Kitchen Garden Update – An odd winter in the Valley

After low 20’s destroyed my citrus trees in December,


I now have to contend with this strange spate of 70’s in January. The grape hyacinth and asparagus are beguiled into beginning their springtime rituals, and they may not make it through the next freeze.



But, for the most part, the worst thing I have to contend with is my cabbages believing that it’s time to start blooming rather than growing into nice, tight heads.


The leeks, garlic, and lacinato kale are all very happy to have the unusual heat.




Meanwhile, in the greenhouse, the early spring plants are almost ready to go into 3″ pots,

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and the next round of beets just went into the ground today.


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David Gingrass is a food and beverage operations professional with a career spanning more than three decades. His fascination with and love for food, wine and entertaining allows him to view his work as both a vocation and an avocation. Gingrass graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York then cooked in the Bay Area for two years before landing a job at Wolfgang Puck’s original Spago Restaurant in West Hollywood. There he learned to make the signature breads and sausages that he became known for at Postrio and Hawthorne Lane. He was soon promoted to kitchen manager and managed the operational and expense control aspects of Puck’s iconic restaurant for the next four years. Gingrass returned to San Francisco in 1989 when Puck tapped him and his then-wife Anne to open Postrio, Puck’s third restaurant and his first outside of Los Angeles. Postrio opened to rave reviews and soon became the #1 popular Bay Area restaurant in the prestigious Zagat survey. Five and a half years later, the opportunity to open a restaurant of his own presented itself. Hawthorne Lane opened in 1995 and was a San Francisco dining institution for over twelve years, catering to the likes of Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Mayor Willie Brown, James Carville, President Clinton and First Lady Hilary Clinton. He closed Hawthorne Lane at the end of its fifteen-year lease in 2009 to build a consulting practice for the hospitality industry, sharing his wealth of culinary and operational experiences with new and existing restaurants, assisting them to become successful and profitable.