A zen state of mind…

I’m on vacation revisiting what a state of relaxation is all about.  Henry’s got two lady friends who happen to be in the desert  Spring Breaking at the same time so is off on a shopping, lunch and swim date. This means  I’m allowed to use my very own laptop for a few minutes.  I think it’s actually been quite healthy that its been commandeered  I’ve done, with much success not much of anything besides ordering ice tea in the last hour.

What did catch my attention is that our San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a proposal regarding urban agriculture zoning that makes it easier for urban farmers not only to farm but ends the permitting nightmare for selling one’s produce.  We join, I believe Detroit and Seattle in making things less of a hassle. As someone whose name starts with an “M” who did a bit of time would say,  “It’s a good thing.”

Palm Springs

Here’s a link to an article about the zoning,  http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/04/07/EDQA1IS8CB.DTL

Friday the 18th…

The butchering of chickens and other forms of protein happens all of the time, by individual hand and factory.  It’s an ordinariness that never loses its unease.  Picking up your protein from a local butcher does however take the edge off.

What I wonder about is, when it took two urban farmers plus one 5th grade farmhand all day to butcher, prep,  make stew and stock from two hens how anybody had time for the quilting, sewing and woodworking.  Hell, even just splitting wood for a fire seems like it would go by the wayside.

post butchering cleanup


remains of the day

Rosemary's Baby

“We all go a little mad sometime.”  Psycho

Preview of coming feathered attractions…

Today is a frightfully annoying stereotypical Monday.  Much started, less finished and suddenly it’s time to pick up the boy from school.  The boy whom with which I had to have a conversation regarding what constitutes a legend.  In other words the difference between legendary and infamous and how that might translate into the short attention span world of 7th grade.  As it turns out he’s being greeted or crowned with the nickname legend.  This is not due to his Lacrosse skills but rather his ability to get five detentions within the span of 15 minutes last Thursday.  Yeah, it’s apparently like that.

My day off from the parenting gig this weekend was Sunday and it was spent helping out (well I plucked feathers from a wet, dead hen) butchering and documenting the transformation of two hens into delicious chicken stock as well as crock potted chicken stew at Garden Girl Farm.  I’m thankful for friends in helping with the restoration of my sense of humor and sanity.  I don’t know where to start so will leave you with this teaser.  One of these images does not fit, or maybe it’s that two don’t.

vintage jewelry advertisement

what's inside your chicken

vintage jewelry advertisement

Sprout this….

Several weeks back I made a run to the Seed Bank.  It’s the Petaluma, housed in a historic bank building West Coast retail locale for Baker Creek Heirloom seeds.  I may have been on a retail high because as I was checking out after I’d already eavesdropped on the Novato gardener’s Tomato growing secrets involving plastic bags the clerk made the observation that I must have a really large garden.  It’s not tiny but really large, not so much.

I’m thinking this is my first Tomato sprout.  I’m going to have to wait a bit because not having Martha’s staff or enough of an organizational bent to motivate I did not label any of my starts.  I’ve got a vague idea, know the Tomato seeds were in the compostable trays versus the plastic seed trays (with seventy-two slots) that I also picked up at the Seed Bank for about $1.50.  In the meantime while I wait I’ve got clay and access to two kilns so I’m going to get creative and come up with some sort of plant signage.  Signage large enough to have a small gnome, at least that’s the plan.

Black Krim, possibly

If you want to go for a more generalized gardening sentiment there’s signage to be had from the Etsy shop Garden Designs in Clay found at,  http://www.etsy.com/shop/GardenDesignsinClay

from Designs in Clay, Etsy

On a bender…

I do love me some good nursery.  That said those beautiful four inch pots

seed starts

add up quickly.  Got my act in gear this weekend with some seed starts.  Dwarf Blauswschokkers (try to say that) peas, Violet de Provence artichokes, Padron peppers, snow peas, more romanesco broccoli, Kentucky Wonder beans, purple beauty peppers, two types of favas, and a variety of sunflowers and zinnias.  That’s for starters I’ve yet to touch tomato seeds.  So, a corner of the dining room is now devoted to wait and see.



Who they are, what they look like and where to find them…

"What an Urban Farmer Looks Like" New York Magazine

New York Magazine’s recent article “What an Urban Farmer Looks Like” written by Joshua David Stein includes a classically stunning series of black and white portraits featuring some of the state’s urban farmers. The photographs were shot by Andreas Laszlo Konrath. Track them down in person with the farm map, website links provided.


Tea smoked duck…

Tea Smoked in the tub

I’m still the foster parent for five Pekin ducks.  Homes need to be found for four of the five.  One is challenged, no social skills with fellow ducks, prone to standing in a corner,  no instinct for putting himself to bed and sketchy eating habits.  Every evening I hunt him down in the dark so others won’t.  He makes the one who’s been missing an eye since ducklinghood appear fully abled.  Naturally he’s the one duck I’m thinking we should hold onto.  It took me weeks to catch them in the act of bathing in their not so natural pond.  I had noted that post breakfast they were looking cleaner, more groomed in a metrosexual fashion but had still not witnessed the ritual.  Satisfaction came in the form of the sound of splashing the other morning.

Richmond hookup…

Sasquatch, Don King and Baby Jesus

Hooked up with this menage a trois at Garden Girl Farm and they came home with me last night.  Sasquatch is a lovely rabbit as is her offspring Baby Jesus who is looking like a boy as we were checking out his bits while he calmly gave us his “whatever” look.   Don King, part of the mess of a duck shipment has issues and is being picked on by his flock so is joining our flock of four  less than able ducks.  Cassie loves these two bunnies but is going to be focusing on raising an uber form of rabbit hence the move.  Big Daddy, a handsome black male will be joining us as well so Baby Jesus could be joined by siblings.  Two required classes in my Catholic all girls High School aka San Domenico were “Old Testament” followed the next year by not surprisingly “New Testament”.  I bring this up only because I’m going to have to utilize some creative license in the lineage not that my recall of either classes material is spectacular.