Chris Maston’s pizza

Chris Maston

Chris Maston gardens in Rescue, CA, which is in the Sierra Nevada foothills at about 1,300 feet.

The garden harvest often suggests what’s for dinner. While taking stock of what was ready to pick in her garden, Chris Maston of Rescue, CA, decided to create this pizza.

She presented it as a gift to a family that had been grieving the loss of a loved one. “I felt so bad for the family and offered to bring dinner,” Chris says. “I decided on this pizza because it was something fun, and would be tasty as well. They had been living with grief for a month and I just wanted to bring some happiness to them. They loved my pizza! I can’t tell you myself how it tasted because I gave it to the family, but based on the faces of the kids, it ‘tasted’ like joy.”

Chris retired in 2012, and is looking forward to spending more time in her expansive gardens. “My retirement gift to myself was a greenhouse,” built by a local contractor. The greenhouse has running water, electricity, two large planting tables and a shelf for potted plants.

October harvest of squash and pumpkins

Harvest in October: “What a yummy harvest of white and orange pumpkins, acorn squash, banana squash, butternut squash, zucchini and tomatoes. The pumpkins and winter squashes will last me through the winter as vegetables and in warm stews and soups.”

It’s likely that the greenhouse will be the starting point for much of her expanding garden. “My property is a third of an acre with most of it in the backyard. I have some older raised beds and some wonderful elevated raised beds, so I can garden standing up,” Chris says.

“The summer crops include tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, corn, zucchini, crookneck squash, artichokes, asparagus, cucumbers, bell peppers, pumpkins, acorn squash, banana squash, green beans and butternut squash. I also have garlic, rosemary, basil, marjoram, thyme, oregano and three types of mint.

“For my winter garden, which can overlap into spring, I have broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, carrots and Swiss chard.”

Fruit is part of the garden, too, including apples and berries. “All of my berries grow in containers.
I use half wine barrels to grow my blueberries and raspberries and some strawberries. The rest of the strawberries grow in hanging baskets.”