Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Morning harvest & Afternoon paint

Colven getting handy with the chamomile rake, a fabulous investment considering I believe this is year #8 of it's use.
Leftover eggs from yesterday, Colven clearly chose the vessel for their harvest ;)

Who says when you mix all the colors together you get brown?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Friday I had one of those days which humbles me as a parent (as if I needed that) and gives me a few moments of feeling like a crap parent to boot. Without going into details, I left Colven asleep in his carseat too long and he woke up while I was bringing a load of laundry up to the pump house so he woke up alone and started to cry. Then a bit later we went to try out a dance class and I had to take one of those pregnant and utterly unrewarding urination trips to the bathroom SO badly so I slipped out only to have my precious child pounding on the door before I could finish with full tears and sobs because he looked for me and I was gone. When we got home we put together some new adirondack chairs for the lawn (working with tools? Colven is all about that!) and he was having a great time until he fell down and got a bloody nose! Seriously! Right while I watched but couldn't do anything about it. I know all of these things just happen, but I'm thinking coupled with pregnancy hormones I just felt .... well... like complete shit. And sorry for myself. It was pathetic. So once Cyrus came home I sat in one of the newly finished chairs and made myself snap out of it. Then Colven brought me flowers which I had to force myself not to cry about! Ahhh! Pregnancy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Reprieve from the heat wave!

The past few days have been absolutely and mercilessly sweltering here. My broccoli has bolted, the lawn started to turn brown, the chickens were going through water as if their lives depended on it (they did!). Today the fog rolled in and cooled things down so Colven and I got back out and replanted corn that the birds very ungraciously devoured. Interesting to note that the only corn they went after of the three types we had planted so far is called Luscious. Mmmm hmmm, apparently! Colven took this photo today and there is something about it I'm really proud of, is it the positioning of the subject, my big round belly next to a shovel, or just that satisfying feeling of getting seeds in the ground? I do not know, but I look at this photo and want to kiss Colven all over his face!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Images of Spring

In our garden:

First strawberry of the season! Found by who else? ha!

Carmel Valley:

Big Sur:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Belated birthday cupcakes for daddy

Cyrus' birthday came and went and I was too overtaken by a cold to make him a birthday cake, which hasn't happened in years. This year he had requested a light and silky lemon cake instead of the usual carrot cake recipe that had become tradition. Over the weekend he and Colven visited with Pops and Taia (aka Colven's grandparents, aka "the outlaws") while I worked in the office and was given this book as a birthday present. Being fans of the Earthbound Farms Kitchen, I was pretty excited to delve into the book and Cyrus kindly pointed out a recipe for lemon cupcakes which happen to call for whipped egg whites so I knew the recipe would fit the bill! Since it is cold and rainy (thank goodness! We NEED rain!) today I asked Colven if he would like to surpise daddy with cupcakes for his birthday. His answer was to run to get his apron and exclaim "YAY! CUPCAKES! WOOHOO!" Damn I love that kid.
I forget how much fun we have baking together. Colven is actually quite good with a wisk and can use the electric mixer essentially by himself. He knows what all the buttons do. So we had an afternoon of sugar and mess and tasting raw eggs in various forms mixed with various ingredients (as a sidenote I have to say that there is something so... right about baking with our own eggs!) and while the cupcakes didn't come out perfectly, they were an awful lot of fun to make. And that's the most important part after all, isn't it?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A spring treat

A few years ago I discovered something new at one of the farm stands I frequent. They had some early harvest garlic for sale so I bought some to try and instantly fell in love. Every year since then I make sure to plant some extra garlic to harvest early. I harvest them when they are a bit thicker than a pencil and slice up to add to most anything, or roast on the bbq. If you are a garlic lover like I am, you will be smitten with the green garlic flavor of these. They are divine! The nice thing about them, also, is that you can just use regular old store bought soft neck garlic and plant them very close together since they won't be around long enough to need much room.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Domestics as Art

This post is over 4 months old but I never added to it as I intended so I'm just going to go ahead and post it now! ha!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Welcome to our spring garden

What with late pregnancy and a nasty cold I've been short on words lately. So I figure I'll let the photographs do the talking for me (well, most of it).

I just tilled in our second cover crop for the season a few weeks ago and let it set. I checked the weather report and saw temps will be up for a week, so I put on my brave hat and planted some corn! I went a little nuts on the different varieties this year and because I don't want them to cross pollinate I'll need to stagger their planting times so they aren't all poofing out pollen at the same time. Hence the early start. If these first crops germinate I'll definitely not have a worry about the old saying about corn which is it should be "knee high by fourth of July" No worries there with an April start!

So this is this years children's garden, enlarged and improved from last years. Click here to see last year's.

Colven helped shape the path through it, I like the tricky little hook he added here at the end (his truck is headed out towards the lawn in the hook there)We had a blast planting the corn together. It's amazing what a difference a year makes! Last year was much more exhausting to "plant" together haha! This year he has been quite the skilled gardener so far.

Here is my new adventure in our fenced garden. This part was previously left wild so I cover cropped it twice this winter and tilled.Tilling, of course, requires fuel and Colven knows just where to find it and can go fetch it for his mom! SWEET!
Freshly tilled and ready for action.
This closest area here has a batch of corn planted in it. The rest will be for a bit of dry farming of peppers and tomatoes.We bought a shade cover to be used on the lawn a few years ago and it worked fabulously. Until we left it out in a wind storm. It blew over our garden fence and into the lower field and the cover ripped to shreds. We stripped the cover off and left the skeleton where it landed until last week when I had a moment of inspiration and decided it would make a fantastic canopy over the summer sand and mud pits for Colven! The whole thing will be planted like mad with beans and morning glories and flowers of all sorts. I strung hemp twine around the entire structure yesterday to give some support to the climbers. I'm really excited to see this in the coming summer. I'm also excited to have a new place to plant the beans as they take up a lot of room in my raised beds.
The warmer weather has sprung some volunteer plants to life so I went gathering and found a few nice poppies, a borage, and some fennel to start the canopy garden entry way. Poppies and borage are both notoriously difficult to transplant because of their long, early tap roots but everyone made it!
Here is one of Colven's favorite pass times in the early mornings: Snail Hunting!
He diligently loads up his truck and delivers them.....
to the chickens of course!
My biggest trouble spot so far is the berry zone. The nanaberries are quite the renegades, and all the strawberry runners that touched down to the ground from their bed have started to bloom. The strawberries I don't mind as much, the nanaberries however are quite the prickly little devils and are proving to be happy enough to be considered invasive. Ut oh. On the far end there are the little baby golden raspberries!