Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Salad daze

Yesterday was so much fun. We had major garden goddess energy here at the farm. The gifted-to-us plants are headed out to gardens at schools in Fallbrook. The lovely ladies who grow healthy food...rather than the "ladies who lunch"...came to fill trays with transplants. The love energy and fun energy was vibrating baybee. What a great morning. I propelled myself into my work here with that great energy. Leeks and red pac choi are settling into their new places and look quite happy today!

We have this joke in our family. It goes something like this. When Scott met me I ate salad. Sure, I did. My salad was the lettuce, onion and tomato between the bun and the burger. The dressing...well, you get the picture.
Is there a jingle running in your head from a worldwide homo-menu-ish Scottish restaurant? Or some kind of faux royalty?

Today, a whole different picture has emerged. I am CRAZY for salad. I am especially crazy for the lettuce-from-my-garden salads. The leaves are multi-coloured and there is not a leaf of iceberg anywhere nearby. Perish the thought.

The week after thanksgiving is my week to run away from carbs-screaming. Or is it a mantra that I am chanting? Funny enough, I am highly disinterested in eating any. Or very many anyway.

So, there you have it. It's gonna be love-my-salad-month in December. Dee-licious-ember!

My friend calls it Now-vember. It was a daily reminder to be in the NOW. Thanks for that.
It was a fabulous month.

I'll Be Here Now...How about you?

Friday, November 26, 2010

More plants than I can believe

The greenhouse is packed with plants. It looks like the greenhouse of my dreams! We have so much food in there that I am giddy with excitement!
The greenhouse is attached to the front of the house. It's a temporary structure and sort of modular so that we can move it when we move. It has a new roof today after we attached a new-to-us piece of plastic to it. Our friend at a local greenhouse gave us a big piece of plastic to re-cover the structure. We rescued this plastic from the local landfill and re-purposed it. We're really good a that!! Scott has such a talent for designing these things. He surprises me all the time.
Now that cool little structure is full of our winter veggies. Cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and so much more.
The other photo shows a really posh shot of the front of our house from the east side. It looks like a real estate brochure.
I dressed one of the palms with the new lights and it looks great. The street is really dark so the neighbor's lights and ours are quite charming.

Bring on the holidays. All of 'em. They will be a delight this year. I can feel it!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Living in gratitude

Not even a minute to get to the blogosphere yesterday.
It dawned on me on Monday that I would be well served to start cooking on Wednesday. Good call Laura!
Yesterday I made the gravy....don't be shocked! It's delicious. I'll enhance it after we roast the turkey today. Lily made a gorgeous apple pie and I made two fresh pumpkin pies. Sam and I grew 4 sugar pie pumpkins this summer and we'll see how sugar and pie they really are! The potato casserole is started and now I gotta get on the rolls so they have time to rise.

It occurs to me that I was slipping into a weird funk last night and I am pulling myself up to a different place today. So I am gonna count a few of my blessings here. The ones that I am willing to make public.
Some others I will take to a silent place for a few moments before I jump into day two of prep for the feast!

I am so profoundly happy and thankful to be living in this beautiful house with my family. The farm that surrounds it is a beautiful canvas for my art and it is humming in anticipation of the coming weeks' activities. I am thrilled to have the friends, loved ones all, that fill my life with laughter and great company. I eat food that I have the ability and desire to grow. There are baskets of yummy foods all over my kitchen. The bounty that surrounds me is amazing. It doesn't have anything to do with 5th Avenue, the Associated Press, activities in the nation's capitol or the latest fashion trend. It is a creation directed by the Divine. Nothing could be better!

I love Thanksgiving. It stands apart for me as my fave holiday. ALl across the country we gather around the chosen table to feast together. Somewhere between Norman Rockwell and yesterday's LA Times political cartoon Wherever that is! We all think, maybe a little bit or a lot, about what we have. We break bread. We laugh. We nap! It's heaven!

