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Farmer Fred Hoffman podcast features Taste Fall! e-cookbook

Conversation with Kathy Morrison delves into persimmons, baked goods and season-bridging salads

The gorgeous colors of fall fruit: pears, apples, persimmons (those are Fuyus) and a pomegranate. We have recipes for all of these in Taste Fall!

The gorgeous colors of fall fruit: pears, apples, persimmons (those are Fuyus) and a pomegranate. We have recipes for all of these in Taste Fall!

Kathy Morrison

Fred Hoffman always is a favorite visitor to the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center on Open Garden Days. A lifetime master gardener himself, he'll often flag down one of the Sacramento master gardeners to discuss a seasonal topic, such as worm composting or cover crops or fruit tree pruning, for his podcast "Garden Basics with Farmer Fred."

He and I had a fun conversation at the year's final Open Garden, on Oct. 11, about the latest Sacramento Digs Gardening online cookbook, Taste Fall! Everyone else can listen in Friday, Oct. 27, when an edited version goes live on the podcast home page.

Hachiya persimmons
They'll be orange when fully ripe.

We discuss recipes for all those fall fruits shown in the photo above, as well as Hachiya persimmons. (The photo at right shows some of the still-ripening Hachiyas at the Horticulture Center.) The cookbook also includes recipes incorporating vegetables such as winter squash, pumpkins and Brussels sprouts.

And what about that big salad that's the featured photo in the cookbook? That's our Provence-inspired dinner salad, which we loaded up with everything fresh we could find in a south-of-France farmers market a year ago. Since Sacramento has a similar Mediterranean climate, it's an easy recipe to recreate (or adapt to personal taste) from produce at our local farmers markets. It truly celebrates our long growing season and the range of fresh food available nearby.

Check out Fred's earlier podcasts, too. The Oct. 20 episode with Don Shor of Davis' Redwood Nursery, in which they wrap up the 2023 tomato-growing season, is a must for vegetable gardeners.

Look for Sacramento Digs Gardening's Taste Winter! cookbook in late December or early January, after the holiday rush.

In the meantime, check out some cool ways to preserve fall produce, courtesy of the UCCE master food preservers. This link goes to a 26-page pdf that was part of a recent presentation by the Sacramento County master food preservers, "The 4 P's of Fall." (That is, pears, pomegranates, persimmons and pumpkin. Pesto is a bonus.) Many of the recipes involve drying or freezer-preserving, so you don't need a canning kettle or other gear. Good stuff!


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Taste Fall! E-cookbook

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Nov. 26:

Concentrate on helping your garden stay comfortable during these frosty nights – and clean up all those leaves!

* Irrigate frost-tender plants such as citrus in the late afternoon. That extra soil moisture increases temperatures around the plant a few degrees, just enough to prevent frost damage. The exception are succulents; too much water before frost can cause them to freeze.

* Cover sensitive plants before the sun goes down. Use cloth sheets or frost cloths, not plastic sheeting, to hold in warmth. Make sure to remove covers in the morning.

* Use fall leaves as mulch around shrubs and vegetables. Mulch acts as a blanket and keeps roots warmer.

* Stop dead-heading; let rose hips form on bushes to prompt dormancy.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location – and definitely indoors overnight. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they’ll bloom again next December.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Plant spring bulbs. Don’t forget the tulips chilling in the refrigerator. Daffodils can be planted without pre-chilling.

* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers and plant such spring bloomers as sweet peas, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.

* Plant trees and shrubs. They’ll benefit from fall and winter rains while establishing their roots.

* Set out cool-weather annuals such as pansies and snapdragons.

* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Bare-root season begins now. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb.

Taste Spring! E-cookbook


Find our spring recipes here!

Taste Summer! E-cookbook


Find our summer recipes here!