farm garden


Speaking of California...before we left I found the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture / member-sustained farms) of my East Coast dreams.  


We've got our pick out in California, since most organic food is grown right here.  I've enjoyed CSA memberships in the past for a lot of reasons.  Most especially  I love the dreamy newsletters by the farmers, telling about the past week's seasonal adventures, country trials & tribulations, the ethics & questions of sustainable farming in a barely-financially-stable vocation.  They are the original die-hard bloggers, committed to sharing even though they are tired & full from a filled-up & useful week.  And, oh, the recipes they include!  Dug up from excellent cookbooks, featuring the often-unheard of bounty: ground cherries, kohlrabi, sun-dried apricots.  These are the recipes I've used the most.



We quit our CSA years ago, when we got too many peppers, which most of my family will not eat (everyone but me), & one Fall box, containing nothing, but a GIANT *2 1/2 foot-wide* Cinderella Pumpkin, with the opening instructions to "just drop it off the roof."




Later we solved that with our Farmer's Kitchen Cafe Sustaining Membership, which was a step way up in many ways: divine home-cooked meals, which happened to be gluten & casein-free, sourced from the same local farms, at a fabulous huge discount from the restaurant's prices.


But I missed the fresh produce - farm interaction.  I had heard of quite a few East Coast farms that allowed their members to come & pick their own produce.  This is what I've long yearned for, both for myself & for the kids.  I want to learn about the gardens, to make my black-thumb, green. 




 Growing up, we would head to Occidental every September to a fireman-friend's small vineyard.  While our parents worked the field, gathering grapes, the kids would all run wild: harvesting goodies, fighting over the hammock, exploring the hand-made property, & mauling the huge potluck spread in the main house.  In the evening we would stomp on the grapes, bottle the wine ourselves & dance in the barn to a live band.   It was fabulous.


Our Homespun homeschooling group mentioned a local farm that still had some strawberries, so we headed out with a visiting sweetheart from Telluride, who'd never been berry-picking.  And it's here that I found it: Pick your own everything, $2 a pound.  We can come whenever we want, help out a bunch, & pick the farmer's brains, too.  We get to be "farm-owners!!"  As long as I make it out there as often as I'd like, which is weekly, I'm sure that's how it will occur to the kids.  I have to believe that the unconscious seasonal-awareness & Earth-human-animal-bee-food-table connections will be among their most important & effortless learning experiences.  It will be that for me.










In the meantime, I am obsessing over these fabric garden planters & indoor wall-gardens.  Obsessing.


I'm updating my usual gift wrapping ~ recycled brown craft paper with colored wax twine, for the much-sexier recycled brown craft paper with colored Norwegian twine.  I know.  But it's sultrier, with a higher-quality contrast to the paper.  Check it out.  I believe in standardizing for ease & peace of mind.  At $7 a spool + $3 for a roll of wrapping, $10 is a very easy way to relax about this for the year.  


I'll be copying Rashida's porcelain paint-palette pincushions as soon as I get home.  They'll fit in perfectly with my already-stacks of porcelain palettes & my Asian-Modern-Quilty-Cabin abode.  And pre-ordering her book, to be sure.


And I like this site, very much.