So Happy Thanksgiving All. May the bounty of Life bless you and your kin.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Next phase

Tomatoes. Eggplants. Peppers. All gone.
We pulled all of the last of the summer plants yesterday. It is the big autumn turn for our urban farm. You know how you hope and wish that the weather will hold on to give you a few more fruits? I am an optimist and waited long after there was any hope of more fruit. So silly!!
We have been joined by a farmer from Peru. He is staying with us for a while and helping is to push the farm forward for the winter. We rocked yesterday and got so much done. It would have taken Scott and I days to do the same amount of work.
In the process of that work and connection yesterday I am feeling restored. I love my work outside and relish the experiences. As I work I feel information and guidance come to me about what I am to do next. I have been taking my ideas in one direction and telling myself a story about too much shade here in the winter. Well, yesterday turned the page for me. I am working with new eyes on the possibilities. Juan wants to assist us in cutting the ginormous eucalyptus trees that cast so much shade. That opens up a whole new set of ideas for what we can do this winter.
If you can see the photo well enough take a close look. This is part of the bounty shared with us from a local organic greenhouse. Last week we got that wonderful call. "Come and pick up the plants before we throw them out"!
Bonanza for us. For Fallbrook Organic Gardens. For the Temecula School Gardens sponsored by Slow Food Temecula Valley. So many winners here. Hundreds of plants. I love in an abundant universe and my gratitude is deeeeeeep!

Friday, November 19, 2010


I am grabbing a quick minute to share some love.
To do list is waaaaaayyyyyyy toooooooooo loooooooonnnnnnggggg.

I am happy to greet today with my sweet husband returned from his trip to San Francisco/Berkeley/Oakland. Blessed am I to wake up with him.
We had a blast last night. The "power" company traded LED christmas lights for old style incandescents so we went to get that done.
(How to not feel badly about bringing in the light during the holidaze).
We cruised the Oceanside Sunset Market and had a street vendor dinner. I had pancit and lumpia.....yuuummm! Sitting on the curb enjoying the crowd. At that level you get to say hi to all the kids in strollers and the dogs!
It was fun because we have been spending most of our time being business partners....that is good for us, mind you. We get to create a balance of other types of fun, you know? I wonder what we'll do next. Our friends just went on a zip line....hmmmmm. Do I have that kind of whimsy/courage.

Sam got the chicken pasture planted yesterday. He broadcast the seed and covered it with the straw mulch from our friend's lasagne garden. Full on organic matter. The chickens will be thrilled to eat it.
Last week we lost two hens to the racoons. This is the strategy that the girls, and possibly a couple of guys, have adopted to ensure their survival. They are all sleeping in the tree above the chicken area. At sunset they all line up and jump up onto the branches. They snuggle up and off to sleep they go.
Yes, we have a plan to build a bigger cage for them. That will happen...maybe even next week.

Livin' the dream....waitin' on the rain.
What's on your to do list.....

Be Love....pass it on.....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dewey morning

What dressing? Why dressing? When I have a salad full of tasty lettuces I just want to eat it without anything on it. I would just gobble that up. I am taking my place in line, like a good gurrl, because that basket has lettuces destined for three kitchens. Grateful loving and precious members/friends of my farm have been patiently awaiting those heads of yumminess!
It is so wet outside that I am gonna wait to harvest the rest of the shares. The fog last night dropped enough water along the walkways (and the veggies) that my wellies came in handy. I got 'em in Alaska almost on a whim. everyone was wearing wellies in Homer. Major fashion statement. The ones I bought are perfect for my climate and I just love them!
When we have wet nights like that I think about the next level of water catchment. Fog traps. In Chile's deserts there are fog traps the collect gallons of water from the atmosphere every night! Astonishing! Yep, that's another project. It will sit on the bottom of the list while I have the luxury of water delivered in pipes!
I must take my leave and deliver Lily to her appointment with her teacher.

Carpe momentum.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More rain's a'comin'!

Picture me scurrying about the next few days. With yet more rain in the forecast I plan and move and make ready all of the rain catching projects.

It rained 2 inches on October 19th. With that moisture we roto-tilled the 5 beds that are now planted with some delicious winter items. Why does that matter? Well, when the soil has a little bit of moisture we can use it to our advantage as we continue building the soil strength. Organic matter, like compost, can be more easily tilled in and distributed to the places where the plant's roots can pickup the nutrition. Healthier soil equals healthy food.
The rain has been plentiful this autumn. Two more storms came through after the mid October rain. Unlike years past when the Indian Summer was in full regalia. The hillsides around us are green. It looks a lot like March or April, but for the position of the sun in the sky and the short days! I am glad that I am human and can sort-of figure this out. If I were a tree I would be thinking about putting out flowers....hmmmm.

