Rick Gush
Beet Greens

Photo by Rick Gush The greens of Swiss chard. Back when I grew Swiss chard in my gardens in the United States, I always wanted the tall plants with the thick, white stems. When cooking, it was common to focus on the stems and even to throw out some of the green leaf in favor […]


Photo by Rick Gush Spinach is as easy to grow as lettuce, even here in Italy. Growing good spinach is a bit like growing lettuce: A nice, fast growth period, when the weather is just right, is what produces the best crops. There’s no hope for plantings that have started to go to seed; this […]


Photo by Rick Gush Lettuce is much easier to grow than you think. I frequently hear from readers that their lettuce is too bitter, or that it is growing too tall, or that they have trouble getting iceberg lettuce to make big heads. It’s not surprising that people often ask about lettuce, since it is […]

Miniature Avocados

Photo by Rick Gush When I was a nurseryman in California, customers would often ask about growing miniature avocado trees in their small gardens. Back then, we’d advise gardeners how to maintain a rigorous pruning regimen that would keep an avocado at 8 feet tall. These days, there are a lot of dwarf avocado trees […]

Garden Scissors

Photo by Rick Gush I can’t live without my garden scissors! Usually when I wax poetic about by my garden tools, I’m talking about sturdy, blacksmith-made shovels, picks and trowels that I can get here in Italy. Today, however, I’m going to laud one of my seldom-mentioned but often-used garden tools: my scissors. Many other […]

Beefy Broccoli

How we grow strong, abundant broccoli during the winter in Italy.

Get Out of the Way

All too often, farmers’ and gardeners’ hubris actually cause their gardens harm.