California Dreamin

>> Monday, August 17, 2009

Well, I'm back from California, physically if not mentally. The ecology center where I spent the week is 80 acres of natural beauty in partnership with a group of inspiring people committed to living with nature instead of trying to bend it to their ways. I immersed myself in this community learning their approach to gardening - organic of course - and dining on vegetarian gourmet meals.

We harvested from the "cut and come again" bed to create a salad more colorful than a patchwork quilt.

As I strolled down a path, I could pluck a fresh asian pear from the tree. I learned to think in terms of "volunteers" and not "weeds", so many of which are delicious in salads or stir frys. The soil is what is gardened. It is not simply the planting medium, but the essential life of the garden.

My fellow attendees were mainly from the Bay area and all selflessly committed to gardening with children. It is a powerful force when you combine a passion for gardening with a commitment to enriching a child's life. Kudos to all of you.

Upon returning, I walked through my garden with fresh eyes, new energy, and a California state of mind.


Good News and Bad News

>> Friday, August 7, 2009

The good news is that I am the proud gardener of two new planting beds. Can't wait for fall planting.

The dog days of summer are here. The heat has taken a toll on everything including me. This is my meager harvest for today. You'll notice no tomatoes. The few that ripened ended up lunch for the squirrels

Now for the bad news. On Monday I had four beautiful Petit Pan squash. I decided to give them another day or two. As you can see, the borers had already set in to do their dirty work.

I salvaged these two. I am committed to organic, non-pesticide gardening, but I can understand how one can give up the good fight.

I will be spending next week at a workshop in California learning organic gardening techniques, seed collecting, plant identification, and permaculture. If there is wi-fi, I will be posting from the yurt.



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