Hi there and welcome! My name is Stephen Albert. By way of a quick introduction, I live and garden in the Sonoma Valley of California. The USDA growing zone here is 8B-9A. I have also gardened over the years in zones 5A (Iowa), 6A (Massachusetts), and 10 (South Florida). For nearly 25 years I taught in the landscape design program at the University of California where I had the pleasure of introducing countless students to gardening. I was also for many years a University of California Master Gardener and a California Certified Nurseryperson.

Today, I am mostly retired and write Harvest to Table in my utility room with one door leading into the kitchen and the other out into my vegetable and flower garden. (The coat and boot rack sit right behind my chair and my two cats Sister and George are either sleeping on the utility counter next to me or are in the kitchen demanding to be fed).

Everything you’ll find here at Harvest to Table I’ve grown in my garden and cooked in my kitchen. Over the years, my gardens have ranged in size from nearly a half-acre to half a dozen raised beds, to grow bags on an 11th-floor balcony. Today I grow all I can eat and give away in four medium-sized raised beds.

Gardening to Harvest
My garden year starts in January with garden planning and the arrival of seed catalogs. It ends in December when I’m still tending and harvesting winter vegetables and growing cover crops to enrich the soil. I grow as much of my own food as I can. What I don’t prepare and preserve I give away to neighbors and friends or donate to a local food bank for the hungry.

Harvest to Table is for beginner and veteran gardeners alike. The goal here is to find easy solutions to common garden problems. I’ve found that no matter where I have gardened to get the best results what’s been important are the fundamentals. To bring great food from your garden to your table, stick to the fundamentals. The fundamentals are what you will find in every post, article, and guide here at Harvest to Table.

To find your way around this site, start in the Topics Index. You’ll see there are hundreds of topics to read about and share with friends.

If you want to stay up late reading about vegetable gardening check out my books on Amazon: the Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide, the Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, the Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and the Vegetable Garden Growers’ Guide. You may also want to take my self-paced online class: The Vegetable Garden Growers’ Masterclass.

Harvest to Table is about sharing! I hope you enjoy your visit here.

Here I am with Boo, one of my all-time favorite garden companions!
Here I am with Boo, one of my all-time favorite garden companions!


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  1. Congratulations! !!this is what I was searching for around where I live, but a hardly people care about what to grow on gardens, I am basic knowledge about gardening but I really will lie to do as I have a big area not using in my yard, weather here is hot since I am in dubai but I can cover the area and be careful in summer months, plz help me to be one like u

  2. Just found your site. I expect you will be my first “go to” for help and info. I am constantly learning. Love gardening and last year my motto became “If we can’t eat it, I don’t want to water it.”

  3. Do you know the name of a very large bean that is shaped like a Lima bean, but not tan in color like a Lima bean. I thought I found it when I discovered Christmas Beans. But after cooking, they turn beige, and bean I’m looking for stays spotty and colorful. I have seen these beans in Cowboy Bean In deli’s. But no one knows their name. I’ve also seen them in the huge jars of mixed beans available in some grocery stores. However on the jar label it just says ‘contains assorted beans’. Thank you!

    • Thanks for reading Harvest to Table. I don’t think there is such as thing as a black thumb in the garden. It’s all a matter or experience. Pick a favorite vegetable, herb or flower and grow it one season–you will soon be an expert on that plant. Then keep growing!

  4. I just found your site, it’s just what I need as a beginning gardener! We have deer, gopher, and squirrel issues here so I am starting in containers on the deck. Over this year plan to build raised, off the ground beds that will be fenced. Thank you for all you do!

  5. Hi Steve, thank you very much for this highly informative website and your honesty in gathering it’s contents. You both (website included) are ever touching and changing our lives in a unique way. Thank you again and again.

    • Thank you for your kind words. There is a Chinese proverb that says “The person who plants a garden, plants happiness.” Happy Gardening!

  6. I have a kiwi question. Do female plants grow shoots from the roots? I have a family member that planted some a few years ago and are doing well. We have dug up sprouts from the roots but they so far have all turned out to be male plants. I have one that has not flowered yet. If you tell me that only makes sprout from the roots. I will get a couple of cuttings from the female vines to root.

    • Kiwis are commonly propagated vegetatively which simply means you take a cutting from a plant and root it in a rooting mix or soil.
      The quickest way to propagate new female plants is to take cuttings from female mother plants and root them.
      To determine if a kiwi is male or female, look at the middle of the flower. If the anthers are covered with yellow pollen, it’s male.
      If you see white stigmas at the center of the flower, and yellow anthers on the edges, it is female.
      Once you have identified and tagged the plants, you can then look for shoots. And you can remove them and plant them to start a new plant.
      Shoots may grow from either male or female plants, but rooting cuttings is a quicker way to get a new plant started.

  7. Steve, I was browsing the internet to get some instructions on secession planting and discovered this website. I am developing a love for gardening but I don’t want to be a slave to it. Your posts will help me to have pleasure without a sense of overwhelm. Thank you and I will be following you.

  8. I have recently discovered your website and will use some of your wisdom in our newsletter. Five years ago we began Grateful Gardens in a weed-infested plot behind our church building. The intent has been to provide garden boxes for a nominal rent to the community near Meridian Ave. in San Jose. Our key purpose is to provide a place for community as well as plant growing. We currently have 24 8×4 ft. boxes and 1 raised box, a kitchen/herb garden, 4 chickens, 4 beehives and a large labyrinth for meditation. The community has responded well, and we are now building an additional 11 ground and 3 raised boxes.
    Thank you to Harvest to Table for helping us provide our gardeners with up to date growing information. We will certain credit your website in our newsletter each month, GratefulGardensSJ.org

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