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Rick Gush, Writer URBAN FARM Magazine
Rick Gush

Rick Gush specializes in plant crops and started writing for UrbanFarmOnline.com not long after it began. His biography includes a lifetime of fascination with all things botanical. From the age of four, Rick grew his own sections of the family vegetable garden every year. As a child, he tagged along as his mother landscaped their new home in California, where he spent a lot of time exploring and helping out at the local nurseries they patronized. When he was a freshman in high school, Rick started working professionally at a wholesale azalea grower and, in 1965, he designed and installed a rhododendron and azalea garden for an elegant old home in the country club, which resulted in his getting a few other garden design and installation jobs during his last two years in high school. Rick the geezer still has the Wilkinson Sword pruning shears he carried around as a landscaper and nurseryman in his teens.

Rick also started working in retail nurseries during high school and took the work very seriously; he read copiously and devoured every garden magazine and book he could get his hands on. This kicked off his new favorite pastime: going to the library to spend several days reading every book in the farming and gardening section. Rick attended the University of California at Davis, where he studied biological science, but he was not a particularly cooperative student and far preferred to spend his time sitting among a stack of library books. He frequently took advantage of the university bus system to travel to other campuses and read in their libraries as well. Since he currently lives in Italy and speaks passable Italian, Rick now has the great pleasure of being able to visit some very old libraries and read farming and gardening books that were published before Columbus discovered the New World.

Rick’s extended university years included a great deal of agricultural work up and down northern California’s Central Valley, where he harvested tomatoes, rice, soybeans and almonds; pruned almonds, walnuts and peaches, and transplanted mature olives. After college, Rick worked again in the nursery industry and sold fruit trees into the California, Oregon and Washington markets for many years before moving to Las Vegas and representing a variety of California and Arizona nursery growers.

In addition to writing frequently about farming and gardening, Rick has also written and sold three musical comedies to theaters in California over the years and acquired some note as a computer-game designer. These days, Rick lives on the sunny coast of northern Italy, writes mostly about the European agricultural industry, and is quite happy working in his own garden and growing produce for his Italian family.

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. Sweet, Sweet Fennel
I never ate Florence Fennel, also known as Sweet Fennel or finocchio in the Mediterranean, before I moved to Italy, but now, it's one of my favorite vegetables.

. Beet Greens
Here in Italy, I grow more chard than ever, but the harvest procedure is the reverse, and the foliage is now the most desirable part, and even some of the thicker stems are discarded in favor of preparing a plate of solid green foliage.

. Growing Persimmons
The easiest way I know to grow a persimmon tree is to let other people grow them, and then go around and harvest the fruit later, when nobody else seems to want it.

. Beet Greens
Here in Italy, I grow more chard than ever, but the harvest procedure is the reverse, and the foliage is now the most desirable part, and even some of the thicker stems are discarded in favor of preparing a plate of solid green foliage.

. Growing Spinach
Growing good spinach is a bit like growing lettuce: A nice, fast growth period, when the weather is just right, is what produces the best crops.

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