Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Self interest

How many ways do you like to eat cauliflower. While I was planting these babies on Monday I kept thinking about curry...and mashing them like potatoes...and soup...and more! I am crazy for cauliflower. Some of these babies are gonna be orange coloured...just for fun!

How selfish of me.
So much has been happening in my life in the last two weeks and I have yet to share any of it.
Well, it's not as if you haven't had plenty happening in your life over the Christmasextravaganzaness of your life.

I am sitting in the newly tidied and re-purposed office of our beautiful home. We took great advantage of the rain storms and dove in. Picture this, a crackling fire and order on our desktops. Really great for the end of the year. When we moved in we focused most of our attention, and still do, on the farm. The office is in what normal people would call the living room! We are so not normal around here, thus the creative space of an office where most people would sit for hours on end watching mind-numbing television.

We have enjoyed a respite from the crazy pre-Christmas rain. On Christmas Day we planted some food. That's a first. Usually we sit around eating all day. Then on Monday and Tuesday we planted some more. We were being inspired by yet another storm system headed our way. This is a great way to get us motivated! We are all set for a few days now. Good thing that! The ground is completely saturated and all the rainwater is headed into the creek. We filled our rainwater catchment barrels two weeks ago! Need a cistern!

I have decided to open the membership for the CSA again. We have a goodly amount of food growing now that we can share more with our friends. Fantastic.

So, off I go to write some thank you notes for good measure. You like getting them.....admit it!

Love is everywhere.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


These photos show the before and after of the compost process. We take 5 gallon buckets and spill them along the bed. Then the tiler runs across the bed to mix it all up...not too much though! Delicious...

I can plan things really well. I have an eye for logistics. That said, all of the pieces have to fall together with grace when we are asking other people to jump in and assist too. When I don't have a hand in all of the components I allow serendipity to do her thing.
This week was full of crazy important have-to-do-them-now tasks. All week long we were racing the rain. We were also relying on our friends to let us use their trucks to accomplish the major tasks.
Wednesday we emptied a pickup truck full of compost onto all of the beds. Food for the hungry soil. Thursday we rented a rototiller and tilled the compost into the soil. Raking the beds was the next step. Friday we watched in wonder as the rain began to fall and the farm had its arms outstretched in great anticipation.
See why I haven't posted????

Looking back and writing about it days later adds a detached perspective. While I was in it I felt the whole activity of it humming around me in a glorious melody. It all fell into place in a lovely way.

We are happy for help from the lads, however much they offer. This last few months the farm has turned into our place, Scott's and mine. I think Joe is over it, as far as daily support. He's on for special projects. Sam, has his own projects and that's a whole different set of issues. Lily is great at making plans elsewhere and being snarky (sometimes) about getting the eggs. Whatever.
This is a team effort and it's how we are eating better food all the time. We shop less and eat more salads.
Perhaps the truth is that this is our farm now and they are on to different things. Looking at a new vision of it will help us with our next steps. Classes and tours are on the horizon.

The view across the San Luis Rey Valley today is so splendid that I can sit here for long stretches and stare. The tapestry of farmland shows shades of green that, under the dark gray clouds shrouding the De Luz hills, boggle the mind. The rain then blows across obscuring the longer view. Tremendous.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What a week

It was a stellar week. One for the journal/diary of perpetuity.

There were meals of delicious food with such tremendous company that I am wondering if I am awake. Is this a dream? Were those oysters with champagne granita the most sublime thing I ate? Or was it the ravioli? The pinot had notes of spices that just knocked my socks off.

I shared a table with 13 astonishing people Saturday night. We are planning great things for the future of farming and sharing the knowledge of good farmers with eager younger farmer wanna-be type folks.
Heady stuff this.
The setting was a grand manse high above the Pacific shore in La Jolla. The players food enthusiasts all. Farmers, a farmers market entrepeneur, foodie magazine publishers, educators and lots of lawyers. The conversation was so exciting and full of potential.

I love living my life with such richness.

Step back to Monday night and there I was at yet another delicious meal. Jump forward to another night during the week and I found myself wondering why I go the the trouble of caring about the quality of the meal that I am preparing. What is it that moves me to make such an effort?
Please bear in mind, dear reader, that I have just completed a three week course in patience as each lunch and dinner that I prepared was covered, and I mean covered, with Tapatio sauce. Even the spaghetti. Not my family members, mind you.
His initials are JCC. He worked hard and I am grateful.
Bless him....a weed free garden....all old plants pulled.........bless him.


