What’s in my garden.

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 6b (but more accurately in a zone 5ish microclimate)

Sunset Climate Zone 1A

I live in the Central Oregon high desert, where the frost-free growing season miiiiight extend to 50 days, if I’m lucky! (Usually it’s more like 30 to 40 days.)

Most of my plants are started from seed. (I usually save my own seeds or buy from my favorite seed catalogs each year.) I gravitate toward growing unusual plants, sometimes at the expense of flavor—but I can’t resist “ugly” vegetables and odd-looking things with warts, scars, and cracks, what I see as interesting features but others may view as flaws.

I like growing vegetables that come in unconventional colors, especially purple (unless it’s eggplant—purple eggplant is boring 😁 and mine are always white, green, or striped). I love seeking out rare varieties and plants you’ve probably never heard of—and neither did I, until I started growing them.

I follow a few permaculture principles and teach lazy gardening techniques, so I grow lots of low-maintenance edible perennials and strive for a closed-loop, regenerative garden on our 1 1/2 acres of land.

Some of the herbs and fruits below are not hardy to my climate, and that’s because they moved with me from Southern California and are now living happily inside our house or in the greenhouse.

Favorite plant: Purple tomatoes. I’ve grown dozens of varieties, but my all-time favorite (and the first one I ever grew) is Cherokee Purple.

Weirdest plant I’ve grown: Oyster leaf. The leaves of this perennial green tastes like fresh oysters and earthy seawater. (It’s better than it sounds.)

Check back here every season as I continually update this list!

Annual vegetables

  • Arugula (Wasabi)
  • Bok choy (Milk)
  • Bok choy (Purple Lady)
  • Broccoli (Early Purple Sprouting)
  • Cabbage, Chinese (Chirimen Hakusai)
  • Carrot (Kyoto)
  • Carrot (New Kuroda)
  • Chard (Fordhook Giant)
  • Chijimisai
  • Collard (Champion)
  • Corn salad (Verde à Coeur Plein)
  • Garlic (Music)
  • Kale (Scarlet)
  • Kale (Vates)
  • Kohlrabi (Early Purple Vienna)
  • Komatsuna (Old Tokyo)
  • Leek (Giant Musselburg)
  • Lettuce (Cosmic Crimson Mix)
  • Mibuna (Early)
  • Mizuna (Beni Houshi)
  • Mizuna (Early)
  • Spinach (Winter Giant)
  • Tatsoi
  • Turnip (Golden Ball)
  • Turnip (Nagasaki Akari Kabu)

Perennial vegetables

  • Asparagus (Purple Passion)
  • Asparagus (Jersey Giant)
  • Dandelion (Pink)
  • Garlic (Oregon Blue)
  • Jerusalem artichoke (Dwarf Sunray)
  • Kale (Perennial)
  • Onion (Egyptian Walking)
  • Onion (Potato)
  • Oyster leaf
  • Rhubarb
  • Rhubarb (Kangarhu)
  • Salad burnet
  • Sea kale
  • Sorrel (Bloody Dock)
  • Sorrel (Garden)
  • Sorrel (True French)
  • Wild rocket


  • Apple (multi-grafted Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp, McIntosh)
  • Apple (Honeycrisp)
  • Apple (McIntosh)
  • Apple (Pink Pearl)
  • Apple (Queen Cox)
  • Asian pear (multi-grafted 20th Century/Nijisseiki, Chojuro, Hosui, Shinseiki)
  • Asian pear (20th Century/Nijisseiki)
  • Asian pear (Shinseiki)
  • Avocado (Fantastic)
  • Avocado (Poncho)
  • Banana (Apple)
  • Blueberry
  • Cherry (Lapins)
  • Cherry (Rainier)
  • Hardy kiwi
  • Honeyberry
  • Lime (Bearss)
  • Lime (Kaffir)
  • Marionberry
  • Nectarine (Harko)
  • Orange (Moro Blood)
  • Peach (Contender)
  • Peach (Polly)
  • Peach (Vivid)
  • Pear (multi-grafted Bartlett, Comice, Red Barlett)
  • Pear (Summercrisp)
  • Plum (Burgundy)
  • Pluot (Dapple Dandy)
  • Pluot (Splash)
  • Raspberry (Killarney)
  • Raspberry (Nova)
  • Raspberry (Jewel)
  • Shipova (Dwarf Baby)
  • Strawberry, Everbearing (Albion)
  • Strawberry, Everbearing (Quinalt)
  • Strawberry, Everbearing (San Andrea)
  • Strawberry, Everbearing (Seascape)
  • Strawberry, Everbearing (Snowy Sweet)
  • Strawberry, Everbearing (Tristar)
  • Strawberry, Junebearing (Allstar)
  • Strawberry, Junebearing (Earliglow)
  • Strawberry, Junebearing (Galleta)
  • Strawberry, Junebearing (Jewel)
  • Strawberry, Junebearing (Keepsake)