The Summer is Winding Down…

The past two weekends have seen the changing of the guard in the garden. With the early spring, the tomatoes are almost done, the summer leeks are gorgeous, and about half of the shelling beans are ready.


This year I tried several new cultivars, most from Territorial Seed Company in Oregon. Most were a big disappointment. One that was not was the Fraise du Bois, or wild strawberries, or alpine strawberries, etc. They were very slow to get established, but now they are on fire!


I also tried two shelling beans that were advertized as bush-type. They were not. They just grew tall then flopped over. They yield was very low, but the beans are cute. Below are Tiger’s Eye and Yin Yang. I will look for pole varieties for next year.


Another cultivar that I liked was the Scarlet Runner Beans. They have very pretty bright red flowers, and exotic-looking purple seeds.


The Charantais melons are still coming along. It hasn’t been too hot this year, so I’ve only picked a couple, but they are amazingly fragrant.


Finally, I went for the interesting-sounding Lime Green zinnias. They are remarkably unexciting in the garden, although they do look kind of cool in a vase.


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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.