I feel a great strong momentum forming. I have been jettisoned forward and all I can do now is sit in the present and go about my by one.....until I am ready for a new list of tasks.

Life, please keep bringing on the great meals and stimulating conversation. Someone take me to lunch, tea or dinner. I could use some more conversation. The food is a great bonus.


Deck your halls!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Burnin' down the house

Today's theme song, courtesy of David Byrne and Talking Heads:

Burnin' Down the House.

Mean Mr. J's house was burned down today. The dude was depressed to think that all of his possessions were gonna get toasted. A hoarder with so many things that he may not have remembered exactly what he had. Except for the highly explosive materials that could have blown a hole in Highway 15. Crazy! Glad for a prevailing wind that blows towards the east. Otherwise I would have been breathing all that stuff. High Drama!!!

Last night we had an impromptu dinner party. I always cook for a lot of hungry mouths anyway so there were no surprises there. Nothing on the table was from the farm and yet a great time was had by all. Our new friend Scott W. dropped off a load of compost and got here right in time to break bread with the family, Juan Carlos and Cyrus, who had just dropped by to get his CSA basket.
When I have an open heart and an open door the Good that comes into my life is overflowing. Great company, funny stories and lots of dirty dishes!!

Juan Carlos found the culprit that has been munching on my carrots and tonight is all our style.
First, clear out the weeds near the remaining seedlings. Second, get out the Bacillus Thuringensis and blast the hell out of them. Next, replant the carrots and pour boiling water on the seeds. I know that sounds crazy. I was thinking that the seeds would be freaked out. But, apparently they crack open more quickly and bring forth their bounty faster! I am all for that. It's gonna be hot this weekend and I need the assist!!

Juan Carlos has been here for 18 days and has made a gigantic contribution to our success. Thanks so much for all you did. Thanks for living in the chilly cabin/vamper and hanging out with our boisterous family. Brave soul. He's moving to a beautiful organic citrus and avocado ranch/dressage horse training facility in De Luz. The area is one of the most picturesque in the area. The guy is blessed. And so are we.
Hasta La Vista JC!

Gotta go wrangle some worms....bastards!

May they come back as higher beings.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Eat. Eat some more. Or maybe less!...Nah!!!

It's the season to eat splendid meals, party, celebrate, watch parades. Not that I require a season or a reason for all of that.
I'm breathing for heaven's sake!

Do you remember that old Andy Williams recording of "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year?" I sang it in high school, so the lyrics are buried in my brain. It played on Pandora's Swinging Christmas playlist the other day. I had a great time singing along. Thankfully, I had reached a place where I was ready to hear it and partially agree.

Really, the whole year is wonderful for me!!!

This last weekend was the kick off. Two parades on Saturday. yippee!! That's a pic of the lowrider club guy that did two donuts on three wheels. Oh! my!!!
I big blow out holiday party at Stone World Bistro and Gardens. My eldest, Joe, is a lead busser there. He LOVES his job, by the way. We are the beneficiaries of his love of beer and have learned a lot and had quite a few tasty beers over the last few months..thanks Joe.Imagine my delight when he invited me to be his date. We have a great time together and love good food and good beer. Perfect combo!
The party was incredible. Team Stone was celebrated with delicious food, a rockin' cool beer list, a great jazz trio playing in the brew room. Best of all for the servers...a catering company that served them! I overheard quite a few people saying that it was great to be served by someone. Hmmmmmm!

Last night was the Slow Food San Diego Natale dinner. Paolo is the empresario/owner of the trattoria. The menu was sensational and the flavors were tremendous. So grateful to share the table with terrific company and out of this world food. The other photo is a wheel of Grana Padano cheese that is being warmed to "finish' the risoto with radicchio. That was the simplest, dish of the evening. Needless to say, I left the event quite sated.

So, the month of revelry has begun.

Bring it on. I am ready.

And on another note....I am ready to have a crop of carrots sprout and grow. I know how to do this.
Thanks for the lessons carrot devas.
Enough already.
I've got kids to feed!!!!!

Moving towards the light.