Black Kale

Kale’s dark-green leaves are nutrition-dense and easy-to-grow, even out here in Italy.


Photo by Rick Gush This type of chicory, Tardivo raddichio, can be “forced” for a slightly different flavor. Today’s subject is the red chicory known as radicchio. It is also sometimes known as Italian chicory. Belgium, France, Holland and Germany are major players in the chicory-forcing world (forcing is removing mature roots to a warm, […]

How to Grow Celeriac

Though difficult to grow and unsightly in appearance, celeriac tastes delicious and pairs nicely with potatoes.


Photo by Rick Gush This chicory plant, the puntarelle, grows all over in more temperate areas. This week will start a series of blogs on the many varieties of edible chicory. Currently grown more in Europe than the United States, chicories are opportunity plants for small farmers in Italy. This is because it’s inevitable that […]

River Bamboo

Photo by Rick Gush Arundo, also known as river bamboo, is abundant in Italy. I know this plant is a pestiferous weed that really has caused some serious trouble by out-competing native riparian ecologies, but I still think of it as a crop plant that I look after in connection with my garden. River bamboo, […]


Photo by Rick Gush   The pomegranate (Punica granatum) tree growing in our garden is the only one of our fruit trees that I grew myself. That’s because rooting pomegranate cuttings is just so easy. Six years ago, I took some cuttings in the fall from a pomegranate growing in a neighbor’s yard and stuck […]

Sweet, Sweet Fennel

Photo by Rick Gush Finnochio, or fennel, is now one of my favorite vegetables. I never ate Florence Fennel, also known as Sweet Fennel or finocchio in the Mediterranean, before I moved to Italy, but now, it’s one of my favorite vegetables. I know the herb fennel from the wild stuff that grows all over […]


Eating Bugs

Bugs, it’s what’s for dinner.