The Mint Family

The forty species of mint is just one branch of the vast labiataefamily with its 2000 members. Fortunately just a handful of mints aremore than adequate for most culinary purposes. The most valuable is spearmint, Mentha spicata, with smooth,  pointedleaves. Some cooks reckon the best mint sauce is made with a mixture ofspearmint and the…

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Growing Trees for Free

While he was helping to dig out the well-rotted mixture in one of my compost bins, my grandson spotted dozens of acorns on the ground. My evergreen oak trees, Quercus ilex, that grow wild here in my hillside garden had shed their fruit weeks earlier. Matthew soon filled his pockets to take acorns home to…

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