The membership card is printed on nothing more than heavy paper, perforated for me to carefully tear out and store somewhere. It arrived a few days ago and I felt so excited to officially be a part of Seed Savers Exchange. I had been meaning to join for some time – mostly because I support what they do and how they go about doing it – but maybe now because I find myself growing three distinct and rare vegetables in my beds this season: Cabin PL tomatoes, Chersonskaya squash, and Winter Fare beans. Each of these has a story of how they came into my possession, and it was not planned that they would all end up in my garden this year or that this was the season I would become and seed saver – officially. But, it was bound to happen. It makes sense. It is a small act that encapsulates how I feel about food and our access to it. It is not a showy act – but is a lifestyle choice that reflects a part of who I am and what I believe in. Continue reading
I start thinking about tomatoes months before I will be able to sink my teeth into their deliciousness. This year my first tomato seeds were sown in the second week of January. This year I planted many, many seeds. Some varieties are brand new to me, others are being given a second chance, while still others are in my “favorite” category. What I hadn’t planned on was the additional tomatoes I would receive from other gardeners – other people’s favorites. Continue reading
I have always secretly, or not so secretly, wanted to do away with the lawn in our backyard. This is not to say I have not enjoyed it over the years. It has served as a good picnic location, a runway for leaping over sprinklers, and as a soft place to land while practicing cartwheels. But, alas, it is so hard to justify in Southern California’s semi-arid climate. Now, with the a severe drought looming, it seems almost absurd.
In the fall we had this crazy early cold snap and I ran out to make sure the kids had hats to keep their little heads warm. They have had no reason to put them on since then. As most have you have probably heard, it has been anything but cold here in California. Our warm winter, while nice in some ways, may prove to be disastrous come this summer. The garden, in this unrelenting warm, dry winter, is acting as though it were late spring.
In my backyard garden I put up small fences around many of the garden boxes to keep out the feral cats and the raccoons. Inadvertently, they are now (more or less) keeping out a third destroyer of vegetable garden delights – my almost three-year-old. His motivations are heartwarming. He is not digging for grubs, tearing out anything in his way. He is not looking for a good bathroom. He is actually looking for a tasty snack.
This morning was the first time in a long while that I have spent any extended time in the garden. Life has gotten a bit hectic since my oldest started Kindergarten and my youngest started preschool. Just when I thought I would have a few hours to myself a few mornings a week, my oldest was home sick for four days. We had big plans for today, possibly a trip to the beach or an adventure downtown. But, I woke up this morning with that tugging feeling that pulled me toward the garden. I really wanted to plant this weekend. I am hoping for sweet pea blossoms by December. So, instead, I worked in the garden and we will swim at grandma’s house later.