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!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Final Harvest

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may'st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe;
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruit and flowers.
-  William Blake, To Autumn, 1783

This bowl holds at least 6 quarts of mostly green cherry tomatoes!  There are a few ripe ones and maybe a quart of tomatillos buried in there.  I'm thinking bite size dill tomatoes..

The rodents left behind a few grapes -- I ate this lovely bunch today -- a refreshing snack while I toiled in the garden beds.
Alex LOVES worms. She helped Gregg turn over the compost heap and found handfuls.  She pulled out  this unlucky specimen to play with for a while before she returned him to his eating grounds. 

"There is an appointed time for everything.  
And there is a time for every event under heaven -
A time to give birth, and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted."
- Ecclesiastes, 3:1-2 

Today was the day of uprooting here in the tomato bed and in Bed of Chaos.

Most of the upper beds have been cleared for winter planting.  

There are still some potatoes to dig:

I left behind a few pepper plants and eggplant plants -- with hopes fading as fast as the autumn sun.

And the blackberry has spread onto the tipis.

And then, of course, there is a time to plant again.  

Gregg turned the soil in the beds over and now we'll add manure and compost to make a clean canvas on which to repaint the glory of a garden!

I can't wait for fresh seedlings and the start of another cycle.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Can't we all just get along?

There is a blog post that goes with this title/picture -- it will follow -- check back later.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Fall Garden

On this rainy, gloomy day, Gregorie and I went out to check the sprouting in the lower beds.

We found peas:

And carrots:
And calendula:
Gregorie checked out the chard and the little lettuce and kale seedlings:
We also found some late planted tomatoes just starting to fruit:

Up above, the old tomato vines are still producing -- we just need some sunshine to ripen things up!
Even the pumpkin is needing some sun.
The tomatillos are still going mad.

All in all, not a bad haul, for a day in Fall:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My garden is "for the birds"

As I was typing the title, which seemed somewhat an obvious name, I had the question of "what does that phrase TRULY mean"?  I looked into it.  The first thing I found disappointed.

Trivial; worthless; only of interest to gullible people.
This phrase is of American origin and, while still in use there, has never been commonly used elsewhere. It is US Army slang and originated towards the end of WWII. An early example of its use is this piece from The Lowell Sun, October 1944, in an interview with a Sergt. Buck Erickson, of Camp Ellis, Illinois:
"Don't take too seriously this belief that we have football at Camp Ellis solely for the entertainment of the personnel - that's strictly for the birds. The army is a winner... the army likes to win - that's the most fortunate thing in the world for America."
'Strictly' is frequently used as an intensifier, as in the example above.
'That's for the birds' is a shortened form of the vulgar version 'that's shit for the birds'. That suggests the derivation of the phrase which is the habit of some birds of pecking at horse droppings (a.k.a. road apples) in order to find seeds. Both versions were defined in an edition ofAmerican Speech from 1944:
That's for the birds. It's meaningless
Shit for the birds. Nonsense, drivel, irrelevant matter.
This held no appeal to the poet in me.  So I searched some more.  And came across this site which offered up this quote from the Bible (now you all know I am not a religious sort, but dang, this is some fine poetry!):

Isaiah 18:4 For this is what the Lord has told me: “I will wait and watch from my place, like scorching heat produced by the sunlight, like a cloud of mist in the heat of harvest.” 18:5 For before the harvest, when the bud has sprouted, and the ripening fruit appears, he will cut off the unproductive shoots with pruning knives; he will prune the tendrils. 18:6 They will all be left for the birds of the hills and the wild animals; the birds will eat them during the summer, and all the wild animals will eat them during the winter.  

This makes sense to me, makes sense in my garden.  Here are my birds (and my bees and my apples....)

This is only about half the pictures I had to share -- for some reason blogger thinks I don't have a license to load my own photos...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The refrigerator

Yesterday on Facebook, Nourished Kitchen asked her readers to flash a picture of their refrigerators full of nourishing foods.
So I obliged!

I posted links to these old posts:
I also linked to this post, with a picture of my refrigerator today.

And I added a picture of the pantry, because I am proud of how full it's getting!  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Life through their eyes

The last couple days I have been busy in the kitchen -- canning and baking and generally just cookin'!  I have really been enjoying it and will share some pictures of my projects in another post.  I have also been enjoying my girls entertaining themselves and freeing my hands for the food (well, Alex is now away more than half the day and during those hours Gregorie tags along but is generally helpful instead of handful).  Each of them has taken a turn with the camera.  Monday evening it was Alex who got ahold of it -- unfortunately (or fortunately perhaps) she turned the dial to a slow shutter setting.
Here she captures her sister mid-jump and her daddy grilling salmon.

This picture of the sunflowers creates a watercolor effect (at least on my computer - I think it gets lost on blogger).
And here she photographs something she sees me photograph all the time -- the famous tomato bed!

I hope the fuzzy pictures haven't given you all a headache.

Gregorie took her turn yesterday while I was making zucchini muffins and canning chow chow relish.
This is the kitchen skylight reflected in the granite countertop.  I love that you can see our oak trees.
The jars of relish filled and awaiting their lids.
The relish, up close and personal!
Water bath is coming to a boil and I'm preparing to grate zucchini.
Gregorie was thrilled with this shot - she loved how it came out red (and I have no idea how it did)!
She took about 100 pictures of the muffin pans -- this one also came out red!
Nice view out the back window here.
A rare shot of ME!
And my hands!
These are some other photos taken by Alex in the last couple weeks.   
My friend Holly keeps me company as I can tomatoes.  Gregorie wears her princess wig.
The tomatoes boil.
Flowers at the U-pick farm .

I love the world they see - it is full of color and action and happiness.  They find it exciting and interesting and brilliant.  I like to take time to reflect on their perspective -- both so I can know them better and so that I can experience more of this beautiful life.

Through a child's eyes...