It’s raining! What a tremendous blessing this late in the season. By storms end, we could get anywhere between 1-4 inches. The plants (and people – well, gardeners mostly) are loving it. Waking up this morning and opening the window to look out in the garden, I see that the plants seem to have grown overnight. The plants have taken on a lush and intensely green appearance.
Building the new rock & pot bed
The rock/”pot irrigated” bed that accents the cob oven is filling in nicely with a mixture of herbs and vegetables (the last in the sequence of photos is dated now– the plants have filled to where you can’t see the mulch in some places). To support the tomatoes we put up one of many recycled bicycle wheel trellis the guys made (you can see it in the background). The few simple structures have transformed the backyard into a functional and beautiful garden. SinceThanksgiving the backyard has been in an unsettled state as we removed concrete and completely redesigned much of the middle of the garden. Now, it’s a relief that it’s coming together, meaning we can now focus some of our efforts into bringing the garden back into optimum production. There are still a few spots in the yard that need to tackled (driveway, north and back side of the house); yet, that will wait until roofing is completed.
Now, we’ll be turning our efforts to working on the animal enclosure: building a permanent goat house, erecting the trellis that runs along the top of the enclosure that will support grapes, designing an animal feeding station and, if all this goes smoothly and ahead of schedule, perhaps build a new duck and chicken house.
The pot irrigation method seems to be working. After filling the pots with water, it takes a few days for the pot to run completely dry after seeping into the soil. You can tell when the pot is empty just by looking at the color of the pot. When filled, it’s dark and empty, the color is lighter. It will be interesting to see how well this bed does over the summer month since it’s situated in one of the hottest parts of the backyard.
More pictures of the yard coming soon.
Last night over 50 people came (including the former Mayor of Pasadena) to our urban homestead to attend thePower of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil film screening & “100 Mile Potluck Challenge.” Even with the looming chance of rain, heavy rain held off long enough for folks to enjoy a quiet and peaceful evening in a garden setting. Jordanne brought out the pair of goats, now nicknamed Blackberry and Fairlight, because she wanted to train them to get used to people. The goats were well behaved and everyone was fascinated and asked all kinds of questions.
Thank you all for attending and those who brought something local to contribute to the potluck. Also, extra thanks to those of you who took time out to help with cleaning the dishes (greatly appreciated!).
The film showed how a nation was forced to change its habits and way of life. One of the guys interviewed wisely said, “We can’t wait to be forced to change.” He went on to point out the dramatic difference between our two countries. He said that if he told Cubans were told to turn off their lights, they would do it for their country’s welfare. However, if he told Americans to do the same, they would say “why should we?” It’s our right since we are paying for the service.”
“100 MILE POTLUCK”
Before the film, we hosted the first ever “100 Mile Potluck” in Southern California (that I know of).
Since this concept was such a hit, we want to acknowledge that part of our inspiration came from the folks who brought about theEat Local Challenge and “100 Mile Diet” We wanted to challenge folks on a community level. It was evident that many of the folks were proud of the dishes they brought. It was like there was a personal connection with the food. It wasn’t an impersonal potluck, where you could just pull something tasty off the grocery shelf and plop it down on the table. You had to engage yourself with the item you brought thus forming a sense of community through food.
Many of those who attended liked the concept so much, they informed us that they will definitely be copying this potluck challenge/concept which we had initiated and inspired.
Salad from our garden
It was an interesting observation what foods were brought to the table of this proactive potluck assignment. Many attendees said that this was a good lesson and learning experience for them. One lady described how she and the produce guy at the local Wild Oats took the challenge seriously and tried to figure out where the produce had come from. This made them aware of what was in the local foodshed and what was not. Lots of tasty vegetable dishes and fruit were brought, either from Farmer’s Markets or backyards. Wine from California, homemade lemonade, Mexican food from a local restaurant, deviled eggs from one lady’s backyard chickens, and more. It was interesting to note that there were no rice or pasta dishes, breads, crackers, chips, no cheese or anything of that nature ( someone did bring homemade almond bars). Besides a few cookies, it was mostly a vegetable/fruit faire.
Thank you all for participating and making this a successful and educational experience for all.
50 folks = little trash (all recycled)
ZERO WASTE-LOW IMPACT
We are proud to say that we pulled off yet another “zero waste” event. What little “trash” was left was either composted or recycled. Great job, everyone! Besides being zero waste, the event was a low-impact one. Alternative, green energy sources were used to power the projector, dvd and lights.