story (c) 2011
Harvesting Tea
We had assumed that growing coffee and tea would be impossible, that the plants needed to be shrouded in tropical mists. But no! Tea could survive our climate, apparently, if coddled.
Photo By Thomas J. Story (c) 2011
Jersey Milking Cows
Our cow lived about one hundred miles to the south, at Claravale Farm, a raw-milk dairy near Pinnacles National Monument.
Photo By Thomas J. Story (c) 2011
We got to milk her by hand, which is much harder than you might think: milk shoots sideways, down your sleeve, or refuses to come out at all.
Photo By Thomas J. Story (c) 2011
Jersey Cow
Ron Garthwaite and his partner, Collette Cassidy, let us pick out a young, good-looking, chocolate brown Jersey, No. 64. We named her Holly, after Hollister, the nearest big town, and arranged to buy her.
Photo By Thomas J. Story (c) 2011
Fava Beans
The favas were ready now, in April (right on schedule for favas), and so were the radishes, but everything else needed a few more weeks of grow time.
Photo By Thomas J. Story (c) 2011
Cow Pasture
It was a beautiful place set in a remote, grassy valley framed by mountains, with chickens clucking in the bushes, a pistachio orchard, several century-old buildings from the town that once stood there, and a milking herd of fifty-five Jersey cows.
Photo By Thomas J. Story (c) 2011
Radish Harvest
Radishes are cool-season crops, meaning they grow best in cooler temperatures. Long periods of hot weather can cause them to turn bitter and to bolt (set seed) before they produce edible parts.
Photo By Thomas J. Story (c) 2011
French tarragon numbed our tongues with a hit of potent licorice, like it was supposed to.
Photo By Thomas J. Story (c) 2011
Bean Harvest
We harvested twenty-five pounds of big, meaty pods from those fava vines in about half an hour and packed them away, along with their entirely edible greens, in the fridge.
Photo By Thomas J. Story (c) 2011
Strawberries are best of all, especially when you pick them when they are most ripe.
Photo By Thomas J. Story (c) 2011
Green Onions
Sometimes called scallions, green onions are either bulbing onions that you harvest young (before the bulbs grow), or bulbless bunching onions.
Photo By Thomas J. Story (c) 2011

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