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Summering with Bob Puccini

It’s summer in San Francisco, and Mark Twain couldn’t have described it any better: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer’s day in San Francisco.” While many outside of San Francisco think summer means June through August, we in San Francisco experience some of our coldest days during these months.

To beat the cold, I’ll be migrating north, to my home in Sonoma, California. Here is how I’ll be celebrating this summer:

Bees

I’ve had my bees for three years now, so this is the summer I plan to make some honey. My hope is for a pound or two of honey this year, and I’m hoping that will last me through the year.

As some of you may have heard, there is a problem with bee populations dying out. Some blame it on man and pesticides; others think it is natural selection. My view is if someone or something depends on me, I do what I need to do to keep them alive. That is my philosophy in tending to my bees, and I hope this results in longevity for my hive.

Greening and gardening

One hobby that keeps me happy and healthy is maintaining and expanding my garden. Not only does the end product lend a nice aesthetic, the act of working outside can be quite therapeutic and invigorating, too. Not to mention making food from scratch from your garden is really fun! I am pickling gherkins at the moment, but once my eggplants come in, I plan on making my own baba ghanoush.

This year, I’ve installed additional solar paneling to help lighten my energy use. There is a very cool energy plan in Sonoma County to finance solar energy through property taxes, which has allowed me to reduce my electric bill substantially. I’ve also converted to electric water heating, which has lowered my gas bill, too.

My primary planting goal is to clear out some space for four or five heritage avocado trees. They will be near my tomato, pepper and cilantro (I’m guessing you can see what I am planning to do with them). I grew up in San Diego with lots of avocado fruit, and I’ve never gotten over the pleasure of eating them in salads, dips or in ceviche. Speaking of cool foods, I may consider fixing up some cold gazpacho with homegrown heirloom tomatoes, or, perhaps, a classic pomodoro sauce (which, by the way, freezes quite nicely).

Summer Puccini party

Here at Puccini Group, we mark a successful first half of the year by throwing a party for the entire company at my house in Sonoma. On the agenda this year will be a pig roast, among other indulgences. There will also be plenty of pool time, laughter and just a little competition, as I’m looking forward to testing out my new backyard bocce ball court.

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