Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Fresh herbs harvested from your own garden can be used to make flavored vinegars. It's a great way to use many of the tasty herbs you'll be gathering this spring. Herb vinegars make beautiful gifts. Here's one of my favorite recipes.
1 quart white or rice wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic
1 sprig tarragon, rosemary, basil, oregano, or sage--or any combination of your favorite herbs
Fill a clean glass decorative bottle with the vinegar. Add the garlic cloves and herb sprig. Close the lid or stopper tightly. Store in a dark, cool place for several weeks for flavor to fully develop.
Sudden Oak Death Spreads
Sudden Oak death, the fungus disease that is rapidly killing native oaks in Northern California, has spread to Santa Clara County. Formerly detected only in Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Sonoma counties, the disease caused by the Phytophthora fungus has emerged in tan oaks near the Santa Cruz County border. The latest outbreak was found in the mountainous region of Santa Clara County near Skyline Boulevard and Black Mountain Road, an area favored by hikers. State legislators are currently searching for $10 million to research and combat the disease.