Tag Archives: sonoma garden

Sharing the Harvest

Sharing the Harvest

Those that know me know that I’m a dreamer. Head in the sky, full of lofty ideas – a true daydream believer. What’s been in my head lately has been this house. This 100 year old farmhouse for sale just outside of town on four and a half acres. A few months ago, on a whim, I decided to go to its open house and completely fell in love. I guess the whole romance begins on the long lavender lined drive up to the front, just that alone lets you know that you are in for something good. As soon as I opened the front door I could just sense that we belonged in that house. Maybe it was the old wide planked wood floor that creaked just so, or the original built ins or the huge country kitchen that demanded daily fried egg breakfasts. But I can’t get this place out of my head.

If we lived in this old house we’d certainly breath a little deeper, speak with a little more thought and walk a bit slower. At least that’s how I see it in my head. The boys rooms would be upstairs. Up creaky steps to pitched roof rooms. With some new windows to open for a breeze and some old windows so they could spend boring rainy days looking out at the world through melted glass.

The property around the house is flat and surrounded by large trees – perfect for a future apple orchard and vegetable garden. I walked out of the backdoor, off the back porch, past the lawn through a gate to the back of the property where a creek runs. Stepping over the hap-hazard stepping stones to the water, I brushed by some wild mustard and onions and it just overwhelmed me with the thought that this is what childhood should smell like. And what it should be made of. Swimming and exploring in that creek, smelling those wild smells and moving about your day with the secret thought that maybe ghost wonder around those old pitched roof rooms of theirs.

So, you’re wondering, why haven’t we bought this dreamy place already? Well, four acres with a dreamy farmhouse in Sonoma doesn’t come cheap. Even in these hard economic times. But, I think I have figured out a way to make it work, thanks to this book I’ve read for Green Bean’s Bookworm Challenge called Sharing the Harvest: A Citizens Guide to Community Supported Agriculture. We are going to start our own CSA. And you are all invited to join! Its going to be just wonderful. This book explains everything you need to know on how to start and operate a CSA and I think, in my dreamy mind, that it would be great fun. We’ll grow acres of fruits and vegetables to shower you with and since there’s already a chicken coop there, we’ll bring our chickens and provide eggs for you too. I’ll bake you all tarts and Scott will make you all jam. You can all come over on the weekends to help and we can have picnics in the orchard and bonefires during harvest parties. And after doing all the math, this will only cost you a cool $1000/month. Hmmm, what’s that? Oh, I guess that is a little pricey. And I suppose running a farm wouldn’t be all fun all the time. But a girl can dream, can’t she?

It makes me feel good though, that even though we can’t afford this place just yet, that it exists. That in this world of shiney homedepot granite and mcmansion newness that there still are small, authentic houses on large pieces of land that are to be had. And someday we’ll own one, but maybe not quite yet.

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Filed under books, Our Weekends

The Center Plot

It’s windy today, and sunny but with big huge clouds looming in the sky. I wish it were just plain sunny and warm because tonight is the farmers market in town and the new Ben and Jerrys on the square is giving away free ice cream tonight! Now of course I’ll take free ice cream in any weather, but wouldn’t it be so much nicer if it was warm? Anyway, I’m taking you on a tour of the middle of our veggie garden today, please don’t mind the weeds. It was recently covered in favas and vetch, but now that those have been pulled and tilled, its full of little seedlings. Oh and one more artichoke plant:
artichoke
Behind the artichoke and the new raised bed (that’s waiting for cucumber seeds to sprout), we have the melon row. Here’s one of the few melons that survived the frosty mornings, a crenshaw.
crenshaw
Behind the melons is tomato alley:
tomato alley
In the tomato bed is a sea full of volunteer amaranth, wonder berry and purple haze carrots (those we actually planted).
purple haze carrots
As you’ll notice in all of our pictures we have those purple amaranth and little wonder berries. Both of those things we started a few years ago, just with one plant and now they come up *everywhere*! The wonder berries were advertised as being just like huckleberries, but I’m here to report that they are not at all like huckleberries and I wish those stinkin’ little sprouts would just go away already. The amaranth, however are a beautiful and welcome surprise to find around the yard. Both the leaves and seeds are edible. You can eat the leaves young in salads, older steamed like spinach and the seed is a grain that you can eat like rice or quinoa.

Behind the tomatoes is our new three part bed that Scott just made. This bed receives quite a bit of shade in the summer because it’s right by three huge cedar trees and our weeping santa rosa plum tree. So in go the cooler season crops like another lettuce bed (lettuce is so easy to grow, its a sin to have to pay for it at the store):
lettuce
Spinach:
spinach
and French breakfast radishes:
radishes

Throughout this middle section is a scattering of borage (again another one we started with just one plant and now have little volunteers everywhere):
borage

Well, the little ones are up, so I must go. Next up, the right side of the garden.

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Filed under Growing Challenge, Sprouting, State of the Garden, Tomato