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Tasty garden cocktails

Happy hour recipes from an Oakland front yard

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Grow Your Own: Lessons from the Leahys
Photo by Frederic Vasseur/Corbis

Grow Your Own: Lessons from the Leahys

Gear up: Very handy: a professional masticating juicer (pulps the produce before squeezing out all the juice) and a stand-alone freezer.

Experiment: Mix flavors you love and see what works. Sure, some combinations will be awful, but, says Lucy, “Mistakes are all part of the fun.”

And sometimes they’re the solution: For instance, Karl’s rosemary beer was a failure as a drink but a wild success with (and killer of) the garden’s snail population.

Freeze the juice: Because so much ripens all at once, it’s best to juice your fruits and veggies in large batches by type. Freeze the juice in small containers, though, so you can defrost a bit at a time. “Right now we can mix cocktails from last year’s fruit juice,” Karl says. “It’s a great way to extend the season.”

Reuse, reuse, reuse: Lucy takes the dried, grated fruit pulp left over from juicing and adds it to carrot cake, zucchini bread, and apple strudel.

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