21615 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, CA 95014

Jen Oh

Gardening

Saving Strawberries

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This week, we went organic strawberry pickings for the first time in 2 years. Though we ate strawberries from time to time, we never made all the yummy extras that we always had in the past. To understand why, read my post about not so organic strawberries. My kids are ecstatic that we’re strawberry picking again…and they picked 12lbs!

All the way home, they discussed all the yummy treats we’d make. Besides making jam, I needed a way to save strawberries to continue enjoying them, even when strawberry season is over. If you find yourself with extra strawberries, consider trying this as an easy ways to save and enjoy strawberries.

Print Recipe
Strawberry Chips
Dehydrating strawberries is easy, simple, and the taste is incredible! The strawberry flavor is intensified and it's like candy. Add them to granola, trail mix,

The Not So Organic Strawberry

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For years, my family loved to go and pick organic strawberries each summer. We’d pick enough strawberries to make jam, fruit gummies, and fruit leather, plus have tons to eat. That all stopped in 2014 (when this picture was taken), after I learned that organic strawberries weren’t so organic. For the last 2 years, we haven’t eaten nearly as many strawberries as before and, every time we ate them, I wondered just how bad they really were.

Elderberries – nature’s cold medicine

For years when people complain they have colds- I tell them about elderberries. It’s our go to cold remedy and immune booster. I give elderberries to family and friends and make them syrup too. It’s easy to make and it prevents us from getting sick. If we are sick, it helps us improve in half the time as it normally takes. Plus, making elderberry syrup is easy, cheap, and I know exactly what’s in it.

Garden’s Bounty

We cleaned up the garden and this is what we were able to pick this weekend. Yum!

This was our first year with a front yard garden and, as I’ve said before, it was awesome. I have truly loved it. I have been extremely thankful that we got so much out of it, as so many people I know were not as successful, due to the weather.

Coming up Sauerkraut

I started getting into sauerkraut a year ago when I became obsessed with pro biotics. I have tried to eat pro biotic foods for years and have been making yogurt since I realized it was costing me $12 a week for organic whole milk yogurt for my son. But it wasn’t until last year that I really started to look at all of the different foods that are pro biotic.

Summer garden


It seems with the coming of Summer, our garden knew and bloomed! Everyday we’ve been seeing new flowers, veggies, and the signs of things to come. This is a lovely picture of our chamomile and nasturtiums blooming. I have started cutting and drying the chamomile for tea. Imagine how yummy!


This year, I learned more than I ever wanted to know about chamomile. I knew I wanted to grow an edible flower in my garden and chose chamomile because of all it’s medicinal purposes. There are 2 types of chamomile: English and German. The English (or common) Chamomile is a low growing, ground covering. The German (or wild) Chamomile is more of a floral bush. We are growing the German chamomile.

Got Termites?

I am writing this post because I’m the next door neighbor of someone who apparently has (or in our case, had) termites. We have a new neighbor. He hasn’t moved in yet and we only met him for 5 minutes the other day. I only wish that in those 5 minutes of talking to him (while he told us how much he loved the house and neighborhood), he would have mentioned that the next day we’d walk outside to see his house tented with warning signs informing us that a poisonous gas was in use.

For those that know me well, they know that I have been posting like crazy everywhere to obtain as much information as I can regarding the chemicals used in fumigating for termites. I decided I’d post what I discovered regarding termite extermination in CA.

Garden: Beginning of June

Our garden has been one of the best things we have done as a family. Who would have thought ripping out an ugly old lawn and replacing it with wonderful veggies and fruit could transform us so much?

Every evening – even if its only a few minutes – we take the time to check out our garden. We water our garden by hand. This gives us the chance to see how our garden is growing. I pull the few weeds that have made their way into the beds, see if I can spot any new veggies, and just enjoy. It has been a great way to unwind and relax. This month has been incredibly hectic: 2 birthdays, family visiting, a huge work event all within the span of 2 weeks! The garden has been our oasis and I absolutely love it.

Coming up strawberries

As we pulled out all of the roses to put in fruits and veggies, I thought it would be appropriate to kick start my garden posts with pics of what’s to come.

So far, my son has been able to have one strawberry from the garden this year…but just look how many more are on their way. He can hardly wait…but nature doesn’t take shortcuts and our garden is teaching us more than what was anticipated. I had imagined my kids learning about seeds, plants, growing cycles, etc…but patience…ah yes, the one thing that is elusive to a 4 year old…and yet, he is learning. Everyday, we come home and do a lap around the plants (mostly to play in the rocks, but hey – it’s a start)…and he asks, “are they ready yet?” Not yet, but when they are – they will be the yummiest strawberries he’s ever had…

Food Not Lawns

This year, we decided to get rid of our ugly front lawn. This was partly a response to the fact that we hate to mow. For the common homeowner – lawns often waste fuel for power mowers and toxic emissions, fertilizers and pesticides, water consumption and your weekend time!  We may have used a push mower and are pesticide free, but the wasted water and time made me just hate our front yard. So out with the lawn and in with the veggies!

We are following the square foot garden method (which for newbies like us is working awesome!) Essentially, it is a raised bed concept, where you mark off every square foot. This enables you to separate different plants easily and plant more per square foot. I got the book for Christmas and it is very easy to understand, has great pictures, and is very step by step (both with quick guides and in depth explanations).

We put in 4 raised beds. 3 of them are 4′ wide x 8′ long by 6″ tall and 1 of them is 4′ wide x 8′ long by 8″ tall (for root veggies). Though it is much more expensive, we used redwood …