Redwood Grove at the San Francisco Botanical Garden

Redwood Grove pic
Redwood Grove

Currently living in the Bay Area in California and working as a nurse practitioner, Jonathan Vrban enjoys spending time gardening and studying botany. Also a fan of cooking and baking, Jonathan Vrban likes to travel to destinations like Italy, but his own city also has plenty to offer.

San Francisco boasts many attractions, from the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz to the tourist favorite Fisherman’s Wharf. One hidden gem in the area is San Francisco Botanical Garden, a living museum in Golden Gate Park that includes more than 55 acres of landscaped gardens as well as open natural spaces.

One of the park’s biggest draws is the Redwood Grove, a treat for visitors who do not want to journey out of the city to view these towering giant trees. Planted near the turn of the 20th century, the trees are some of the oldest in the garden. Furthermore, the area contains more than 100 species of plants to make the grove resemble a typical redwood forest. Visitors to the grove can download or pick up the Redwood Trail Guide or listen to a walking tour podcast.

The park is open 365 days a year. Learn more by visiting


Simple Solutions for Small Space Gardening

Small Space Gardening pic
Small Space Gardening

Jonathan Vrban grows much of the food he cooks with in his own gardens. To make his own pesto, Jonathan Vrban grows fresh basil at home. He enjoys home improvement projects, and has created his own perfect gardening setup around his home and pool.

It can be challenging to garden without an actual garden, but botanically inclined apartment dwellers need not worry. Here are three easy ways to start a garden in your office, apartment, or other small space.

1. Go vertical. Hang plants from handrails and ceiling hooks, or buy a vertical planter. You can even use a hanging shoe organizer to grow herbs and small vegetables.

2. Buy or make windowsill boxes. These are perfect for basil and other herbs with shallow roots. If your landlord will not permit them to be attached to the building, try the kind that clamps over the windowsill.

3. Grow indoors. As long as plants have the right humidity, soil pH, and light exposure, it is possible to grow large plants and even citrus plants indoors. Recycled five-gallon buckets make great indoor-outdoor planters.

Choosing the Right Cookware for a Dish


Dr. Jonathan Vrban lives in Hawaii and enjoys many hobbies in his leisure time. For instance, Dr. Jonathan Vrban likes to experiment with new recipes when baking and cooking.

Ending up with a tasty final product when preparing food depends on a number of factors. For instance, you should start with quality ingredients and follow proper technique. However, one key consideration many people might overlook is using the right cookware for the type of food being prepared.

For instance, for recipes that require long cooking time on the stove, you might consider using cast iron cookware. While this type of cookware can take a while to heat up, it distributes heat evenly once it does. Similarly, since it can handle high temperatures, cast iron cookware makes a good choice when searing meat or using similar cooking techniques. You might also decide to use stainless steel cookware in this situation. In addition to heating well, stainless steel pans are also versatile, in that they can handle shifts between different cooking techniques, such as broiling, stovetop cooking, and baking.

Other times, you might want to prepare more delicate dishes, such as fish, which can easily break apart if you aren’t careful. In these situations, nonstick cookware can fit the bill. Additionally, since it reduces the amount of butter or oil needed to stop sticking, it’s handy when you’re trying to reduce the amount of calories or fat in your meals. An experienced cook can provide additional guidance on the types of cookware available and when they might be used.

Tips for Experimenting When Cooking

Cooking pic

At his home in Hawaii, Dr. Jonathan Vrban enjoys a number of creative pursuits. For instance, Dr. Jonathan Vrban likes to cook and come up with new recipes.

While cooking, many people rely on following recipes exactly as written, which can be enjoyable and produce delicious results. However home cooks can combine their creativity and cooking skills to improvise in the kitchen to build new recipes.

When first getting started with improvising or giving your own twist to recipes, it’s a good idea to take baby steps. You might try using a different seasoning for one component of a tried-and-true recipe, for instance, or replacing one ingredient for another one with a similar texture and consistency. Having plenty of basic cooking ingredients and seasonings on hand can make the selection process easier and afford you plenty of options.

Additionally, try a new approach when you have plenty of time to experiment with no pressure, such as on weekend day. Doing a cooking experiment when are very hungry or tired after work or when you have guests coming over that you want to impress isn’t the best idea. With practice comes increased confidence and know-how.

Best Practices for Managing Online Presence

With an interest in baking, Jonathan “Jon” Vrban would like to host his own online cooking show in the future. To establish a good rapport with his prospective audience ahead of time, Jonathan Vrban makes it a goal to properly manage his online brand and reputation.

Building a positive reputation is a long-term project that requires commitment. The following practices can help produce a positive online presence.

1. Producing content helps people brand themselves as authorities on the specific topic they discuss. For instance, individuals seeking careers as pastry chefs may publish self-written blog posts about baking and develop videos to match. Likewise, answering questions related to that topic on social media avenues such as Twitter help build awareness about a person’s expertise.

2. Consistent participation on social media outlets helps individuals maintain the reputation they would like to portray online. This is even more important when suppressing negative content. Being active on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites renders more positive results when a name is searched online.

3. Anything published on the internet remains on a server and can be searched, so people should always practice politeness and consideration online. Avoid conflicts and controversial topics that can elicit negative feedback.

Tips for Making a Cooking Video

Jonathan “Jon” Vrban lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he spends his days gardening and cooking. With a desire to publish his own cookbook, Jonathan Vrban looks for new opportunities to share his skills as a cook with others, and he is interested in making and launching cooking videos on YouTube.

When developing a cooking video, preparation of the cooking area, as well as presentation, are key for making an engaging show that encourages people to cook a dish. The following are tips to keep in mind when filming.

1. Take time to source fresh ingredients to showcase vibrant colors and add interest to a dish throughout the recording. Fresh tomatoes, for example, are more visually appealing than a can of tomatoes. Potted herbs are also nice to have on hand since they will not wilt.

2. When cooking with meat, discard the original packaging and place the ingredient on a clean plate or piece of parchment paper. This translates well on camera.

3. Select the proper dish size to hold ingredients and the final product. Plates and bowls that add height are great.

4. Make sure to take close-up shots of the ingredients being prepared and always favor the camera when chopping, dicing, and executing any cooking technique.

5. Because the audience cannot smell or taste the food, the cook should be very descriptive about the preparation and final dish. Offering measurements that are easily understood by viewers, like “a pinch of salt,” and vocalizing the doneness of products gives the viewer a better understanding of the overall recipe.

6. Remember to take a still shot of the dish at the end to be used as a thumbnail when uploading a video. Attempting to take a photo from a video may result in a low quality picture that will not pique people’s interest.

An Introduction to Botany

Based in Hawaii, Jonathan Vrban is an avid gardener. His interest in gardening has led Jon Vrban to study various areas of botany.

Botany, in its most basic form, is the study of plant life. The plants botanists study range from tiny bacteria to sequoia trees and redwoods, some of planet earth’s largest living things, and can be found in all parts of the world. Additional plants a botanist may study include algae and fungi, lichens, and mosses, and of course a number of flowering plants.

The term botanist is equally as diverse, as plant biologists can conduct their research in any number of ways. Many botanists focus their studies on how plants interact with animals, other plants, and various environmental factors. Field botanists, meanwhile, search for new plant discoveries, while others are interested in how certain plants grow under extreme or atypical circumstances. A person considering a career in botany should know that a number of additional concentrations exist, including the study of plant structures, chemical conversion systems, and plant development as dictated by DNA.