After months of traveling, visiting, and lingering, we've ended up in Oakland, California. Upon opening my long dormant check book and seeing the last rent check written, I realized the last time I had a home in America was five years ago almost to the day.
It seemed appropriate to do my first post in Oakland, all about Oakland. Maybe a trip to East Oakland for some taco truck action. Or maybe track down the beloved roving tamale vendor who is taunting me. Or maybe hit some of the famous dining spots that reflect the diverse community of people. But: it seemed that adventure was right out our back door. The building we are living in has a garden, and not just any garden. For reasons that are only beginning to make sense, it's full of food for anyone, and not a lot of people are eating.
After being in the building for less than an hour, a chat with our gardener lead to an introduction:
"What's that?" I asked. S picked one of the more mature looking pods to reveal a ground cherry.
Now this was exciting: a new fruit in my own backyard. Ground Cherries are a member of the nightshade family and are mildly reminiscent of cherry tomatoes, although a bit acidic. After one bite I knew we would be having salad as soon as possible.
More digging around provided us with more discovery.
Here's New Zealand Spinach. It's kind of like the spinach that many of us eat but with somewhat thicker leaves and an earthier flavor.
We also dug a few potatoes, picked plain old spinach, borige and nasturtium flowers, yellow beans, and one lonely artichoke.
Not too shabby.
Ground cherries littered the ground, so I did my best to clean them up.
Dinner was fresh and colorful. We look forward to spending a lot of time in the garden in the near future.