This is the story of our adventures -- every day and extraordinary; our dreams -- tiny and grand; our gardens -- ornamental and sustaining; this is the story of our journey.  We are a family of four living a mindful, simple life here in Los Angeles County.  We are green, conscious, and forward thinking.  We keep an eye on the past because some of the best things have already been done and bear repeating.  Walk and talk with us, have a glass of wine, taste a peach or a tomato, blow some bubbles and watch them drift up over the canyon ridge.  Enjoy!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Garden Goodness Equals Fresh Dinner Fixings!

Green shallots ready for grilling (olive oil and sea salt):
Our first "real" potato harvest (Gregg dug a couple last week to "check").  This a good sized bowl, we used half for dinner:
The last of the broccoli (there's more out there but it's getting too bitter):
I did the potatoes in the oven with fresh thyme, lemon, and garlic:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The sun shining

Today I canned 23 1/2 pints of strawberry-blackberry jam and three quarts of pickles. While I worked on that, the girls painted.

This is Alex's "masterpiece".  When she showed it to Gregorie, Gregorie said, "BEEEE UUUU tiful Poodle!  You did a really nice job on that!"  Okay, Miss Art Critic!  LOL
And here are Mama's oeuvres!

Chalk art

I love chalk. I love when the girls draw with it on the patio. I was thrilled yesterday when Alex said, "Look Gregorie, I drew a house for you!" [click on the pic - it's better bigger -- multistory, door and windows on the first floor!]

Alas, what Alex really likes to do with chalk is make a "formula" (chemist in the making???). So, after she drew the house, she got the hose and dissolved a bunch of chalk in water. And then put her hands in it and made prints.

And then walked in it.

The house is nice, but I'm partial to the prints!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

An untended garden!

We just spent two fabulous weeks at the cabin in the Northern Sierras, where the vegetation looks like this:

We came home to gardens in need of some attention -- overgrown jungles, plants past the prime of their season, wilted sprouts wanting water...

In the background here you see the snow peas that are done for the season.  I pulled them to make space for some pole beans.  The potatoes in the box to the right are almost ready to be dug.  In the foreground, the popcorn is looking good and the peppers are coming along.  The lavender continues to flourish.  
Here is a jungle of broccoli and tomatoes and carrots!  Much of the broccoli bolted but I still managed a nice harvest -- pulled a few plants but also think there may be a few more small crowns on others.  I pulled a bunch of carrots and have a couple more harvests from the initial planting.  The seeds I put in before we left have germinated between the tomatoes and I'm hoping for carrots all summer long.  In the background you can see the onions which have gone to see (boo) but the bulbs are nice and large.  We just need the tops to die already!
A beautiful broccoli crown!  With three foot tall CA poppies poking their orange heads among the green foliage.
Another view of the jungle, with all the bolted broccoli.
This is the sweet corn (Three Sisters planting but only a couple beans sprouted and no squash -- maybe they did and birds got them) -- not looking as hardy, or as straight, as the popcorn. 
Tomatoes on the vine!
In the lower beds, the zucchini seems to be growing -- four plants, the front one is wilted in want of water -- I fixed that!  Behind the squash are many herbs and then shallots, below, a strawberry and more broccoli (which mostly has not bolted -- YEAH!).
Holy leaping lettuce, batman!  This lettuce is truly almost 4-feet tall!  Of course it's bitter as all get out and had to be pulled.  But it sure is pretty!  Who knew you could grow a lettuce hedge!
Sweet peas and bush beans.
Yeah!  Melons!
Inside, some more peppers in the AG.
And a spider friend.
Carrots and one onion Gregg pulled to check "status".
The crowning glory of broccoli!
And a bouquet of broccoli flowers -- they don't smell so nice but they do look pretty.