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Urban Gardening: Deer Tongues and Kumquats

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I had one of the best salads in recent memory yesterday. Urban gardening expert Jim Sherman cut a bunch of greens and herbs from one of his demonstration gardens in the Fifth Ward and filled up a plastic shopping bag for me. I took the fresh greens home and tossed them with a simple mustard viniagrette. Wow. I had never even heard of many of the heirloom greens in my salad bowl. Sherman told me that "deer tongue" was Thomas Jefferson's favorite lettuce. Who knew?

The experience made me wish I did more gardening. I have been using the excuse of not having much space in my backyard, but these greens were growing in a surprisingly small bed. The organization called Urban Harvest is currently putting on a series of talks for aspiring urban gardeners. The next one will be about growing fruit in the city, and it will be held on December 16 at the Oberholzer Residence Hall at the University of Houston. But don't worry if you can't make it -- Urban Harvest sponsors lots of workshops all year long.

I may make the fruit lecture because I just planted a Meyer lemon tree in my backyard, and I want to find out how not to kill it. I also want to learn about growing kumquats.

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