So, we capture the rain off the roof as best we can with the materials that we have collected from various places. We have watered the citrus trees with it. We have used it to water the houseplants. We even capture some of the mosquito larvae to feed our fish. Its' not for drinking. That would require some major infrastructure.

I added some pictures from yesterday's walk. Gotta love public art!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Garden Update

It's time to write about the garden again!!
We have been scurrying about at the business of growing food and my head has been all over other places.......Thinking all the time. That is why I have been writing about life's questions and such. We have time to chat and think about life as we tend to the tasks in the beauty that is our sweet little farm.
Yesterday I was thinking about the simplicity of all the growing that is done around the world. Particularly the small-sized family farmers who grow for their local markets and their own families. The satisfaction of planting those seeds and harvesting the crops is a feeling that I share with millions of people around this planet. I love this work. How would it be to further simplify my life and let go of the complications of the modern existence. Will I get to that in my lifetime? Hmmmmm.
Last year we had about half of the farm developed. As we headed into fall we scrambled to find sunny spots for growing. We did pretty well, considering. Now we have a large section that gets sun most of the day. Those beds were planted over the last week and they look great. There is a great feeling of satisfaction. I am gonna dwell in that today and corral the thoughts of worry that try to override the Good. I prefer the power of the positive.
The citrus trees are full of fruit....almost overloaded actually. We took great care to get them fertilized and with the abundant rains that Sam captured they have had plenty of water. More about that another time. I am stashing glass jars to freeze the juice...only if we don't drink it all right away!
The greenhouse has new transplants going. I can get some pictures ready to share. It's a miracle every time the seeds sprout. Every time. The combination for forces has to be right on, you know?
This Sunday we will be joined by a farmer from Peru. He will live with us for a few weeks and we are THRILLED. This means that we have extra support for some infrastructure projects that have been pushed down to the bottom of the to do lists.
Colour me happy......

i thank you God for this amazing day; for the leaping greenly spirits of the trees and for the blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes.
ee cummings

Monday, November 15, 2010

What is going on?

Finally feeling stronger today.....time for a walk.
Don't talk myself out of it. Just go and go and go.
One lovely hour cruising through the hood. Started off on the quiet streets and saw my friend's (adopted) dogs sniffing around for some fun. Skittered past 'cuz I wasn't interested in company today. I would have taken Bandit if that was the case. Don't follow....don't follow. And they didn't.
Sometimes I head out thinking that I will think some things through. It is not always the case, though. My mind races to make to do lists. I want to find some answers today. Not give myself more to do!! Gracious sakes.
I'm more interested in the deals and agreements that I have made with myself that got me to today. Right here, where I am in this seat with this glorious view across the valley. Do those agreements serve me....and the greater Good. Or am I kidding myself and headed back to the drawing board. Well, I am at least headed to my journal pages.
I am content. I am happy. I am in love. I am healthy.
I want to say again that I am healthy. So that the idea is flowing through my bloodstream, breathing me and expressing in my cells.

I love the colour RED.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I am crazy in love with my family.
We live in a beautiful place. Physically and mentally. And spiritually.
Our year has been one amazing day after another. Living in the grace of the Divine Presence. I keep seeing one thing after another showing me that God is in everything. Everything. If you don't like the word God...put in your own substitute. Life. Oneness. Love.

That's what it all is anyway. Love.

The love in my family gets kinda heated sometimes. We are a passionate brood and we get into heated conversations and exchanges. The thing that is always there, though, is the deep and profound love that we have for one another.
Our lives are moving in a lot of directions and the thing that keeps us grounded is this beautiful farm. This sweet piece of ground that has blessed us with bounty after bounty of delicious fruit and vegetables.

