Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
so i tent to stick to fresh veggies that i enjoy eating - tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and basil in the summer, beets, carrrots, peas, green onions and cilantro/parsley in the winter. most of the mediterranean herbs (oregano, thyme, tarragon, lavendar, rosemary) have gone native, and act more like weeds than crops. i'm playing with the idea of planting potatoes this winter (we have relatively mild winters, only occasional frosts and very rarely snow) just to see how it goes, and to get a leg up on the rest of the suburbanites if kunstler's doomer peak oil scenario ever pans out.

i'm very lucky in that the previous owners of the house i rent planted several fruit trees, so i get to eat lots of citrus, peaches and what are apparently called "pineapple guava."

by wu ming on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 04:44:34 AM EST
very tasty sauteed with olive oil and garlic, and shrugged off a hard freeze (-9 celcius) last year.

beet greens are also quite nice.

by wu ming on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 04:47:34 AM EST
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Or eaten as a salad ...

I planted two boxes outside the back door for winter: rocket, and land (American) cress, which is a great little plant: hardy enough to produce through the winter here, perennial (according to my sources, anyway - maybe it just self-seeds freely, which is effectively the same thing) and happy in part shade. I have some planted under trees as edible ground cover, but the these boxes are to be treated as annuals for winter crops.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 04:58:14 AM EST
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That sounds like a mild climate by even my standards, and Dublin is pretty mild. Citrus just don't work here, and even peaches are borderline - find  a nice warm wall and keep them out of the rain. I have a peach tree I just planted in a container with the intention of bringing it into the greenhouse for spring.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 04:50:19 AM EST
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it does get below freezing here (central valley, northern california) periodically between december and february, but long deep freezes are rare, and snow almost unheard of.

so we get to garden year round without cold frames.

we have more problems with the scorching 40+ degree summers. i lose a batch of tomatoes and bell pappers each summer because they get sunburnt in the heat (some people use shadecloth to prevent that, but i'm too lazy to bother, since the evening breezes would blow them around).

by wu ming on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:05:17 AM EST
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i used to love pineapple guavas in hawaii, they're good!

did you ever have chocolate guavas?

when hiking into kalalau valley on kauai guavas were the most common wild food around, along with fern tips and the occasional mango.

we used to juice them with mosquito netting and make nectar.

you had to watch out for the fruit flies, though.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 10:14:08 AM EST
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