While I was gone…

Camping was only one of several recent adventures–about two weeks worth. In my absence, the garden has been burgeoning.  The labyrinth is hardly labyrinthine anymore, it’s so overgrown, and a sweet potato flower has curled into the driveway.








The back is full of vegetables.  We’re eating the tomatoes as fast as they ripen, but there are plenty of other delights: carrots, cucumbers, squash, potatoes, onions, scallions, and lots of kale and spinach.

Is there anything more delicious than produce from your own garden?

Meanwhile, despite foxes, the chicken population has been growing, too.  I had ordered four chicks by mail before my eggs hatched, as insurance for winter eggs. However, only one of the four survived. I tried to get the mother to take the extra chick after our eggs hatched, and it seemed at first that despite the difference in size (three weeks old compared to newly hatched) she would accept her. But after a few hours the next morning, she was treating her like a threat. The girls convinced me that Toasty (their name for the chick) was lonely and needed friends. Continue reading “While I was gone…”

Sunday breakfast from the backyard

Today is a perfect Bay Area gem: warm, no fog looming, and the garden flourishing.

I wandered out to feed the chickens and was seduced by the first English peas fat enough to pick. I pulled up a few scallions, cut some spinach, and added a few springs of basil and tarragon from the labyrinth. The hens contributed their miraculous eggs. A tortilla from the store, an Early Girl tomato from the farmers’ market, and voila:

Along with the NY Times, it made a perfect start to match the day.  Larry added a quote from Kant (from a Jim Grant book review in yesterday’s WSJ):

“Out of timber so crooked as that from which man is made, nothing entirely straight can ever be carved.”

I wonder if that was partly the inspiration for Auden’s: “You shall love your crooked neighbor/With your crooked heart”?

My own crooked heart is, for the moment, replete and ready to tackle the Book Review, which is waiting for me at the edge of the photo.

Introducing the garden

I realized, reading the Bennington Garden Blog this morning that I have neglected to document my miraculous garden. I am lucky to be planting on soil that has been uncultivated for years; it’s rich and full of worms. With the addition of some compost to lighten up the clay, it has produced what seems like instant results. I started planting in February, and now have more lettuce than we can eat (just ready to transplant the third crop of seedlings), snap and snow peas, kale, baby tomatoes, and vigorous corn, tomatillos, cucumber, squash, artichoke, eggplant, edamame and bean plants. I also have first year blueberry bushes, raspberry, and blackberry vines, a young Celeste fig and Hachiya persimmon, and a pepper tree. Here come the photos:








The peas grow visibly taller each day!

These are planted with a technique called Mayan gardening. The corn should be a stalk for the beans, tomatoes or tomatillos, the cucumber provides ground cover.





















Can you spot the slug in the lettuce seedlings? I didn’t know it was there till I looked at these.

Here’s the front. You can see the beginning of the labyrinth here:



Some of the herbs and salad greens in the labyrinth are already going to seed—I’m letting that happen, figuring I’ll have a summer crop later.


The garden is a world of pleasure, changing each day.  Soon to come: red mulch for the tomatoes! Stakes for the berries, taller stakes for the peas.