So, my call today is to remind you of the sweetness of your life. Look, seek and find those treasures. They are large and small. Wrap your consciousness into the sweetness. Savor it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Slowing down

Sometimes life can just creep up and push me over. It happened to me this weekend. I thought I was experiencing some kind of allergy symptoms and I don't like the idea of having any allergies so I guess that means I'm living in denial about it. I live in a beneficial universe so why would anything be against me, right? Well, whatever this "thing" was...it knocked me over for the whole day yesterday. No desire to get anything done or to go anywhere or to talk to anyone!
I sat under my favourite blankie all day long. It was great to sit still and allow myself to heal. I love that blankie. It's from Ikea. It was in a flier that came in the mail years ago and fell in love. A gotta-have-it kind of love. So, when it cools enough to put that blankie on my bed I get a happy feeling. Odd? Maybe. Whatever, you have something that makes you that happy. I know you do.

We are planting some yummy winter crops that will be so delicious to eat and really fun to watch grow. The broccoli is from a fine young man who was at Esalen for a while. He's a Permaculture God in California. We are aspiring to the permaculture model here. It will take some time and I am not sure how long we will be at this lovely place. Therefore we go in baby steps and do what we can. Soil building is crucial at this point. We are giving the soil strong nutrients to feed the plants. Before we arrived it was a race track for my neighbors. Golf carts, small trucks and motorbikes. I prefer our use...

Give yourself a nice deep breath. And maybe a good cup of tea!

Love love love

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I took Lily to the polls today. It is an exercise in imprinting that Scott and I have done each election year since the proj were young. We go as a family to vote. It occurs to me that that is how we teach the youth about the responsibility of the thing! Today it was the girls in the morning and the guys in the afternoon.
Gracious, though, I am not happy with how these election months go. I am blessed to be TV free so I am not inundated by too many ads. Instead, the time that I spend on the internet is the place to be whacked upside the head with these ads. Pandora must have made a ton of money because the ads came on just about every other song! Yikes.
I live in the land of possibilities and positive thinking. I have been having fun imagining if the politicians lived here too and how they would run their campaigns. For one, it wouldn't be a campaign. Then, we would have....what would it be called? They would not be battling it out. It would not be a match up! Just remove all the words and phrases of war and violence and what would you have? A whole new paradigm, a new era for this fantastic experience of life. See, possibilities! I love it.

I am headed to Phoenix today for my last farm inspection trip of the year. Thankfully I did not have to go through a scanner at the airport. Scott did it earlier this week when he flew to Sacramento. I am thinking that my airline travel days will be a less frequent thing in the coming years. Mainly because I do not like the idea of walking through the scanner. So intrusive, so horrid. Really people? Are you serious. The alternative is....a pat down. UGGGH!


'Nuff about that.

It's an historic day in California and my prayer to the Creator/Infinite Wisdom/Oneness is that the great state of California thrives.

Give a smile.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lovely day

Get up, stand up.
Get outta bed.....even if it's 50 degrees outside. You have to get Sam to the train.
Wait....he's not even up yet!

Oh! yea.....Monday morning after a great weekend. Here I am looking at the week ahead knowing the best place to start is with a walk. Usually I would walk right into the kitchen and pour a cup of coffee. Today, it's a new chapter. Walk first. Then breakfast.

I have thought that it is silly, just plain silly, to drive to a place to go for a walk. I am changing my tune about that. If I walk near my house I can get onto some trails and some areas without lots of cars zooming by. If I drive a little bit I can get to some places with incredible views, birds and cleaner air. Besides, I am already in my car delivering a college student to the cool public transportation vehicle.

This morning Lily and I started a commitment to walk/hike three days a week. If I get this going, I will be on top of the world. I love how it feels and I know it keeps me strong for the long work days ahead. Lily took the photo at Guajome Lake this morning...with her iPhone! Stunning! We have been enjoying this park for many years. We've camped here, had picnics and lots of homeschool park days. The Guajome Marsh is beautiful and the trails are a good level for me to begin this commitment. Guajome is the Kumeyaay word for Frog Pond.
We live in the San Luis Rey Watershed. What's your watershed called? Forget the road names for a while.

We rototilled on Saturday. Right after a lovely rain shower that gifted us another quarter of an inch of rain. It rained a few weeks ago and the ground was absolutely saturated. IT seems that all the forces are in play to continue the successful venture of farming this coming winter! The sunlight is an issue on this north slope so we have a whole new section ready and I am feeling great about it. Broccoli, cabbage and kohl rabi plants will be ready to go in next week.


Be love.....pass it on.